Career Switch – Changing Your Job to Personal Trainer

career change to personal trainer sign

Thinking about a career change? Are you fed up with your boring office job? Have you stuck in a dead-end role and your future is gloom? Your current role lacks any significant purpose? You don’t feel passionate about it? It’s time for a change!

There many reasons for which personal training is a great career choice. On multiple occasion, PT has been listed among jobs with the highest satisfaction level. Let’s face it – being a personal trainer is cool and fulfilling.

So, is it worth ditching your current job and go through some major career shift? It depends…

Here are few important questions you should answer.

What’s your current salary?

Deciding if it is worth to quit your job to become a personal trainer will surely depend on the type of the job you currently have. Two major things to consider are:

  • your current salary
  • work-life balance.

If your current salary is on the very high level (for example, you work in the financial sector) you may think twice before switching to fitness. Personal Trainer salaries may vary but the majority of Personal Trainer will never reach the level set by high paying job. If you really want to become a trainer you may need to be ready to take a financial hit.

On contrary, if your salary is low (for example, you work in hospitality) you may benefit financially from PTing. For a lot of people out there fitness is a passport to a better world. Good PT can earn well above UK’s average.

What are your commitments?

If you are family men, lonely mother or have any other serious commitments you may reconsider your decision of becoming a PT.  Especially if your current job provides for your family.

Apart from financial commitments, you must consider time. Personal trainers don’t work 9-5. Training hours are irregular, sessions may start early morning ending late in the evening/night. You may have difficulty keeping up with some family commitments like picking up kids from school or attending family events. On contrary, you may benefit from flexibility personal training give you and set your own working hours. How flexible you will be will affect your earning potential.

It all depends on your personal situation. If personal training is your part-time job (for example, you are not a bread winner and just looking for a job to top up your household income) you may find it perfect.

Is it worth it?

The general answer is – yes. Personal trainers enjoy high job satisfaction levels. Those who succeeded often have a great work-life balance and a decent salary achieved with a low number of working hours.

Personal training is one of the very few jobs where you can genuinely help others. You help to transform lives of others on more than just fitness level.

You face different challenges and most importantly you follow your dream – a feat very few can enjoy.

How to do it?

OK, so you considered all pros and cons and decided to give it a go. What is the best way of switching your jobs?

First – get your personal trainer qualification before you quit the job! You need to make sure you have required skills and qualification to perform the job in the UK. Read my guide if you need help choosing the right personal trainer course.

Second – make sure you have some sort of plan before you make any serious move. Think it through – how are you going to get clients? Will you work with private clients only? Will you work in the gym?

Now when you have a necessary diploma and a plan, you need to decide when and how are you going to start PTing. You have few options here:

  1. You quit your job and try to make it as a PT as quickly as possible
  2. You switch to part-time job and spend your free time building your PT business
  3. You treat PT sessions as an additional stream of income at first – building up your client base and reputation outside of your current working hours.

For the majority of PTs option 1 is out of the question. It would be suitable only for people who are good at marketing themselves and some good business skills. If you quit your job you may find yourself in a very stressful situation. Even solid saving will be gone in few months. You will work under serious pressure. If you have family – the pressure will only double. I would personally avoid that route.

Option number 2 makes a lot of sense but only if you have some saving to make up for the loss of a part of your income.

Option 3 is my favourite one. I know personally two people who took this route and who now run successful (one even very successful) PT businesses. They started slowly running some training sessions after work and weekends. After few months, when their client base grew significantly it was a time to reduce their office hours.  At some point, they didn’t need their 9-5 jobs anymore. It is a long but risk-free route.

What are the risks?

Of course, not everyone who started a career as a PT will be a successful one. The major risk, of course, is that you are not going to make it and won’t have enough money to support yourself and your family. This is, in fact, the reason number one why so many people drop the idea of a career switch.

If your current career offers progression you may miss out on reaching a well-paid job position. A personal trainer doesn’t offer much development and most likely you will end up doing the same for years to come. Of course, your PT salary will increase significantly along with your experience but you are going to remain a personal trainer.

Even if you love fitness you won’t be sure if the PT career is for you. That’s the major risk of any new career you take. The only way to find out is to walk shoes of a fitness professional.

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