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1. Make the decision and set a goal to become a qualified Trainer

Whatever the reason is for disliking your current job, whether you are tired of long hours, staring at a screen all day, being stuck inside an office, having to wear a suit, or it’s just your dream to achieve bigger and better things, the moment you decide to take the leap and make it your goal to become a personal trainer, set a date and stick to it. This is your ticket to freedom.

2. Select a blended learning course

When you’re still working full-time but have committed to becoming a Personal Trainer, selecting a course that offers 95% blended learning and minimal in-person assessment days is going to be hugely advantageous to making the transition as simple and smooth as possible. Here at the PTC our courses are completely online with in-person assessments for just two weekends. This means you can commit your time to learn around your job rather than having to take time off to learn.

3. Add studying into your weekly routine and do not waiver

Just like your fitness regime and scheduled workouts, make it the same for your learning and education. Schedule in times that work best for you and fit around your current work schedule, even if it’s some reading on the commute to work, or the last hour before you go to bed. Commit to taking time to learn and educate yourself.

4. Document your journey

It’s no easy feat having a change in career and it’s an admirable move. Documenting your journey is going to be a great way to get early exposure and help reach people with your story. This is especially true if you’re someone who’s already fit. You’re going to be relatable and you’ve got your own story to tell about how you overcame struggles and challenges in order to have your own success.

5. Get your Level 2, then help people for free

Getting your Level 2 qualification is like getting your foot in the door. It allows you to start helping people and really building the foundation for your future success. Once you’re qualified it gives you the opportunity to start helping people. We recommend doing it for free and helping close friends and family. They’ll have followed your journey from the start and will now know you are able to help them with their goals.

This is a great step in building future clients and testimonials before you’re even ‘qualified’. Build those results, relationships, and most importantly your skills in becoming a great personal trainer. Then, once you’re qualified and good to go the ball is already rolling! It’s also a great time to start working out who it is you can best serve and help.

6. Build the foundations of your business 

Once you’ve got a few people that are interested in your help, this is a great time to start building the layers and foundations for your future business. It can be a great time to start designing things like your client onboarding process, training templates and plans, tracking sheets for clients, nutritional guidance, and exercise tutorial videos.

Doing this in the early stages is hugely beneficial and can streamline the process when you eventually get to the stage of taking people on as paying clients as opposed to helping someone for free. It also allows you to offer a better, more complete service and allows you to scale easily and manage your time efficiently.

7. Create a secondary income from fitness

You’ve got limited hours in your day and have time commitments around your life and work. But it’s now time to start looking at ways to create a secondary income to help you positively transition into becoming a full-time personal trainer.

Once you’ve started helping people for free, proved you can help people with their goals and you’ve laid the foundations to your business, you should now feel confident enough to start charging for your services. Whether this is online coaching before work, on your lunch/in the evening, OR group training over the weekend, these are all great time-efficient ways of building an income.

8. Matching your primary income

Now it’s time to bring your secondary income to a level that can match your primary income. Depending on your personal situation this will differ but these are the two ways we recommend to make sure the transition to full-time Personal Training is as smooth and effective as possible.

8A Go all-in on fitness. Have enough savings and support to make sure you can meet the outgoings for your family and lifestyle but really address anything that is essential or none essential. Going all-in on fitness can be scary but also incredibly motivating if you’ve nothing else to fall back on.

8B Go part-time in your work and start taking on personal training clients in the time you’d usually be working. It’s very likely that personal training is going to give you a better income per hour than your current work so this is probably the safest way to transition. If you have a good employer it might be possible to have a sliding scale of hours, so that as you gain more clients and income from personal training you can reduce the hours you’re doing at work.

9. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows

We’ve made these steps as easy as possible to make your transition to a personal training career as easy and smooth as possible, but this isn’t all going to be easy. People aren’t going to magically want to start working with you because you’re now qualified. As we mentioned, there are a lot of trainers already out there, so why should they choose you?

Providing you’ve followed the steps we’ve outlined then you’re going to put yourself in a great position for people to start wanting help from you. 

You’ve documented your journey, you’ve helped people for free, you’ve laid the foundations to your business with great systems and you’ve got people that can testify that you’re good at what you do.

10. Service over coaching

Now you’ve got clients paying you to provide them with an exceptional experience through incredible service, this step is by far the single most important thing that you can do. Every trainer, especially those with a PTC qualification, know how to coach a deadlift, cue a squat, and get someone in great shape.

Those who make this a successful career are those that offer a phenomenal service. That means going over and above the standard. Welcome cards for a new client you’ve on-boarded, handwritten birthday cards, a small Christmas gift, getting to know and understand them via listening and genuinely showing that person you care about them and their goals.

Provide an incredible experience and an unbelievable service and you’ll have something that is so important in Personal Training – clients for life.

Check out our 10 benefits of being a Personal Trainer blog post

If you would like to change career, speak to one of our course advisors by clicking here

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Blog Author

Luke Johnson

Luke started educating Personal Trainers out of a desire to improve the quality of the fitness industry. 5 years, two children and 1000 students later, he’s not lost that relentless determination to empower fitness professionals.

How to become a Personal Trainer while working a full-time job