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How Old Do You Have To Be To Become A Personal Trainer?

How Old Do You Have To Be To Become A Personal Trainer?

If you’re a young person considering a career in the fitness industry, you’re probably asking “how old do you have to be to become a personal trainer?”. That’s why we have created this guide, covering: 

Starting young in the fitness sector comes with buckets of benefits, so if you’re set on pursuing your passion as a career, check out our diploma in personal training here or sift through our downloadable course prospectus for more information.

If you want to get a taste of what a day might look like as a fitness professional, download our guide to the “day in the life of a personal trainer” below!

Minimum Age Requirements for Personal Training Courses

In order to give an indication of what the minimum age to be a personal trainer is, we need to start by discussing how old you need to be to get onto a personal trainer course.

We should make it clear that there is not a universal age requirement across the board, gyms may hire at different ages and some personal training courses may have varied entry requirements. That said, most reputable course providers have similar age restrictions and entry requirements.

You will need to be at least 16 years old to get onto a personal training course, which is the perfect age for school leavers who want to get straight into the world of work. Pursuing a career as a PT straight from school gives you the opportunity to get a job right away rather than having to spend 5 years in further education.

More specifically, to get on to OriGym’s diploma in personal training, the only entry requirement is that you are 16 years of age - no prior qualifications are necessary! This diploma entitles you to achieve your level 2 in gym instructing and your level 3 in personal training, leaving you well equipped to get started in your role.

You can even work your way through this qualification in just 4 weeks if you're able to commit to a full-time course, so there is no waiting around to start your career.

These minimal entry requirements are incredibly convenient for those leaving school especially, as GCSE’s are likely to be the only qualifications you will have achieved. And so, being able to become an industry ready personal trainer at 16 could see you get your career off to a great start. 

Now that you know that you can start studying for your personal training qualification at 16, let’s get into the details of the age that you need to be to become a personal trainer on the gym floor and start putting your hard work to use.

How Old Do You Have To Have To Be To Become A Personal Trainer?

So, you’ve left school and you’re wondering what’s next, we’ve all been there! The real world can be scary, but a career in personal training is a great way to start earning money and building your career.

First off, we want to make it clear that age is not a contributing factor to what makes a good personal trainer. Yes, there will be people who are more experienced than others, but this is not the only attribute that you need as a good personal trainer. What you do need is the appropriate knowledge (which you will acquire from your qualifications), a good attitude, and the ability to work with people.  

So we have established that the minimum age that you need to be to take a personal training course is 16, but once you're qualified, what's next?

After gaining your Level 2 & 3 qualifications, you can then begin applying for jobs and working in a gym right away. Some commercial gyms, such as PureGym, will even allow you to get started with the onboarding process before you gain your level 3 in personal training. This not only means that you could have your personal training job ready waiting for you the minute you get your certification, but also means that you can get to work and start earning before the level 3 qualification has been obtained.

You could also start working in a gym after you have completed your level 2 in gym instructing by pursuing a job as a fitness instructor. This way you can start to get used to the environment, and gain experience interacting with potential customers and teaching classes before going on to work as a PT.

What we’re saying is, if you want to leave school, take a diploma in personal training, and then start building your own business at 16 - you absolutely can!

This doesn’t just apply to youngsters either, no matter how old you are, so long as you’re over 16 you can get qualified and go on to work in a gym or run a successful fitness business 

If you’re questioning “is there an age limit to become a personal trainer?”, there really is no reason to be concerned. You may be surprised to hear that the average age of a personal trainer is 39 years old, meaning that if you want to change career paths but you’re worried that you’ll be working among a group of teenage personal trainers, it's actually unlikely that you will be.

Whatever age you are, don’t be afraid to go for it and jump right into your new career! There is plenty of demand up and down the country for fitness professionals from all walks of life, and age is certainly not a factor that will hinder your success. If you’re older than the average age and want to see if you’re too old to be a personal trainer read here (spoiler alert: you’re not!).

Benefits of Being A Young Personal Trainer

Now that we’ve answered your question of “how old do you have to be to be a certified personal trainer?”, let’s swiftly move onto discussing all of the benefits that you can reap from being a young person working in the fitness industry. 

#1 Flexible Working Hours

So, you meet the personal trainer age requirements, but you can’t base your career decisions simply on the basis that you’re old enough to do a PT course. So, what else is there to like about the prospect of working as a personal trainer? First on our list has to be the freedom of flexibility that comes with the role.

A flexible working schedule is something that is particularly favoured by young employees, and when you combine that with the freedom of running your own business, it's clear to see why working in the fitness industry is an attractive lifestyle. 

