Personal Trainer

Job Description:

Personal trainers work with clients to improve their health and fitness.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

On a daily basis you might:

  • help clients set short-term and long-term fitness goals
  • plan a fitness programme to help clients achieve their goals
  • teach, motivate and coach clients in how to follow their programmes safely and effectively
  • give advice on health, nutrition and lifestyle changes
  • help clients with their workouts
  • check and record clients’ progress, using methods like measuring heart rate and levels of body fat
  • promote your services and do business admin tasks if you are self-employed


You’ll need:

  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of psychology like theories of motivation
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design fitness programmes
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • the ability to teach people how to do something (creative skills)
  • the ability to work on your own (drive)
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Personal Trainer, you don’t necessarily need specific subjects. However, having a good educational background and certain skills can be beneficial for your career. Personal Trainers help clients achieve their fitness and health goals through exercise and nutrition guidance. Here are some suggested subjects and skills that can help you become a successful Personal Trainer:

  1. Physical Education (PE): If available at your school, taking PE can provide a foundational understanding of exercise science, anatomy, and physiology.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a college course to help you get into this career. In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
  • Certificate in Fitness Instructing
  • Certificate in Personal Training


You could do a Personal Trainer Advanced Apprenticeship.

You could do a similar role in the forces through an apprenticeship to become a physical training instructor.

Direct Application

You can apply to become a personal trainer or set up your business, if you’ve got qualifications and experience as a fitness coach or gym instructor.

Career tips

It’s usual to have a certificate in first aid that includes cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 32-34 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays as cutomers demand.

You could work at a fitness centre or at a client’s home. Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

Career Path & Progression:

You could take further instructor courses to learn new skills to offer clients, like yoga, pilates, nutrition or aerobics.

With further training, you could also work with people recovering from illness or who have medical conditions.