I need a part time job and, for various reasons, this one really appeals to me. I’m wondering if anyone could give me the down and dirty on what it’s really like; certification programs, workplaces, pay, etc.
My only concerns are paying ~$500 for a certification program and then not being able to find a job, or only finding jobs with shitty schedules, 8 bucks an hour, etc.
I’m not trying to be the next Bob Harper or anything, I just need to make about an extra $1k a month part time doing something I enjoy.
I’m on the road to be a personal trainer. I have my AFLCA certification already (about 40 hours and practical experience) which allows me to teach group fitness classes - I teach spinning. I make $32 a class but am a contractor, so I pay tax off of that at tax time.
I have started my PT certification and expect it to take 2 or 3 years part time. I will be able to apply for a federal or provincial designation once I am done (CPT - Certified Personal Trainer). The cost of my program is about $8000.
From the research I’ve done, I will make about $45K to $55K a year full time. I plan on working for an all female bootcamp company once I am done (I already have contacts within and they are aware of my path). Hours are not set and I’ll often be up at 4 am and working various classes until 7 pm.
I was speaking to a PT on the weekend about working in a slow economy and in fitness in general, and he said a LOT of it is sales, especially if you work for a big box gym, like Gold’s or WHC. If you are independent it is much harder to find clients unless you are one of ‘those’ people that can sell, sell, sell.
It’s a great job, but you can’t be in it for the money, and you have to be prepared for a lot of let downs. Many people drop you after a few weeks because they aren’t committed to it.
I don’t think there is a single, recognized certification program that really qualifies you to be a “personal trainer.” I think the most recognized is the CSCS-Cetified Stength and Conditioning Specialist, through NCSA. This is a fairly rigorous course with exams…I think there are any number of fly by night “certifications” that people can get to impress clients but that don’t really mean much in the greater fitness world. I have seen multiple different “spinning” certifications, and the biggie here is Crossfit. You shell out $1000 for a weekend seminar and get to be a “level 1” certified Crossfit instructor. The problem with this is that you aren’t tested for competency or knowledge, as far as I know no one really fails, and without some prior or extra knowledge, should probably not be coaching beginners…lots of stories of injuries resulting from these programs.
My husband is a personal trainer with his own facility. He finds it very frustrating when clients cancel, quit, or keep moving workouts around. The income, therefore, isn’t set, it’s always subject to change.
Hours can be very early in the morning (working people out before their job) and into the evening (accommodating people who come after work).
He does it full-time. We aren’t rich yet. (I work, too.)
He is a certified SuperSlow Master Instructor, and has very, very firm thoughts on what and what is not proper exercise/proper certification, so I won’t address certification.
He does carry liability insurance. He pays rent for his facility, business licence, and maintains his own equipment. Working out of another gym might be more profitable, but then he wouldn’t have the control over the equipment he wants.
For my husband, it’s not a hobby or just a job; it’s very, very important to him.
But the hours and people cancelling are things to keep in mind if you’re looking at it for income.
Thanks for the input so far. I don’t think at this point in my life it’d be any kind of practical at all to try to fly solo. I’m definitely in the work for a gym camp. I thought about asking at my gym but their trainers actually work for a different company whom, I found out after a little googling, has a pretty nasty reputation.
That’s my #1 concern. I am a people person but I am NOT a sales person at all. I cannot stand bothering people.
Cisco, I feel the same way. I’m idly considering something similar (so have been reading this with interest) but I’m mostly considering group exercise instruction - teaching spin class for example. I think it’s far less about sales in that kind of position than it would be for an actual trainer.
Of course, I don’t think the money’s that great. I heard from someone (in another state) that she makes $32 per spin class, so you’d have to do a lot of classes to make your $500 or $1,000 a month. sigh
Well duh, yeah, you said that too! Funny enough, this is about how I view the Weight Watchers meetings that I work. I get paid in that general neighborhood for a meeting, and can only work a handful of them a week or month. But over the course of the year it does add up to a nice amount. A good vacation fund kind of thing.
I am a life long salesperson and feel this is exactly what makes a good salesperson. I am staunchly against cold calling, as I see it as the worst type of intrusion. But following up with someone who has initiated contact with you is not “bothering” them, you are simply doing your job. There have been many instances throughout my career where people have genuinely thanked me for following up with them, even if they weren’t going to be one of my clients. On some level I think they see it as a type of respect, that I took them seriously.