Are you able to support yourself by only doing personal training/group exercise??
I am getting into this field. I am one year away from having my degree in Health and Wellness Promotion. During this last year of my program I will have the opportunity to get certified as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, health and fitness specialist and as a certified strength and conditioning coach. Will I be able to make a living with all of these certifications? I am scheduled to take my personal trainer exam in November. I have two kids and I want to make sure we will be okay when i am all done.
A full time career in fitness is a rewarding way to make a living if it’s your true passion. After working in other industries, I started in fitness in 1982 when I taught my first dance aerobics group class (before we even had specialized sneakers!) and have never looked back. Over the years my focus shifted to specializing in personal training for the in-home market and feel blessed to have discovered what I believe I was meant to do. No doubt a fitness career does have its challenges, but you’ll know when it’s right for you because it will never feel like a job.
Regarding employment, you are on the right track having your Health & Wellness Promotion degree plus certifications. They will distinguish you from other fitness applicants and position you to take advantage of corporate opportunities offering the income and health benefits you’ll need to support your family.
As you gain experience and possibly want to be an independent contractor or business owner, my suggestion is to “tune in” to what types of training you gravitate towards and find most exciting so you can specialize in that particular area, e.g, children, obese, arthritis, older population, women, etc., etc. Being a generalist is fine in the beginning, but in the long run may prove to be difficult to stay highly motivated without getting burned out.
Welcome to the fitness industry & best of luck!
The Y could be a great choice if you require day care in order to work (depending on position/location, discounted or free).
I also know a few folks who started as camp counselors and are full time membership and program directors now-great opportunity for the motivated to expand their careers. You can Google salaries online- the Y is known for conservative caps on compensation but what they can offer might still work for you.
Like Janet said, corporate fitness facilities can also be great for families- when I worked at the Osram Sylvania facility we were only open 5am to 7pm M-F with weekends and holidays off. This is virtually unheard of in commercial gyms.
Dawn, Susan, Natalie, and everyone are correct that most of us have needed to seek multiple sources to create full time income. The look on my tax guy’s face was priceless the year I brought in four W2s and five 1099s. (if you teach drastically different disciplines, many places let you get around non-compete clauses)
This being said, I will also openly admit that one of my clients encouraged me to join her as flight attendant so I could, like her, fly 1-3 days a week and receive full time health insurance, retirement, and paid sick time while still doing what I love the other days. I now work along side her and have the freedom to pick and choose what I enjoy most in the fitness and wellness industry. Be hungry, never stop exploring and enjoy what will surely fantastic but certainly unexpected journey- roses, thorns and all.
I have do echo Janet's advice. I am doing very well now but I have been in the field for over 17 years now, and starting out was not easy. I had alternate sources of income, and health insurance was also covered.
Your certifications will help you but they are no guarantee to get clients. Working for a gym is a good way to get exposure but gyms pay only as much as they absolutely have to.
I wish you the best of luck. It is a great field to be working in but you should not expect to make a living at first and may need another source of income.
Having a degree and certification is fantastic, the real key is establishing how many clients and or classes it will take in order for you to be financially sound.
Writing out your business plan now will help with creating and achieving your goals.
Congratulations, you will have a lot under your belt. I live in a small community; so, I work another job to help pay the business expenses. Then again, the other job has lead to leads.
Good luck to you; where there's a will there's a way.
Unless you already have a wide base of potential clients, I would suggest that you work (even part time) for an established fitness facility to help improve your skills and to get your name out there. In addition, there are several more 'roads' you can take to help gain exposure to the purchasing public. Health fairs, seminars, writing, free clinics/classes, social media, working as an 'assistant' to an already established trainer and more, are all ways to "get out there" and let people know you exist.
Try to decide upon a niche or specialty area to work in. This will only help to set you apart from the general fitness population. Your degree in Wellness Promotion seems geared towards community or corporate wellness work. If that's true, and if that's an area of interest for you, I think that's a great niche to be in!
Good luck, and congrats on your degree and new career!
Everyone here is giving good advice.
Here is what I would add. If you are bilingual, you have a huge market. You will be able to create websites in your second language as well as in English, you will be able to create flyers in your second language (that is if you speak a second language). You can write articles in your second language, you can become a presenter in your second language, make videos. If you are bilingual, the world is your ocean. Not to mention social media in two languages, television in two languages.
I personally believe you will do well.
All the very best to you!
You can definitely make a living as personal trainer. It takes a lot of work and in order for you to make a comfortable living, you will need to devote a lot of time in getting new clients, training them and keeping up with their progress. I think that if you are a single mom with 2 kids (if that is the case), it will be very difficult for you to make enough money to support your family. You must also keep in mind, there are generally no health benefits in this job unless you work for a company that provides such benefits. The problem with that is that if you work for someone else, you will only make as much money as they are willing to pay you.
If you have an extra source of income (spouse's income or healthcare provided by spouse or ex-spouse), life might be easier for you and your kids. Also, until you build your clientele, you will have to make sure you have that extra income coming in because it might take some time to reach the number of clients that you will need to have a comfortable income. Our industry is a great place to be and it will only get better since more people are choosing a healthier lifestyle.
I hope this helps. Good luck and welcome to our industry.
Although I'm meeting the financial goals I've set for what I want to make to contribute to our family income / budget, I've never had to fully support myself and children on my fitness income.
If I had to do that, I'd get creative about creating fitness income that doesn't lead to bodily wear and tear. Program design. Fitness writing. Coordinating. Working in the wellness department of a retirement community. Some of the highest paid jobs don't happen in the gym. They're the opportunities we create for ourselves.
Treat every client as though they hold the key to your future. They do.