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Your Roadmap to Becoming A Personal Trainer (5 Steps)

5 Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer

For many, becoming a personal trainer is the ultimate job. As a PT you get to play a vital role in helping people lead happier, healthier lives, making it an exciting and fulfilling career choice. However, the path to becoming a personal trainer can feel overwhelming. With so much differing information we’ve developed a unique roadmap to becoming a Personal Trainer. Use it to help you with your research or follow it to begin your dream career as a PT.

You’ll find the hard and fast facts about the reality of retraining, seeking employment or establishing your business, and ways to propel your career. We’ve also answered some of the more frequently asked questions from people like you, looking for the right way to become a Personal Trainer.

Who we Are

We’re T2 Fitness Education: A small boutique training provider, specialising in Fitness Education. For more than 12 years we’ve delivered both face-to-face and online accredited courses, helping around 3,000 students successfully qualify as fitness professionals and Personal Trainers in various disciplines.

Over the years we’ve built an amazing community of trainers – known as the T2 Family. We provide all of our students with career long support and this is why they return to us to refine their skills with our CPD courses and choose to recertify with us. As a boutique training provider for fitness professionals and PTs we’re really passionate empowering people with the right skills and knowledge to help people achieve their own career goals.

How to Become a Personal Trainer in 5 Steps

Step 1: Get Qualified - Level 2

It may surprise you to learn that you don’t need a University Degree to become a Personal Trainer. Although University courses provide a wide foundational knowledge of fitness and exercise science, going down the university route is a long and expensive option.

To become a Personal Trainer you will however need some qualifications and it starts with a Level 2 Fitness Instructor Qualification. This course provides a vital foundation to understanding how to plan, deliver and supervise safe and effective exercise programmes, with an in-depth knowledge of Anatomy, physiology and fitness.

Our own course is accredited by CIMSPA and Focus Awards. This means that it is a nationally recognised qualification and therefore registered on the Ofqual framework (RQF). This course takes 1 week of full-time study and includes a final assessment. It can also be studied fully online with full support from a personal tutor.

Step 2: Get Qualified -Level 3

The next step on your journey to becoming a Personal Trainer is obtaining your Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training. This is an industry standard requirement and it must be accredited by a nationally recognised body.

At T2 Fitness we provide 5 days attendance, with supplementary online learning, accredited by Focus Awards, designed to shape your skills and knowledge as a Personal Trainer. You’ll be able to work individually with clients and use your knowledge of anatomy, nutrition, exercise, periodisation and development to create safe and effective personalised fitness plans for your clients.

To study this course you will need to have completed the Level 2 Gym Instructor course. For those looking to qualify quickly there are options to complete both the Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications by studying a combined course. We provide the Personal Training Diploma which is a combination of the two. And, because the courses are combined it’s a slightly cheaper option.

Top Tip

We know that you’re probably keen to get qualified and start working with clients. But, with so many fitness course providers competing for your attention, the online fitness education market can be hugely confusing for newcomers.

Over the years we’ve seen an increase in the number of ‘training providers’ offering fast qualifications at low prices. Sadly, without approval of a recognised governing body, these qualifications aren’t worth much! Nor will they enhance your career prospects. 

Fortunately, we’re here to dispel the myths and help you navigate the different qualifications in the UK Fitness Industry and levels you need. 

Take a look at our guide to Awarding Bodies, Accreditation & Qualifications in the UK Fitness Industry

Step 3: Get Insured

If you decide to work for a gym or fitness centre, it’s likely that they will have their own insurance that will cover you and the work you do as Personal Trainer. However if you choose to work with your own clients as a private Personal Trainer, freelancer or sole trader then you will need insurance to train people. 

Without insurance, if your client gets injured you will be liable for any costs. Here are some of the insurance options you might need depending on your personal employment circumstances. We have partnerships available that will assist in bespoke policies to suit your needs.

We recommend Fitpro and Westminster provide competitive insurance cover specifically designed for Personal Trainers and small business owners.

