Those with a passion for health and fitness may decide that the career of a personal trainer is the life for them. With more than 300,000 personal trainers throughout the U.S. in 2020 and a strong industry growth outlook, it should be no surprise that this is a role gaining a lot of interest.
You need nothing more than a high school diploma, or equivalent, to get started. Most training is on the job, so you can immediately jump into your new career.
So, what are the advantages and drawbacks of being a personal trainer?
Pro: Freedom and Flexibility
Personal trainers have vast freedom and flexibility to dictate their hours. If you work for a gym or fitness center, the chances are you will have to endure set hours. Yet the beauty of being a personal trainer is it is relatively easy to start as self-employed and build up your client base.
Many personal trainers even hold down other jobs while building their personal brands because it’s such a flexible profession.
Con: Risk of Injury
Every personal trainer must accept the risk of an injury to themselves or their clients. Muscle strains and tears can easily lead to weeks or months without working. It’s a risk all personal trainers face as part of the profession.
Professional liability insurance is a must for personal trainers. It protects you against paying for medical costs and legal fees out-of-pocket if something goes wrong during a class.
The professional liability insurance cost is not exceptionally high, so there is no excuse not to protect your business with this type of coverage.
Pro: Learn About Fitness and Nutrition
Most personal trainers already have an existing passion for optimal fitness and nutrition. However, you have the opportunity to take your knowledge further. While training, you’ll have the opportunity to shadow other personal trainers in action, where you will learn new skills and acquire new insights into health and wellness.
Advance your knowledge base and take in lessons you can apply to your clients and your own life.
Con: Inconsistent Income
Personal fitness classes are a luxury item, so if the economy is down, you will also see your income drop away.
Running your own business as a personal trainer means you must be prepared for an inconsistent income. If you have poor money management skills, you may find this aspect of the industry difficult to manage.
Pro: Specialize According to Your Passion
Personal trainers are not just personal trainers. You have several areas in which you can choose to specialize in.
For example, some personal trainers may specialize in women before, during, and after pregnancy. Others may support people who have recently recovered from industry. Executive personal trainers focus on offering their services to the top 1% of people in society.
You can specialize in many ways to differentiate your business as a personal trainer. However, note that many specializations require a few years in the industry, so it does take time.
Con: Challenging Clients
Personal fitness experts will need to have the patience to handle all manner of clients. For example, some clients may suffer from body dysmorphia. Other clients may demand immediate results and complain if they don’t experience a total transformation within a few weeks.
Those who hire personal trainers tend to want revolutionary results, and managing those expectations is a massive part of the profession.
The best trainers are equipped to keep clients motivated and to extrapolate the gains they make to stop them from sliding back into their bad habits.
Of course, you won’t get along with every client, but what matters is that you stay patient and maintain an objective stance.
Pro: Change Lives
Hiring a personal trainer is a significant step in life. Someone investing in the services of a personal trainer is signaling that they are ready to achieve and become the best versions of themselves.
As a personal trainer, it is not an exaggeration to say that you single-handedly support your clients in improving their lives.
It’s the draw of sculpting a new set of abs, seeing someone run a 5k for the first time, or just watching someone who has developed confidence in themselves spread their wings.
Personal trainers change lives, which is one of the most satisfying aspects of the profession.
Con: Inconvenient Work Hours
Most of your clients will be ordinary people who work regular jobs. The problem with that is that you can expect to work irregular hours as a personal trainer. Most people will want their classes scheduled early in the morning or late in the evening.
Personal trainers can expect to have to accommodate the schedules of their clients. It may include working weekends or holidays. In addition, hours tend to change rapidly, so prospective personal trainers must be prepared to swivel on a dime.
If you have no problem adhering to an inconsistent working schedule, the life of a personal trainer could be for you.
Pro: No Glass Ceiling
Personal trainers are limited by nothing but the number of hours in a day. Beyond providing personal fitness sessions, many trainers have elevated their incomes by concentrating on the branding aspect of the business.
Turning yourself into a personal brand, selling your own products, and becoming a public figure can help you create additional income streams and attract high-net-worth clients.
In a world where people care more about their physical looks than ever, personal trainers are in high demand from people looking to improve their health and people who want to get their bodies ready for a summer of Instagram snaps.
Jump into the world of personal training and build your knowledge base. You can start immediately with so many free resources available for those who want to become personal trainers.
Are you ready to accomplish your dreams of becoming a personal trainer?