Those who get a job as a personal trainer report back a lot of happiness with their career choice. Here’s a personal trainer job description: they get to work closely and develop relationships with people, help them achieve fitness goals, and they don’t have to sit behind a desk all day.

Unfortunately, many personal trainers fail early on in their careers. Here’s how to prevent that and go on to a successful personal training career, as well as a quick personal trainer job description.

1. Really learn the skills

To become an effective personal trainer you must have a few key qualities, such as being patient, analytical, motivating, nurturing, and good at listening. Connecting with your clients and keeping them happy is the name of the game.

It is also important to understand the human anatomy and how bodies work to help your clients achieve results and prevent serious injuries with machines or weights. Trainers must also know how to be a lead, inspire, and focus client’s different emotions.

Don’t forget to stay in shape and eat healthy. Your physical appearance in personal training is the best business card you can have, especially with potential clients who are physically fit themselves.

2. Get Certified

Most fitness centers and gyms require their trainers be certified with a NCCA accredited program. Two of the most popular are the NASM and ACE. Just because they are popular doesn’t mean they aren’t difficult to obtain. They require extensive study and review.

If you want to do personal training in a commercial gym they often require these since they don’t want to have any of their members get hurt (it’s a big liability for any gym). A kinesiology degree is also highly desirable by commercial gyms and higher end gyms.

Some state schools offer degrees with hands on experience and certification in a classroom setting. Certificate programs range from 400 to 2,000 dollars. The minimum requirements for most programs are that you be at least 18 years old, pass an exam prior to certification, and are CPR & AED certified.

personal training certification options

There are a lot of certification options

3. Find your niche and focus on it

Just like in many careers, being a specialist and focusing on dominating a niche provides many benefits over being a generalist. Figure out what you want your emphasis or specialty in training to be and want clientele you would like to concentrate on. Set a specific clientele target, such as people in the financial industry, overweight men, or senior citizens.

It will help set you apart from all the other trainers out there and you’ll to cater to that group’s needs and circumstances. This also helps with growing your business since clients will know people like themselves, and be able to give you referrals. Who would you rather refer to a senior citizen? A general personal trainer or a personal trainer who specializes in working with senior citizens.

4. Keep up with trends in the industry

Continue your training education every so often to keep up with trends in the training industry.  A rewarding way to do this is to join training organizations which host periodic seminars and workshops. Not only will you learn more, but you’ll also make some good connections in your industry.

Not only is it important to keep up to date with the workouts, many certifications require continuing education and re-certification every two years. The average employment length can last until you retire if you stay up to date.

5. Get started already!

Start applying to local gyms or studios. The cool thing about applying to these is that they constantly have people coming and going, so walking in and asking if they have any open positions is not unusual. (This doesn’t always work as well in an office setting)

If it’s difficult to land a job where you want, sign up for a membership and get to know the people that work there. Be very friendly and start conversations with the staff, especially those at the front desk. This is the simplest way to get in since the next time they are looking to add a trainer; everyone already knows your name and career goals.

P.S. When you start working at a commercial gym to build a client base, also start marketing yourself at the same time. Create a website, get active on social media and get followers, build a list of potential clients, use business cards, start email marketing, and develop relationships with potential clients through old fashioned networking. Eventually you may be able to cut-out the middle man and have enough clients to run your own training business. Developing and maintaining relationships is very important, so you may want to use a simple CRM to keep track of who you need to keep up with.

P.S.S. Don’t forget to always ask for referrals from your clients, it’s the most organic way to expand your client list.