I’m A Certified Personal Trainer, Now What?

by glenn on March 13, 2011

Congratulations! You did it! You are now a certified personal trainer, joining the ranks of one of the fastest growing professions in the United States.  Over the next decade, the number of personal trainers is expected to grow 30 percent.  Now it’s time to get your career started, but there is so much to do to establish yourself as a New York City fitness expert.  From business cards to hourly rates, there are many decisions to make.  One of the biggest to make is where to start your fitness professional career journey.


Fitness facility staff

Becoming employed at a local gym is one the simplest entry points for the beginner.  Everything from the business cards to the uniform is presented to you.  The clients are handed to you in most cases and the facility will have predetermined training rates for your service of which you will get a percentage of the session rate when you train a client.  It’s up to you to learn the facility’s equipment and procedures to start working with clients.


Working with a personal training referral service

In this situation, you are a bit like a subcontractor.  You have a little more autonomy, as well as a little more responsibility and risk.  You’ll be asked to submit your resume of qualifications, experiences, and a biography that helps to determine what type of clients can be referred your way.  You are responsible for having a place to train if the location is not supplied by the client.  Again, in most cases, the service will collect payment and pay you a percentage of the sessions trained.  Your “take home” in this scenario is typically more per session than as a gym staff member.


The independent personal trainer

Going it alone presents the greatest risk and reward.  You keep 100% of your earnings and make all of your own decisions.  However, now you are also responsible for all of your expenses.  It’s up to you to decide what to charge clients, where to train clients, and how to market to clients.  Those are just a few of the many decisions you’ll need to make.  With a well thought out and well executed plan, the sky’s the limit.


Many trainers will use a combination approach when attempting to establish themselves as an independent trainer.  Some of them may be employed by a gym, while training a few “outside” clients on the elsewhere. Otherwise, they may offer their services to another established personal training group to help supplement their income while they establish their own book of clients.  It’s best to check with these parties to confirm their policy on training your of private clients.


Breaking into the professional New York City fitness crowd takes time and patience.  If you don’t keep that in mind, you may work yourself right out of the fitness NYC industry.



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