How Long Does it Take to Become a Certified Personal Trainer

male personal trainer with female client

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, starting a personal training business is a great way to get paid for doing what you love. If you’re reading this blog post, you might even be wondering how to become a personal trainer. Starting your own business as a personal trainer is incredibly rewarding and it pays well — as a certified personal trainer, you could earn £50K a year or more! 

And it’s a completely achievable career path. As long as you love fitness and are ready to enter a competitive industry, there’s nothing stopping you from “making it” with a successful career in the fitness field.

You just need to know how to get started and gain personal trainer certification. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know, from how long it takes to become a qualified fitness instructor with nutrition certification to how you can get started today.

Why Become a Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach?

Becoming a personal trainer and/or nutritionist is one of the most rewarding career choices you’ll ever make. As a PT, you get to see people grow stronger, fitter, happier, healthier and more confident in themselves as a result of your coaching. After a hard day’s work, you get to rest easy knowing that you’re making a positive difference in your clients’ lives.

In the UK, over 50% of people are overweight or obese and 39% don’t meet the government recommendations for physical activity. But as a PT, you can guide people to take back control of their health and fitness. Your physical fitness and nutritional knowledge can help your clients achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. You can help clients improve all aspects of their health and wellbeing.

As well as helping others thrive, you get to work on yourself. Keeping fit and active becomes a part of your job, but more than that, you get to decide what your work-life balance looks like. You’ll have the freedom to prioritise what matters most to you, whether that’s spending time with family, increasing your earning potential or working on your own fitness and nutrition.

How to Become a Personal Trainer

The first step towards becoming a personal trainer and nutritionist is finding personal training programs that can help you gain certification.

Qualification is important when you’re becoming a PT. Not only does it make you a more sought-after professional, but during the process of becoming certified, you’ll also gain a thorough understanding of exercise science and personal training best practices.

When you become certified, you can deliver health and fitness programs and training sessions with confidence.

Choosing a Personal Training Course

There are many fitness programs out there for those wanting to enter the industry, from comprehensive courses to training programs that focus on specialist areas. Choosing a course that’s best suited to your needs, ambitions and starting knowledge can help you become a successful PT, with plenty of job opportunities and increased earning potential.

So how can you choose the right course?

  • Ensure your course is certified by a recognised body — The last thing you want is to spend time and money on a certification that isn’t recognised or appreciated by clients. Make sure you choose a recognised credential that is awarded by Active IQ, endorsed by CIMSPA and Reps.
  • Decide how you want to learn — Some personal training programs will be held in person, while others will be entirely online. Choose a style of learning that works for you and allows you to take things at your own pace.
  • Check the entry requirements — It’s natural to want to become fully certified as soon as possible so that you can start your new career as a personal trainer. But before signing up for a course, make sure you meet the entry requirements. The Gym Instructing and Personal Trainer Diploma is accessible at entry level, but you might need to complete introductory programs before signing up for more advanced courses. For example, before you can complete our Level 3 Personal Trainer Diploma, you need to have Level 2 under your belt. Take a look at all our Level 3 Personal Training Course Options.

At The Fitness Group, we offer a range of courses for aspiring personal trainers from all backgrounds.  Whether you’re new to learning personal training skills or you’ve completed some training in your local gym, we can help you become a fully qualified personal trainer. We offer local courses around the UK as well as fully remote, online programs.

What About Nutrition Certification?

Often, personal training and nutrition coaching go hand in hand. Fitness professionals will frequently provide nutrition advice to help their clients achieve their fitness goals, embrace healthy eating and manage their weight / body fat.

So if you want to coach nutrition as well as fitness and help clients improve their diet or create weight management plans, there are two main routes you can go down to achieve nutrition certification:

  • A bachelor’s degree — You don’t need a degree to get into nutrition coaching, but if you’re hoping to make nutrition your primary occupation, this might be the route to go down.
  • An independent course — There are plenty of comprehensive nutrition courses that can provide the training and knowledge you need to give reliable advice to your personal training client base.

    These courses are cheaper and faster than a bachelor’s degree, but that’s not to say they’re less valuable. For example, our Level 3 course on Nutrition for Sport and Exercise can help you increase your earning potential. You’ll have the certification needed to offer additional nutrition coaching services, helping your clients achieve an all-round healthy lifestyle.

Nutrition Course

How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach?

The short answer is — how long is a piece of string? There is no definite answer to this, as much depends on the format of the course that you are taking and your own situation.

For a full-time course, like our Gym Instructor Course or Level 3 Personal Training course, you can expect to be in class between 9 am-4 pm, Monday-Thursday for six weeks. This is often referred to as a fast-track course, with all modules taught in the classroom.

An online course is self-paced — you complete it in your own time but usually, it will take a learner about six to twelve months. However, with determination, it can be completed much faster.

Each course provider will have their own schedules, but as a recognised qualification, a Level 3 Personal Training Diploma will always have a similar curriculum and subjects. You’ll learn the same content and be awarded the same standard of qualification.

Part of the time taken to become qualified is the length of time you must wait between the final assessment and the production of the certificate — which can take anything between two weeks to a month. There is also the issue of admin — whatever way you are studying, you will need to be assessed and have your work checked, so make sure you allow time for the administration side of things.

Fast-Track Your Career Change By Dedicating Yourself to Learning

As a learner, you can make the most of your learning (and get through it quicker) if you are dedicated. Fully immersing yourself in a full-time fast-track course is the way to get qualified quickly. But even in a part-time or online personal trainer course, the more dedicated you are to learning, the faster you can gain certification.

Choose the Fitness Group and Become a Confident and Qualified Personal Trainer

When you study with The Fitness Group, you can choose how you want to learn. Whether you choose to learn online or in-person, you’ll receive the same level of support, the same quality content, and the same business training – so you can work towards your career goals in the way that suits you best.

Our Level 3 courses are all recognised by CIMSPA, Ofqual and Active IQ, so if you are serious about gaining recognised certification, you can do so with confidence.

You’ll be assigned your own tutor who will be there to support you every step of the way. 

Your tutor will be your mentor, guiding you from the start of your training to your first steps in the industry as a qualified PT. They can help with job interviews, business advice and marketing support, providing all the tools and support you need to make a success of your new career. Just contact them when you need them — we provide support on your terms, seven days a week!

Take a look at our courses or get in touch with our team of expert tutors to start your journey today.

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