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How To Become A Part-Time Personal Trainer

how to become a part time personal trainer

Whether you want to earn some additional income or ease your way into the fitness industry, becoming a personal trainer part time is an increasingly popular career path. 

But with so many factors to consider, it can be hard to know where to start! That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate step-by-step guide to how to become a part time personal trainer, covering:

Before we get started, get qualified to become a part time personal trainer with our Personal Trainer DiplomaEnquire today, or browse our full range of courses by downloading our free course prospectus here

Step 1 - Decide How Many Hours You Want To Work As A Part Time Personal Trainer

become a part time personal trainer

The first step in becoming a personal trainer part time is to decide exactly what ‘part time’ means to you.

In other words, how many hours a week do you want to work? 

One of the main benefits of working as a part time personal trainer is that you have complete control and flexibility over your working hours, compared to if you were in a full time employment contract. 

This is what makes it a great way to use personal training as a side hustle, because you can fit it around your existing commitments or other employment. 

With this in mind, there is therefore no set number of hours that qualifies as ‘part time’. But considering that full time is usually classed as working 35 hours per week, we can say that part time is simply working any hours less than 35. 

So, you could work as little as 4 hours a week, or as much as 34!

Although you can be flexible and may change week to week, it is important to decide roughly how many hours you want to work per week as a part time PT. 

Not only will this help you to manage your time better, but it will also help determine other things that we will discuss in this article- such as where and how you operate as a part time personal trainer. 

Of course, how many hours you work will also determine your income! It is therefore worth considering how many hours you will need to work to make the amount you are aiming to earn in a week or month.

Step 2 - Get The Right Qualifications To Become A Part Time Personal Trainer

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If you are wondering ‘can you be a personal trainer part time?’, you cannot go any further without getting the required qualifications!

If you’re serious about becoming a personal trainer part time, you will need to become a Level 3 personal trainer

There are two main options to do this:

  • If you already have a Level 2 fitness instructing qualification, you can simply take a Level 3 personal trainer course
  • If you are completely new to the fitness industry, you can combine both a Level 2 and Level 3 course by taking a Personal Training Diploma. At the end of this course, you will hold both qualifications and be a qualified personal trainer. 

Whichever path you choose to take, you should ensure that your course is Ofqual-regulated. 

Ofqual is the government body responsible for setting the frameworks for vocational course levels and for ensuring that all awarding bodies adhere to those frameworks.

Here at OriGym, all of our courses are regulated by Ofqual. This means that upon graduating from our Level 3 personal training course, you can be sure that you will have all of the knowledge, skills and experience needed to pursue a successful career in part time personal training! 

When choosing a course, make sure to look out for the following logos to ensure that it is Ofqual-regulated.

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You should also ensure that your course is endorsed by CIMSPA. This essentially shows employers that you are trained to a standard that is recognised throughout the fitness industry.

As well as accreditation and regulation, another thing you should consider is your study method. 

By this, we mean whether you study full-time, part-time or online. Let’s break down each of these options:

Full-Time Study 

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This option is simply when you take the course in a continuous block. For example, OriGym’s full-time courses run over a period of 4 weeks and are taught Monday to Friday 9-5. 

This is the quickest way to qualify, so if you currently have no other commitments (such as college, another job, university etc), then this is a good way to get qualified to become a part-time PT.

However, if you are wondering how to become a part-time personal trainer, it is likely that you already have another job or other commitments- which is why you want to work part-time.

If this is the case, then part-time rather than full-time study may not be the best option for you- as we will discuss below! 

 

Get started in the fitness industry with OriGym!

Enquire about our Personal Trainer Diploma to become a part-time personal trainer!

Part-Time Study/ Blended Learning 

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If you are wanting to become a part time personal trainer alongside other commitments, then we recommend taking your course on a part time basis. 

Here at OriGym, we know that many aspiring personal trainers have other commitments and cannot attend a full time course.