Westminster Insurance logo. Westminster offer competitive insurance for freelance personal trainers

Professional Indemnity Insurance:

This type of insurance protects you against claims made by clients that get injured and claim that it was caused by negligence.

Public Liability Insurance:

This insurance protects you against claims made as a result of property and equipment damage (if you hold sessions in the client’s home), or injuries sustained by members of the public, connected with your work.

Personal Accident Cover:

Covers any ongoing treatment to help you recover from an injury sustained at work. Cost of ongoing physiotherapy or dental treatment will be covered by this insurance. Depending on the cover you take it out it can also cover you for life changing accidents, such as loss of sight or loss of limbs.

Loss of Earnings:

If you become injured or unwell this type of insurance will provide a pay out while you’re unable to work. It’s a great option for self-employed people and provides the ultimate peace of mind.

Step 4: Get Employed or Establish Your Own Business

Once you’re qualified as a Personal Trainer you’ll be able to apply for PT roles within gyms or fitness centres, or establish your own business working with private clients. Whatever you choose to do, when you study with T2 Fitness we promise to provide continued career support and further training options to help you excel in your career. We can help you specialise in a specific niche, open doors to employment opportunities and provide business enhancing support.

For self-employed Personal Trainers we offer PT administration packs to help propel your business forward. These packs contain essential resources like business templates, consent forms, diet plan templates and more. These are provided as instant downloads and can really help to get set up quickly.

Step 5: Develop a Portfolio

Whether you choose to run your own business or work in a gym we recommend keeping clear notes on your clients’ progress so that you can build up an impressive portfolio. Take notes of what your client wants to achieve, what sort of plan you created for them and what the outcome is. You may also want to record any feedback that your clients provide so that you can begin to build a portfolio of client reviews, treatments and specialisms. 


(Bonus one for Self Employed) Build a client base.

As a personal trainer, your success depends on your ability to attract and retain clients. Offering valuable content, such as free ebooks, training consultations, and loyalty reward schemes, can help you establish trust and rapport with potential clients. Leveraging social media effectively is also crucial, and training providers like T2 Fitness can guide you in this aspect. Take a look at our latest blog which explores ‘What a Modern PT Needs‘. It covers how the industry has changed over the years and what additional skills Personal Trainers need in order to succeed.

Our PT+ course is available for qualified PTs who are ready to take their career to unprecedented heights.  This advanced course has been meticulously crafted to introduce you to the cutting-edge realms of personal training. Gain advanced skills and knowledge necessary to stand out in today’s competitive fitness industry.

Career Opportunities for Personal Trainers

Being a Personal Trainer is so much more than knowing how to exercise; it’s understanding how to build entire fitness programmes around individuals, motivating change, communicating effectively and lots more. It’s a flexible career with lots of career progression if you work hard and remain dedicated. 

There are a number of career opportunities for qualified personal trainers, from working within gyms to the NHS, in health referral or for high profile clients. Once you’re qualified there really is a whole world of opportunity.

Employed at a Gym

Work as an on-site personal trainer with your own clients or devise and deliver group workout sessions.

Self Employed

Work for yourself creating personalised fitness plans for your own clients.

Gym Business Owner

You can set up a micro or home gym to work with clients to deliver tailored fitness programmes.

Group Exercise Coordinator

Create and deliver group exercise programmes like spin classes, aqua aerobics and other classes.


Like some of our own graduates you may decide to become a coach or tutor to future Personal Trainers.

Employed Privately

With advanced knowledge PTs can work as Exercise Referral experts in Surgeries or company fitness professionals.

We recently launched the T2 Fitness Job Board! Search through vacancies across the Fitness Sector and apply directly to recruiters. 

Tips For Becoming a Personal Trainer

1. Find the right course and the right training provider.

Selecting the right training course and provider can be a daunting task. However, you should always choose a provider that is at least endorsed by a professional body. At T2 Fitness we have “Enhancing” status by CIMSPA which is the highest possible quality rating that fitness education provider can achieve. This is a unique quality assurance that we provide exceptional education and continued support.