Being a young professional in any industry comes with hurdles, you still want to have a social life and time with your friends but you also need to start working and earning. This is where the perks of being a personal trainer come in, because you get to be your own boss, so you can say goodbye to retail shifts every weekend and hello to flexibility. 

That said, your working hours will be dependent on where you work, for example, if you were to choose a commercial gym - you may be contracted to do around 12 hours of work a week.

These 12 hours can often be flexible around your schedule and shifts are usually the same every week. Unlike jobs in industries such as hospitality or retail, there are no surprise shift changes or additional hours, instead you will be well aware of when your shifts are, how many hours you’re doing, and how much time you have left for clients. 

In the majority of commercial gyms, the salary that you earn from this 12 hour contract will roughly equate to the cost of rent you need to pay to the gym - this means that you then get to take home 100% of the earnings that you make training clients!

If you want some more resources and help with getting started in the fitness industry, read our articles below:

#2 Develop A Strong Work Ethic

By getting ahead of the game and jumping straight into the world of work, and potentially even becoming a young business owner, you’ll be sure to develop a strong work ethic.

A strong work ethic is valuable in any field of work, but when it comes to working for yourself as a freelancer, the stakes are especially high. The drive required to secure your next pay cheque will soon help you to become a highly motivated individual.

Carrying this through to further advancements in your career creates an innate quality that can only be formed through genuine hard work and dedication. Showing this kind of work ethic and putting it into practice at such a young age will present itself as career success over the course of your working life.

If you’re living with a disability, check out our article on how to become a personal trainer when you have a disability here. 

#3 Time & Freedom To Expand Your Knowledge

With the average age of a personal trainer being 39, you might be feeling a little intimidated as a young candidate, however, we are here to show you why and how you can use your young age to your advantage. 

With time on your side, you could take further CPD courses to expand your knowledge and become a more employable, attractive candidate. Some of the useful CPD courses you could take include:

There are plenty of other CPD courses available, but these are just a handful of good CPDs to get under your belt when you’re first starting out in the industry.

Once you grow as an individual and as a professional, you will naturally develop a preference for specific areas of the fitness sector. CPD courses allow you to pursue advanced education in that area so that you can go on to have your own specialisation. For example, you might choose to complete a strength & conditioning CPD so that you can go on to become a strength and conditioning coach.

One of the most lucrative niches to pursue as a personal trainer is to get educated on nutrition. Since nutrition and exercise work hand in hand, having a thorough knowledge of both would allow you to promote an all round improved service for your clients.

For that reason, a level 4 course in advanced sports nutrition is the perfect addition to your personal training expertise, allowing you to better understand key aspects of nutrition such as:

  • Macros and Micros 
  • Understanding Nutrition Legislation
  • The Relationship Between Nutrition and Physical Activity

If you need some more clarity on who can give advice to clients on diet, read our article: can personal trainers give nutritional advice? 

 

Enquire to Become a Personal Trainer now!

Get into the fitness industry with the best start by enquiring about our personal training diploma.

#4 Less Responsibility and More Time To Focus On Your Business

As an older personal trainer, you may find that your time gets taken up a little more easily simply due to the sheer responsibility of being an adult. However, being a young personal trainer means that you can benefit from having less responsibilities and as a result, more time to spend getting educated and earning money. 

Though there are some youngsters with more responsibility than others, many young people don’t have mortgages, families, or other big financial commitments, and so could actually have the luxury of working less and learning more. Long term, this could allow you to market yourself as an expert personal trainer with a wealth of knowledge, meaning you can charge more for your services.

Further education doesn’t just mean that you should be looking for fitness courses either, as you can expand your overall skill set with qualifications such as this OriGym business course, which would help you to better understand how to market your services, and teach you invaluable skills such as how to set-up and register your PT business.

Focusing on the business side of things can sometimes go overlooked, but marketing yourself correctly is the key to making the process of getting clients on board as simple as possible. Once we’re done here, we recommend that you head over to our article on how to get personal training clients

#5 High Earning Potential 

The final benefit of being a young personal trainer is the earning potential. If you want to earn a good wage at a young age, investing in a personal training course is a brilliant direction to head in. 

For the most part, you’ll be able to set the prices for your PT services, meaning you have control over how much you can earn. However, you do need to be responsible when setting your prices. For example, if you have very little experience and are completely new to the industry, you will struggle to acquire clients if you start off with prices that are well above the average in your area.

Instead, you should do some market research and look at the price brackets of other personal trainers in your area. For example, if you see an advertisement for a 35 year old personal trainer with over 10 years experience, it is unlikely that you’ll attract many clients if you charge a similar price to them whilst you have little or no experience. 