That’s why we offer part time, or ‘blended’ learning, which combines independent online study with practical sessions. 

This gives you the best of both worlds- the independence and control over your time by being able to study wherever and wherever you want, along with the benefits of getting practical, hands-on experience. 

This is therefore the best option if you are wanting to become a part time personal trainer, as you can fit the course around your existing commitments, such as another part time job. This means that you can maintain the financial stability of having a job whilst you study!

Online Study 

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The most flexible study option we offer here OriGym is a completely online personal trainer course

The difference between this and the blended option is that you won’t have to attend the practical workshops. 

Online personal trainer courses are a completely self-paced way to study, meaning that you have full control over how long you take to complete the course. 

This is therefore a great option if you already have a job or other commitment that requires a lot of your time. 

Any good online PT course should offer students a range of high-quality learning resources. For example, online students that study with OriGym have access to things such as:

  • E-books
  • Online lectures
  • Electronic manuals
  • Interactive quizzes
  • An award-nominated interactive learning platform 
  • Tutor support over the phone and via email
  • Live chat boxes to talk to a tutor in real time

The only time your physical attendance will be required at the training centre, will be to complete your final assessments. So, if you were to pass both your Level 2 and Level 3 practical assessments the first time, you’ll only need to travel to the centre twice!

Step 3 - Decide How And Where You Want To Work As A Part Time Personal Trainer

Once you are fully qualified, the next step in becoming a personal trainer in the UK part time is to decide in what capacity you want to work. 

By this, we mean how and where you want to train your clients as a part time PT. 

There are several different options here, all with different pros and cons- which we will outline below!

Option #1- Work as a Freelance Part Time Personal Trainer at a Gym 

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If you already have another part time job or other commitments, you may be wondering how to be a part time personal trainer alongside this. Well, this option is for you!

Being a freelance part time personal trainer gives you freedom over how much and when you work, without being restricted by an employment contract. 

As a freelance personal trainer, you can train clients both in a gym and elsewhere- such as in clients’ homes or even online.  

There are usually two ways that you can work as a freelance PT in a gym:

  • Paying rent to a gym in exchange for using their facilities to train clietns
  • Paying the gym a percentage of your earnings from clients trainer in their facilities

Let's discuss how each of these work.

You pay rent to the gym in exchange for use of their facilities to train your clients

This is simply when you pay the gym a set amount of money each month as ‘rent’ to use the gym as a place to train your clients.

We would only recommend this option if you are planning on working at least 30 hours a week as a part time personal trainer. 

This is because if you are working less than this, the rent you pay would not allow you to make a worthwhile profit from the amount of clients you are training. 

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For example, say you have decided in Step 1 that for you, being a part time personal trainer means working 8 hours a week. 

Let’s say that you are earning £25 from an hour PT session. This means that in a week, you will be earning £200 (£25 x 8 hours = £200). 

If the gym you are working freelance for is charging £500 rent a month, this equates to £125 a week. 

5 out of the 8 hours you work a week would therefore be going straight to your rent (5 x £5 = £125). 

This then leaves you with just £75 take-home profit per week from your clients. 

Let’s compare this to the other option as a freelance part time PT.

You give the gym a percentage of your earnings from your clients that you train in the gym’s facilities

how to become a part time personal trainer

The other option for working as a freelance part time personal trainer in a gym is that the gym takes a percentage of your earnings that you make from your clients you train there. 

So, instead of paying a fixed monthly rent, you only give them a percentage of your earnings. 

Let’s see how the above example works out with this system. 

So, you are earning £200 per week. 

Let’s say that the gym you are working for a gym that takes a 20% cut from your earnings. 

This leaves you with £160 take-home profit - which is considerably more than the profit you would make if you were working under the rent system! 

The percentage structure is therefore a better option if you are wanting to do part time personal training on a freelance basis in a gym. This is because unless you are working at a high number of hours a week such as 30, you won’t make a worthwhile profit from the rental pricing structure!  