To make an informed decision, consider speaking directly to tutors, teaching staff, and specialists. You can easily reach out to them through social media platforms or direct contact to clarify any doubts or questions you may have. This personalised approach ensures that you don’t feel lost or make a random choice when pursuing your personal training course.

Take a look at their social proof. What do previous students say about them? Look at reviews or Personal Trainer success stories to determine what ongoing support is provided by the training provider. At T2 Fitness we’re really proud of the supportive community we have built around our fitness professionals. We continue to offer help, advice and continued professional development to each and every one of our students.

We've just been awarded CIMSPA 'Enhancing' Status.

Get qualified at a PT within two weeks with our fast-track PT Diploma.

2. Consider doing advanced courses or diploma for fast tracking

One of the great things about becoming a certified Personal Trainer is the ability to progress into other career opportunities. The fitness industry is fast changing so it’s important that you adapt to changing developments or scientific research. 

One of the best ways to do this is to continue your professional development with our CPD courses. You can use them to develop your professional knowledge or even specialise in a particular area of fitness, nutrition or rehabilitation. For example our Spin Class Instructor course provides 8 CIMSPA points.

If you’re not yet qualified, you might want to consider studying Person Training Diploma which combines all the necessary qualifications, enabling you to qualify in just a matter of weeks. 

3. Specialise in something

Specialising in a particular area means developing specialist knowledge and providing a more comprehensive set of skills for your clients. Because we believe in genuine progression and specialist skills we have designed a number of the career packages that help you fast-track your way into a specialist career. Our career packages consist of a complementary set of courses that work together to build specialist knowledge and skills. With specialist knowledge you’ll be able to attract clients willing to pay for a unique set of skills and understanding. Plus you’ll have the advanced know-how to achieve maximum results. We recommend:

4. Develop good attributes to make you stand out.

At T2 Fitness we go beyond helping people to qualify as Personal Trainers. Instead we provide the support and professional development to help make exceptional Personal Trainers. We do this by promoting our core values that we believe each and every fitness professional should have. These include:

5. Be Prepared To Promote Yourself

Transitioning into a new career needs careful consideration and planning. If you’re already employed by a gym it might be worth discussing your career progression in your annual review  to devise a plan. They may have a position for you once you have qualified or you may be aware of positions in other gyms that you want to apply for. 

Many of our previous students have successfully transitioned into a new career as Personal Trainers by already knowing clients that want to work with them. This is a great way of building a client base before fully committing to self-employment.

Become a Personal Trainer with T2 Fitness

Begin your PT journey with us. We’re here to support, empower and encourage you, every step of the way. 

*please note: MOD ELCAS is only available for members of the armed forces on selected Personal Training Diplomas


What qualifications do I need to become a personal trainer?

To become a qualified personal trainer you’ll need a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification and the Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification. Both should be accredited by a nationally recognised professional body. In the UK the Fitness industry standard is CIMSPA, and your education provider should work with a credible Awarding Body, such as Focus Awards.

If you study the essential qualifications full time you could qualify as a Personal Trainer with T2 Fitness within as little as 10 days face-to-face study, which is partnered with online study to supplement more of the theory work. This involves completing an accredited Level 2 Gym Instructor course along with a Level 3 Personal Trainer course. Both courses can be taken as a combined diploma at T2 Fitness which can fast track your learning and save you money along the way.

The earning potential for Personal Trainers varies depending on experience, skills, and whether you work for a gym or for yourself.The average UK salary for Personal Trainers ranges from £22,000 – £60-,000 per year. If you’re able to prove yourself as a PT then success and career progression can come quickly. Whether you work in a gym or run your own PT business then take a look at how to be a good Personal Trainer for your clients. Knowing this will guarantee professional rewards.

Essential Personal Trainer qualifications cost on average between £1650-£2400. This includes the cost of obtaining a Level 2 Gym Instructor certificate and a Level 3 Personal Training Qualification, both of which should be accredited by a nationally recognised body. Studying online or taking a diploma which combines both courses into one single diploma can help keep training costs down. However, at T2 Fitness we offer 0% finance plans and Military ELCAS courses through the MOD’s enhanced learning credit scheme.

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