Nonetheless, with the correct mindset and determination, it is certainly possible to make a high living wage as a young personal trainer. Getting stuck into the role could see you earn more than double the national living wage for a teenager, so let’s see what this could look like.

From April 2021, the national minimum hourly wage in the UK for 16 year olds is: £4.62

As a personal trainer, you can comfortably start your prices from: £20 per hour.

As you can quite clearly see, this is an hourly wage difference of £15.38 which is pretty significant! Especially if you are a young professional who hasn’t got the responsibility of bills or rent payments yet. 

Overall, a personal training career kick-starts your working life by offering you a driven mindset and an exciting living wage. Don't forget either, as time goes on and you develop as a professional, your prices will naturally rise as you become more and more experienced.

Getting Qualified

So now that you know the age requirements and the prior qualifications that are necessary, here is an explanation of what exactly you will be taking part in during a diploma in personal training. 

As we mentioned a little earlier, a personal training diploma is made up of the two qualifications that you need to work as a personal trainer in the UK. Those are:

You can complete these courses seperately, however, studying a diploma is the most cost effective way to get qualified as course providers will often sell personal trainer course packages at a discounted rate. That said, if you have already completed your level 2 fitness instructor course, you can simply enquire about a level 3 personal training course.

At OriGym, all of our personal training courses are endorsed by CIMSPA, which is often a requirement when applying for personal training jobs. You may have come across advertisements that require a personal trainer who has been trained by a CIMSPA recognised provider, as having the CIMSPA logo on your certificate is essentially a stamp of approval that tells your employer that they can trust that you’re well educated to an industry-agreed standard. 

For this reason, you should always ask about CIMSPA accreditation when comparing the best personal training courses.

Similarly, all of our courses, including our diploma in personal training, are regulated by Ofqual, the Government body that provides the frameworks for vocational qualifications in the UK. Seeing that a course is regulated by an Ofqual approved awarding body, for example Focus Awards, gives you confidence in the quality of your course provider and ensures that you will achieve a qualification that is recognised by employers and insurance providers up and down the country.

Without Ofqual regulation, a personal training course certificate is worth no more than the piece of paper that it is printed on! When it comes to applying for jobs, no gym or studio will accept an unregulated qualification. Equally, insurance providers will also ask for proof of a regulated Level 3 qualification before they will offer you a policy.

We really can't stress enough just how important it is that your qualification is regulated by Ofqual. To learn more about the importance of Ofqual regulation, read here to see why free PT courses are a waste of time or check out our article explaining personal trainer levels here.

Accredidation and regulation aside, what does a PT course actually involve? You will go through the following education within our diploma, learning areas such as:

  • Anatomy physiology and kinesiology for exercise and health
  • Principles of health and wellbeing for exercise, fitness and health
  • Applying nutritional principles to personal training
  • Programming Personal Training Sessions
  • Delivering exercise programmes for Personal Training sessions
  • Fitness CPD Courses

These areas of expertise provide you with the tools you need to progress further and start work right away, and you will complete your qualifications equipped with the all important exercise and nutritional knowledge necessary to go on to deliver effective personal training sessions. 

FAQs

Do I need prior qualifications to take a personal training course?

No! Here at OriGym, our diploma in personal training requires no prior qualifications, instead all we ask is that you are over the age of 16. 

This is perfect for those who want to work in the health and fitness industry without having to head off to university and pay thousands in fees. You can instead start earning sooner rather than later without any student loans to repay.

Am I too old to be a personal trainer?

No, certainly not. The skills that come along with being a good personal trainer can be learned throughout years of experience and you can use all of the experience you have gained over past jobs and career paths to benefit you in your personal training career.

You don’t have to have been a fitness professional your whole life to be a good personal trainer, learning social skills in other areas of work is a great way of being successful in the fitness industry.

Can I get hired as a personal trainer at 16?

Yes, you can! Some gyms may have their own requirements to work in their facility so we recommend either contacting them or finding out on their website prior to application what age they accept candidates.

However, we should note that most gyms will often accept anyone over the age of 16, so don’t be concerned if you think you’re too young to be a personal trainer, starting young means as you get older the more you’ll learn and progress!

Before You Go…

If you were searching for “how old do you have to be to get a personal trainer certification?” you should have certainly found your answer. When it comes to age and personal training, try your best to see them as two separate entities. 

Your age may determine your experience, but it does not determine your dedication or passion - which are two key attributes to becoming the best personal trainer that you can be. 

Before you leave us, why not check out our diploma in personal training to take the first step into your dream career. Or, you can always browse through the plenty of fitness courses that we have on offer here in our downloadable course prospectus. 

Written by Kimberley Mitchell

Editor

Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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