What's the Next Career Step for a Personal Trainer?

June 11, 2017



Whether you are an industry veteran, or a newly minted personal trainer, you probably find yourself thinking about your career quite often. While some trainers have an idea of where they want to be in the short term (with a full client list) you'd be surprised at the number of those who, due to the enormous day to day requirements, haven't given much though to their long term career progression. 


What is your end-game scenario?


An end-game scenario is what you envision when everything is all said and done. At the end of the day, what do you want your career to be, with what credentials, making what amount, and located where? These are all very important questions questions to consider as their answers should determine your day to day plan. 


Career Growth For the Personal Trainer

  • Fitness Manager: The Fitness Manager is more common in larger gyms. The person in this position is responsible for managing the entire personal training staff and group class staff under their charge. While becoming a Fitness Manager seems like the next logical step in a personal trainers career, it may not be as appealing to those who currently work independently of a specific gym, or those who don't want to be bothered with projecting and meeting sales quotas. Typically, Fitness Managers are required to have either a degree or advanced certification (or in some cases both) in addition to the common certifications like CPR/AED. 


  • Gym Owner: The Gym Owner is a coveted position in the fitness industry. It's easy to see the perks of owning a gym. Free membership and space to train your clients; A space to enact your will on a brand and fitness methodology. Storefronts, however, cost money and you know what they say "You have to pay the cost to be the boss". When you own a gym , you are not only expected to provide a great service, but you are also in charge of facility maintenance and upkeep, staff (if applicable), finance, marketing and more. It can be overwhelming. While many rise to the occasion, others realize that they were happier focusing on providing great training without accounting for all the logistics required of a gym owner. 


  • Independence and a full client book: The start up costs required to open a gym may seem "challenging" but don't fret as there are other ways to own your brand and messaging profitably. Going independent may be the route for you. There are many routes to independence as a personal trainer but a general route would be as follows

    • Package your methods: Turn your skill-set into a scale-able, track-able program. Are you more experienced with weight loss programs, or sports specific training? What is your ideal clientele? What results can you guarantee, and how long will it take to see them? This is the single most important career development step you can take. Are you familiar with the popular P90X? "P90X, or Power 90 Extreme, is a commercial home exercise regimen created by Tony Horton. Developed as a successor to the program called "Power 90", it is designed to take 90 days, and consists of a training program that uses cross-training and periodization, combined with a nutrition and dietary supplement plan." While P90X ended up generating hundreds of millions of dollars, at it's core it was a packaged method created by a fitness professional. While the simple act of packaging what gets your clients results may not make you millions in a year, you will be in a position to better identify opportunity and growth-minded career decision making. Another great reason to begin the process is to  determine where you may have a skill gap and need to gain more experience. Nothing spells it out for you like dedicating time to write it out. 

    • Find a space and Market: Some gyms have more clientele than they can handle. These gyms will hire you as an independent contractor who will take over training for these clients because they don't want to turn anyone away. Setups like this will sometimes be contingent upon you learning all or part of the hiring gyms methods, in which case you won't be completely independent but more of a detached employee, however, with the right credentials your setup can be favorable to your desired schedule, pay grade and ideal client.  In time, you may be asked to take a larger role within the business if that's what you're angling for. The other option, that albeit has more freedom, comes with more work. There are many facilities that will flat-out rent to you on a monthly basis. A condition of a lot of these agreements is that you come to the facility with your own clientele. Some are complete with equipment and others are not. With this, you will be responsible for monthly dues as well as sharing the space with others. For me it was ideal because I had the freedom to build my own program in a safe and consistent location without having all of the liability of owning my own gym. Take a look at some of these spaces here in my  current city Chicago. 

Symmetry Chicago: 5300 square feet of training space, located on the corner of franklin and huron, in Chicago's River North Neighborhood.Train or workout by yourself, with a friend, or with your trainer today!

  • Corporate Training: Did  you know that some companies maintain fitness facilities. Heading one may require a degree or advanced certification, but the benefits can be out of this world. 

  • Sports Team/Medical: Do you dream of working for your favorite school or professional sports team? It might not be that far fetched. Many schools have programs that will award you credits based on the amount of experience you have gained thus far. The path to an advanced degree may not be as hard as you thought. With that said, you have the option of taking your current experience and transitioning into a career in the medical field by becoming an athletic trainer. If you are good with your hands you can go back to school to become a physical or manual therapist. Your experience as a personal trainer will definitely assist you. 

  • Facility Management: Ever think of managing a multi-sport complex? Your experience as a trainer could go a long way towards determining how to both maintain a facility, develop facility programming and bring more traffic through the doors. 

These are just a few options that exist for trainers looking to plan their long term goals. All of these take detail oriented planning and organization plus a proven track record. All benefits of utilizing Seek Software. Whether you are an independent trainer, or you manage a large fitness facility, Seek Software has a custom solution for you (Click the links below to learn more)!


Membership Management

Facility Management

Personal Trainer Software

Sports Team Management Software


Be sure to join Seek Community where you can host, share and sell workout plans, nutrition plans and more. Join today, package your method and reach new sources of revenue!









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