Sorry, but ChuckyStud's perspective discounts the value of being in work YOU love. While Chuckystud is correct about the hours, and the disparate clientele what he us incorrect about is the earning potential if you truly are ambitious and good at your work. Earnings that come both in dollars and dignity and satisfaction.
You WILL pay dues, you will start at zero but you CAN work up to very good money as long as you are working for the right reason ... Money is the worst reason for any career. It's soulless. I walked away from six figures to be a trainer (NASM, CSCS) and started with nothing. Nothing. I lost my savings and my income in a couple of years due to circumstances that were unforeseen and devastating (my only solace was my home was paid for and I almost lost it.) i had two options - one paid tens of thousands of dollars doing something i was very very good at with people I really did not like very much and the other paid minimum wage with people I loved. A desire to make real change possible for people and help them see their own potential drove me to say yes to managing a gym (read clean toilets, rack weights, manage billings and give tours) for minimum wage. BUT, suddenly I was happy. And on minimum wage I borrowed less than $10K to get my certifications while managing the gym. When I started training I billed at $45/hr of which I kept 60% and the club kept 40% and I had two clients. Inside of a year I had 18 clients a full book of business, a base rate of $75/hr and had paid back my loans in full. How? I never said no. I trained people other trainers avoided: elderly, never been in a gym, severely compromised (hip replacements, spinal curvature, timid and afraid of other people watching, etc). My clients taught me SO much. Some came and went because they couldn't afford it, lots stayed (thankfully) and they brought me more clients. And seeing me be uncompromising in my focus and unwavering in the discipline I demand of clients, and the fact that I show up well dressed, focused, attentive, positive, on time and energized brought me athletes and experienced gym-goers who wanted to be pushed. And they all brought me physician referrals and family members. Why? One - I'm bloody lucky as hell. Two - I'd do it for free if I could. And the latter is key: I love my work.
Our careers choose us. We may choose something else but if we listen to our heart then work comes to us and if we sacrifice for the passion the reward is ten fold. No, I'm not making six figures anymore. I'm mid-middle-aged and making just under six figures and it fluctuates because of holidays and traveling clients and school schedules - but I focus on my clients not my accountant and it always works out. And above all - I'm happy. I studied my ass off, I went from being the creative lead on $150M projects to scrubbing toilets for $8 an hour at age 51 - because I believed in something FINALLY believed in something for which I was passionate and which asked more of me than any other job (make no mistake - it is EXHAUSTING to go six to nine hours with barely five minutes to eat or piss and be 100% focused and 'up' hour after hour AND find time to train myself so I can walk my own talk) but I'm happy.
I promise you money will NEVER make you happy. EVER. It will come to you if you sacrifice and commit to something for which you have passion and aptitude. That may or may not be training, but you won't know if you don't try.
Good luck, and message me if you want to know more about options in learning your trade.
timshel saidI've never seen this discussed here before, surprisingly. But, I would really like to become a personal trainer. When I am at the gym, I am HAPPY. It is the highlight of my day, every day. Swimming, weight lifting, yoga, tennis, I love it all.
So, since I am unemployed right now, I think this could be the perfect opportunity to do something that I really like doing. Growing up I always wanted to be a doctor, but now I think fitness and nutrition are better than hospitals and medicine.
Problem is, I have a ton of time on my hands, but no money!! I know I have to become certified and all. Wondering if any trainers here can offer me some advice to jumpstart this next part of my life. Such as, where do I begin
You begin by walking away from a job that very few ever make any real money in. E.g. pay for a personal trainer at LA Fitness: $6.00 / hr in 1/2 hour increments. If you don't have an appointment, you don't get your six bucks.
There's a few guys that end up with a training business. I have a friend that has 18 trainers working under him, and he makes a decent living, but, it also took him 25 years to get to that point.
It work in IT. I rarely work for less than $50/hr. Logan, who lived with me for 3.5 years, works in IT (I was his mentor). He is 23 years old and makes 120K annually. Logan has a GED and no college debt. I make six figures and have a two year degree. The lesson: pick a job that is in demand, pays well, has benefits, and you don't end up with 100K of school debt.
Most folks that go to trainers are either head cases, or want therapists, or are lazy assess.
You like getting at 0400 and going to bed at 2200? That is the life of a trainer because real folks have jobs, and the time you train them is when they aren't working.
For most "trainers" it's just therapy session with someone who has a bit of money.
Pick a real career that you can make a living in, has a benefits package, where you can work decent hours, and have a real hope of progressing.