With this in mind, before you apply for a job in a gym, you should make sure to check whether they operate their freelance staff under the rental or percentage system. 

 

Get started in the fitness industry with OriGym!

Enquire about our Personal Trainer Diploma to become a part-time personal trainer!

Option #2- Work as a Part Time PT Under a Part Time Contract at a Gym 

Another way to work as a part time personal trainer in a gym is under a part time contract. 

This is when you work a set number of hours for a particular gym, usually for a fixed salary or hourly rate. 

For example, this job advert from Nuffield Health is for a part time personal trainer. As you can see, they have specified that you must work 16 hours a week, and there is a set salary of £20,883 a year pro rota. 

part time pt 5

This is therefore a great option if you are just starting out with part time personal training, as you may not have yet built up a strong enough clientbase to operate completely freelance.

A downside to working under a part time contract is that you have less flexibility and freedom, since you will have to work the hours determined by your employer. 

However, if you were freelance, you would have the freedom to work a different number of hours each week if you wanted to! 

Option #3- Work as an Online Part Time Personal Trainer

how to become a part time personal trainer 2

If you’re wondering, ‘can you do personal training part time online?’, the answer is yes!

Put simply, online personal training is when you train clients online, rather than in-person. 

This therefore lends itself well to being a part time personal trainer, as you can train clients online in the comfort of your own home, fitting around other employment or commitments. 

Plus, you won’t be limited working for a gym, such as having to pay rent or give them a cut of your earnings. 

Since you can operate from your own home, this is therefore a good option if you are wanting to work part time because of commitments such as looking after family at home, or another home-based job. 

Option #4- Work as a Mobile Part Time Personal Trainer

how to become a part time personal trainer 3

If you like to be on the move and work in lots of different locations, you may be wondering, ‘can you be a personal trainer part time without working in a gym?’. 

The answer is yes- as a mobile part time personal trainer! 

Mobile personal training is essentially when instead of being based in a gym and client coming to you, you go to the client! 

This can be anywhere from their own homes to their workplace or even a local park. 

Like online personal training, the benefit of being a mobile personal trainer part time is that you won’t be tied to a contract with a gym, since most mobile personal trainers operate on a freelance/self-employed basis, running their own mobile PT business. 

This therefore gives you the freedom to fit training your mobile clients around other commitments or another job! 

However, we would not recommend becoming a part time mobile personal trainer straight after you qualify. 

As we explain more in our complete guide to becoming a mobile personal trainer, it is a good idea to work as a PT in a gym first, before you start a mobile personal PT business. 

This is because it not only gives you financial security, but also allows you to get experience in the industry and build up a clientbase that you can then transfer to mobile personal training. 

Plus, if you want to do mobile personal training part time, it is a good idea to keep your job at a gym part time too. So you would be working in a gym part time, as well as training your own clients on a mobile basis part time. 

- - - -

Enjoying this article so far? Here’s 3 more that we think you’ll love:

Step 4 - Decide How Much You’re Going to Charge For Your Part Time Personal Training Sessions

how to become a part time personal trainer 4

The next step in how to be a part time personal trainer is to decide on your pricing.

As we said in Step 3, if you choose to work as a part time PT under a part time contract at a gym, you will have a set salary determined by the gym.

However, the other options (working freelance for a gym, online and mobile personal training), all involve setting your own rates. 

The best way to do this is by creating a monthly membership package pricing structure.

But in summary, a monthly pricing structure is when clients pay a set price for a certain amount of sessions a month. 

Payment is usually automatically taken via a direct debit on the same date every month. 

Here’s what a typical monthly package structure looks like:

become a part time personal trainer 3

One thing to bear in mind as a part time personal trainer is that you should make sure that you have the time to commit to the sessions you are offering your clients. 

For example, as a part time PT, the Gold option above which offers 3 sessions per week may not be feasible if you only want to work 6 hours a week. This means that you cannot take on any more than 2 clients with the Gold package.

