How will the course be delivered?
Is the entire course online? Blended learning? How many days do you get to learn from qualified staff on the gym floor?
How the course is delivered is crucial to your success and we believe this is arguably the biggest indicator for you to know if the training company is right for you.
If it's too thin on real-world experience, then it might catch up with you when working with clients for the first time. Psychology today suggests that the best way for people to learn is to gain real world experience. That's why we always suggest a blend of onsite training as well as studying. This is your best bet for success.
On the point of real world experience, make sure you find out how many of the training days are delivered in a gym environment. The more time you spend on the gym floor, around qualified educators and experienced Personal Trainers, the more prepared you will be. We believe bouncing ideas and questions around fellow students is always more beneficial than any online platform that has the same slides and lessons for everyone.
What else are you getting from the programme other than a certificate? When you study to become a Personal Trainer, it’s not just about the qualification. The fitness industry is competitive and can be a lonely place for a newly qualified Personal Trainer. Seek out the training company that offers added value that can really help you find employment and succeed in the industry. Think about guest speakers, marketing and business seminars, continued support when qualified and links to reputable partners.
Where is the course delivered?
The location of the course delivery has a huge impact on how well the programme runs. If you are lucky enough to get multiple training days, are they all in a classroom or a gym? Where is the classroom? Is it in the gym?
All gyms and classrooms aren’t made equally. Be sure to ask specifically where the training will take place and do a bit of research into the facility. Does it have a lot of members and personal trainers? Is it clean, easy to get to and have a good reputation? Is the gym a large commercial gym or a boutique gym? Don’t be afraid to ask why they deliver their Personal Training courses in that location, as they should be able to reel off its benefits and strengths.
The location of delivery is linked to how the course is delivered. A great course is will be delivered in a space that combines classroom and gym floor time equally, and allows for learners to observe the environment and learn the unwritten rules of the industry. A big indicator is if the gym and staff there know the course is taking place and take an interest, if not, it’s likely the training company simply rents a room from the gym and barely uses the gym floor.
What's the income potential & employment opportunities of a personal trainer?
Personal trainers can easily earn over £40,000 a year. However, to get there you have to work hard and continually develop your skills. The average personal trainer in the UK charges around £30 an hour. Personal trainers can work in many different spaces and groups, from private personal training gyms and commercial gyms to bootcamps and corporate classes.
Many different training companies delivering the Personal Training qualification will have links to various gyms. 9 times out of 10 these links are big commercial gyms, which offer a ‘guaranteed interview’. These can be great if you are looking to get a role in that particular gym as you get a short interview with them but let’s be clear, these are simply interviews and do not guarantee jobs so you do still have to work hard and prepare.
When comparing training companies, research into the company’s linked gyms before you sign up to their course. Not everyone wants to work in a large member based gym, and likewise not everyone wants to work in a boutique gym. Try to find out what it’s like to be a trainer at those gyms too, Instagram is a great place to start as most trainers are active on the platform and you can see their working environment.
Companies should provide help throughout the course to give you the best chance in finding employment as soon as you qualify. This ranges from hands on training on the gym floor to support with going self-employed and tax returns. This should be in addition to support with sales, marketing and branding strategies to help you find clients once you qualify. All of which should help maximize your chances of landing that dream job and boosting your potential earnings once you have.
Who accredits the qualification?
The training company you study will issue you with your qualification but it will be officially accredited through an awarding body. Some awarding bodies are more reputable than others and provide more support and resources for the training company to use, which they have access to alongside their own made resources.
There are quite a few in the UK but the leading awarding bodies to look out for are Active IQ, Lifetime and YMCA Awards. These awarding bodies are also more stringent in their quality processes, which is a positive for you as a potential student as you can rest assured the training company has to uphold a certain standard of education and delivery.
Also check the course being delivered is REPS and CIMSPA approved. REPS and CIMSPA are the two industry regulators. If they’re not approved, why not? I would stay clear of any training companies that deliver qualifications that aren’t REPS and CIMSPA approved.
How are the course fees paid?
There are often different ways to pay your fees, with most training companies offering flexible payment option, which is a positive as it means everyone can study.
These include instalments, learner loans and one off payments. Though, one thing to watch out for is some companies won’t release certificates to learners until all payments have been paid in full. They will issue letters of qualification achievement that can be used in interviews and future employment, but be aware, some employers will insist on seeing the official certificate.
We hope you found this blog helpful in your journey into the fitness industry.
Take a look at our Personal Training course to check out how we deliver the qualification and the things we put in place to ensure our graduates find employment in the industry as soon as they qualify.
You can see our partners and learners in action across our social media platforms.