So when deciding what your packages include, ensure that it is feasible with the time you are wanting to commit to your part time personal training in relation to your other commitments. 

For example, you may just want to offer 2 packages, one at 1 session a week and the other at 2 sessions a week.

Or, you may even want to just offer 1 package that involves just one session a week, if that is all you can commit to.

It is better to do this, than to end up taking on too many clients and having to change your packages or even let clients go. This will lead to dissatisfied customers and negative reviews, affecting your reputation, making it harder for you to attract new clients! 

However many packages you choose to offer, the benefit of creating a package rather than individual sessions is that it is much better for client retention. This is because rather than the risk of buying one session and leaving, clients are committed to a certain number of sessions per week, and are tied into a monthly direct debit. 

It also means continuous guaranteed income for you, and means that you don’t have to take the time to re-sell to your clients every month. 

When determining the price of your packages, you should consider the following factors:

Your competitors’ rates should impact your part time PT rates 

how to become a part time personal trainer 5

One of the main things that should influence your pricing package is how much your competitors are charging.

This is because you should ensure that your own prices are similar or lower, in order to remain competitive whilst also attracting potential clients.

You can find this out through market research methods, such as doing a Google search for other personal trainers in your area. 

Once you have identified your competitors’ pricing, you should then use this as a guide to set your own. 

For example, you may find that other personal trainers in your area are charging between £15 and £30 for an hour-long session.

You should therefore set your own price as a midpoint between these two lowest and highest prices. 

This means that you will have a balance between attracting clients with a cheap price, as well as ensuring that you are making a worthwhile profit! 

Your experience level determines your rates as a part time personal trainer

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In general, the more experience you have, the more you can justify charging for your sessions. 

This is simply because if you have been in the industry for longer, you essentially have more proof that your services are valuable and have helped clients achieve their goals. 

However, if you are a newly qualified part time personal trainer, you would not be able to show this. 

So if you’re wondering, ‘can you be a PT part time if you’ve just qualified?’, the answer is yes! But you should just adjust your prices accordingly to reflect your experience level. 

When looking at your competitors, make sure that you are looking at other personal trainers with similar experience level to you. 

You can usually find this in the ‘About’ section of a personal trainer website. 

For example, if you have just qualified, you cannot charge as much as a more experienced competitor! 

Instead, you should look at other newly qualified personal trainers and see how much they are charging, and price your sessions similarly.

Consider your outgoings when setting your part time personal training prices 

how to become a part time personal trainer 7

When deciding how much to charge for your part time personal training, you should ensure that it more than covers the cost of your outgoings, such as:

  • Equipment 
  • Rent (e.g. renting out a studio or gym space) 
  • Transport (if you are a mobile personal trainer)
  • Marketing costs (e.g. Google ads, running a website) 
  • Software (e.g. booking software)
  • Outsourcing costs (e.g. hiring an accountant if you are self-employed)

You should also note that some of these fees can be listed as tax deductible expenses for personal trainers, meaning that you won’t have to pay tax on them if you list them in your tax return. 

Your outgoings is a particularly important thing to consider if you are wanting to be a part time personal trainer, because you would not have as much income to cover your outgoings costs compared to working full time. 

For example, if you want to rent out a space, the overhead costs of things such as rent and utilities may not be covered by your part time income, or you may just about break even. 

You should therefore be sure to calculate your outgoings as precisely as you can, to ensure that you are making enough to cover them. 

Your location can affect your personal trainer part time prices

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Your location can also impact how much you charge as a part time personal trainer. 

In general, if you are living in a big city such as London, you can justify charging more for your sessions, compared to if you were operating in a rural area. 

This is to reflect the higher cost of living in a big city, as clients will typically have more disposable income to spend on things like personal training. 

This is why it is important to only look at competitors in your area when conducting your market research, to ensure that you are only setting your prices according to the area you are working in. 

Step 5 - Use Marketing To Get Your First Clients As A Part Time Personal Trainer

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So, now that you have set your prices, it’s time to start attracting those first clients as a part time personal trainer! 

The best ways to attract clients will vary depending on the capacity in which you are working as a part time PT- as you should have decided in Step 1. 

But here are some of our top methods for getting your first personal training clients!

Get Clients From the Gym Floor if You Are Working as a Part Time PT in a Gym 

part time pt

If you are wanting to work as a part time personal trainer either on a freelance basis for a gym, then speaking to clients on the gym floor is a great way to attract clients. 

However, if you are wanting to operate on a mobile or online basis, then this method would not be appropriate for you!

In summary, this is all about building rapport with gym members to turn them into paying clients!

For example, say you are working on a freelance basis as a part time personal trainer in a gym. You will therefore be spending a lot of time in the gym when you are training your clients. You should therefore use the time before and after your sessions to attract other clients!

There are lots of ways you can do this, such as:

  • Greeting members when they walk into the gym
  • Offering advice on form
  • Words of encouragement, e.g. if you see someone complete a heavy rep
  • Taking initiative and helping anyone who seems that they are struggling- e.g. helping someone take heavy plates off a barbell.
  • Begin to talk about their goals, reasons for coming to the gym etc.
  • Place flyers or other marketing materials in the gym reception (with the gym’s permission)

These are all great ways to gain part time personal training clients because after all, a gym is essentially a whole place full of your target market, since they are clearly already interested in fitness if they are at the gym! 

 

Get started in the fitness industry with OriGym!

Enquire about our Personal Trainer Diploma to become a part-time personal trainer!

Use Your Contacts From Other Employment to Get Part Time Personal Training Clients 

part time pt 2

If you’re wondering, ‘can I be a part time PT and use my other jobs to help me get clients?’, the answer is yes!

This tip particularly applies if you are working as a part time personal trainer alongside another health and fitness related role. 

Alongside part time personal training, you may also work in roles such as:

  • Yoga instructor 
  • Sports massage therapist
  • Fitness class instructor 
  • Nutritionist
  • Sports coach e.g. football coach, running coach

Since these kinds of roles involve working with people who are interested in fitness, it is very likely that they may also be interested in personal training! In other words, they could be easily turned into potential clients with the right marketing! 

For example, say you want to become a part time personal trainer alongside your job as a yoga instructor

You could market your new part time personal training sessions to your existing yoga students by telling them about it at the start or end of your class, or by placing flyers in the yoga studio or gym you currently teach at. 

This is a great way to get your first clients as a part time personal trainer, since your students will already know you- and hopefully like you!

This makes it much easier for you to market your services to them, compared to trying to get completely new clients who have never met you before. 

Plus, you can market your personal training sessions as being a great complement to something like yoga, emphasising how you can help them build strength to help them achieve advanced postures such as balances and inversions! 

You could even offer your existing yoga students (or sports massage clients, nutritionist clients etc), a special offer such as a free personal training consultation for their time.  

Use Social Media to Attract Part Time Personal Training Clients 

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Social media is one of the most effective ways to get your first part time personal training clients.

This is because it is free and easy to use, making it ideal if you are just starting out and don’t have a huge budget to spend on paid marketing methods. 

Social media is also one of the best ways to reach a huge number of people, with research suggesting that an average of 54% of people use social media to browse for and research products. 

If you are just starting out as a part time personal trainer, your main aim with social media is to simply start to get people engaging with your brand and ultimately signing up for a consultation. 

It is unlikely that someone will sign up for a package or bulk of sessions from a newly qualified PT they have just seen on social media!

For now, here’s some inspiration for the kind of content you could share to help you get part time personal training clients:

  • Images and videos of your own training, to give students an idea of your training style
  • Run competitions and giveaways to encourage engagement, e.g. a free consultation
  • Inspirational quotes and videos 
  • Educational posts, e.g. facts, fitness myth-busting etc.
  • Recipes

All of these things help to attract clients on a subtle level, through building up a brand image and conveying your personal training style. 

However, there are also strategies you can use that can lead more directly to an inquiry, mainly through Calls To Action (CTA). These are simply things that prompt someone looking at your social media page to take action and do something. 

The main way to do this is by including Calls To Action (CTA) in captions in your posts, e.g. “Click the link in my bio to sign up for a free consultation”. This therefore gives the user a direct action to follow in response to your post that will lead to an enquiry or booking. 

For example, the PT below has used the CTA ‘DM me ‘CHANGE’ for more info on my coaching services’, directing users to message her. 

part time pt 8

You can also include a ‘Book Now’ CTA button in your Instagram bio. This leads users directly to your booking software, where they can sign up for a consultation or session- as you can see in the example below. 

part time pt 9

This is therefore an easy way to convert someone simply looking at your page to making an inquiry and ultimately becoming a paying client! 

Create a Website for Your Part Time Personal Training Business

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Whilst it may take a bit more time and effort than social media, creating a strong website for your part time personal training is a great way to get your first clients. 

However, if you are working as a personal trainer part time, you may actually have more spare time to commit to perfecting your website! 

With 82% of Internet users searching for products or services online, this is therefore one of the best ways to attract your first clients. 

For example, if someone searches for ‘personal trainer in [location]’, your website should appear. This then leads them to discover your business, submit an enquiry and hopefully turn into a paying customer! 

You can also use your website as a ‘landing page’, i.e. somewhere to direct people to from other platforms such as social media, as it is an easy way to display information about your business all in one place. 

Some things you should include in your mobile yoga business website are:

  • A booking feature, either directly through the website itself or through another booking software
  • Pricing
  • Contact page
  • An ‘About Page’ detailing things such as your background and qualifications
  • Testimonials and reviews
  • Your location 
  • Links to your social media pages

Create a Google My Business Page for Your Part Time Personal Training Business

Once you have created a website, you can then set up a ‘Google My Business’ page. 

With a Google My Business page, you can list all key information about your business in one place, such as:

  • Reviews
  • Location 
  • A link to your website
  • Business hours

Not only does this make all of this information more accessible to potential clients (and therefore more likely to lead to an inquiry), Google My Business is also one of the best ways to increase the online visibility of your business. 

For example, when a user searches ‘personal trainers near me’, all local PTs with an account come up just below paid Google Ads, but above the organic results- as you can see below. 

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The below screenshot shows what appears when we scroll past these results on Google:

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As you can see, the personal trainers with Google My Business pages appear above the other results- including big names such as Bark and Superprof! 

As a new part time personal trainer, it is unlikely that your website would rank above such strong websites. This therefore shows the power and importance of setting up a Google My Business page, as it immediately makes your website more visible on Google! 

Considering that 64% of consumers use Google My Business for finding out information about a company, and 16% of businesses receive direct leads from Google My Business, the benefits of this marketing strategy speak for themselves! 

Plus, it is completely free to set up a Google My Business page! Again, this makes it a great marketing strategy for new part time personal trainers who may have a limited budget. 

Before You Go!

So, if you were wondering, ‘can you do personal training part time?’, we hope this article has shown that the answer is yes! From getting qualified to getting your first clients, we’ve covered everything you need to know about becoming a personal trainer in the UK part time. 

Feeling inspired? Start your journey to becoming a part time PT with OriGym's Personal Trainer DiplomaEnquire today, or download our free courses prospectus to browse the full range of courses we offer. 

Written by Alice Williams

Content Editor & Yoga Teacher

Alice graduated with a First-Class degree in French and Linguistics from the University of Leeds in 2019. As part of her degree, she spent a year living in France where she worked for a lifestyle blog, gaining professional experience in both translation and content writing. 

Alice is also a qualifiied yoga teacher, allowing her write from a place of expertise when it comes to yoga!

When she’s not writing or practicing yoga, she also loves running, cooking and music! 

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