How to Become a Personal Trainer at Virgin Active

how to become a PT at virgin Active

If you want to know how to become a personal trainer at Virgin Active, we have all the answers that you need. Step by step, you can find out where to start and where you’ll finish, including:

Before we start, if you’re ready to find out more about the qualifications you need, check out OriGym’s personal training courses or download our course prospectus.

Becoming a Personal Trainer at Virgin Active: Is It Worth It?

how to become a personal trainer at Virgin Active

So, why would you consider become a personal trainer with Virgin Active anyway?

It is highly likely that you have heard of the Virgin Group conglomerate. The company branches out into all walks of life, but one of their most popular is the Virgin Active Gyms. 

These gyms are typically high end, so you have access to a pool of potentially high-paying clients. You can utilise the branding of a worldwide, billion pound business while building your own PT business all the while.

As a high end fitness centre, Virgin Active gyms have multiple centres internationally, not just in the UK. In each club, you can expect more than just basic equipment- you can expect features such as, but not limited to:

  • Yoga studios
  • Multi-functional studios
  • Cycle studios
  • Reformer pilates
  • Relaxing lounges
  • Spa facilities
  • Swimming pools

This can give you some indication as to if you’re ready to take on this level of responsibility and present yourself as a part of a rather prestigious club.

Think about the demographics that would go to a gym like Virgin Active, do these match up with the kind of client that you wish to work with? In case you’re not aware of the kind of people that come through the door at Virgin Active, take a look below at the most popular packages for their monthly memberships:

how to be a pt at virgin active

This is quite the difference from the likes of Puregym or The Gym Group for example. Those who are members of Virgin Active will have a relatively high disposable income and considering they’re paying at least 4x more than the average gym membership price, there is going to be a particular quality expectation that comes with being a PT there.

You must be prepared to deal with clients that will expect you to go above and beyond. You need to offer more than what your fellow PT’s in budget gyms offer, you must contribute to the reason behind them paying over £100 a month to be a part of Virgin Active.

We will talk about how you can progress and the salary you could expect later, but first, if you’re convinced as to why you should consider Virgin Active as your place of work, you need to get Step 1 out of the way first!

Step 1: Get Qualified as a Personal Trainer

Virgin Active become a personal trainer

To work in Virgin Active as a personal trainer, you need to obtain a minimum of a level 3 in personal training certification. You can do this through a diploma in personal training which combines two courses - a level 2 in gym / fitness instructing and a level 3 in personal training. 

That being said, here is how the courses filter into one another and a little more detail on the two.

Level 2 in Gym Instructing 

In order to be eligible to take a level 3 in personal training, you must first complete a level 2 in gym instructing. This course is essentially your key to working in the fitness industry in any capacity.

This is a minimum level qualification to be allowed to work in the gym, however it doesn’t grant you the ability to personally train clients of your own. Instead, it gives the opportunity to:

  • Work on the gym floor
  • Teach fitness classes
  • Give gym inductions
  • To go onto a level 3 in personal training course

When you take a diploma in personal training, this process of certification would be the first half of the diploma. Once you pass and complete this, you’re eligible to move straight onto the second half. 

Level 3 in Personal Training 

become a personal trainer virgin active

A level 3 personal training certification is the second and final half of the diploma, it is what will actually qualify you to train clients one on one and design fitness programmes.

This is what is expected of you in the UK to be hired as a personal trainer, or work as a freelance personal trainer. More importantly, if you’re wanting to become a personal trainer Virgin Active, you need to have this level 3 at a minimum, you can see this below from a job advertisement with them:

how do I become a virgin active PT

Due to the standards that Virgin Active hold, it is important that you pay attention to the mention of CIMSPA. Ensure that you're looking out for this endorsement when searching for the right course, it is incredibly important to ensure you’re meeting industry standards.

Step 2: Apply for a Job With Your Chosen Facility 

virgin active PT jobs

The second step is to apply for your chosen job role. 

Apply Directly Via the Virgin Active Careers Site

The best way to find jobs and get extensive job descriptions is to apply for jobs directly from the Virgin Active careers website here.

While you can always keep checking on the likes of Indeed and other job boards, it is easier to use the official careers page to get the first look on any new jobs. You can navigate the careers page through the search and apply sections and filter the job results accordingly.

Below, you can see how this looks:

virgin active personal trainer jobs

You can then decide which area you wish to work in. 

You can see there are even some openings for aqua instructors for the clubs with pools, so it is worth doing some digging and surfing around this page to find which PT role suits you best. 

Another reason as to why you should use the careers website as your main point of contact is due to the job descriptions. They have much more detail compared to what you might find elsewhere. 

For example, you’ll always find the type of contract and the salary expectations on the Virgin Careers page like this below:

where can I become a virgin active PT

These are the best ways to find out the finer details that may otherwise be missed or difficult to find elsewhere. 

Apply by Searching for Positions on LinkedIn

If you want to look for Virgin Active job roles internationally, you could also utilise the likes of Linkedin. This is the best place to look if you want to find jobs abroad since Virgin Active is an international gym.

All you need to do is search ‘worldwide’ on Linkedin, like this below:

a virgin active personal trainer in the UK

You can see that there are 181 results for roles internationally, plus, on Linkedin, you’re able to see the amount of applicants too so you can understand how competitive it is. 

Aside from options such as Indeed, Glassdoor and Reed for example, Linkedin is also a more transparent platform and option if you build up your profile correctly. This way, you’re less of ‘just another applicant’ and have the chance to put a face and profile behind the application. 

- - - -

For some more helpful resources on starting your career as a personal trainer, head over to these articles below:

Step 3: The Hiring Process of a Virgin Active Personal Trainer

how do i becoem a personal trainer at virgin active gyms in the UK

Once you have decided on the position and location of the Virgin Active you wish to work at, it's time to get going with the hiring process. 

There are three common approaches to the hiring process and they are often the same for most gyms. We did some research into the questions you may be asked so you know what to expect, so you can prepare for these following steps as a minimum.

The Initial Call

Like any role, once you have applied if you’re a candidate of interest you will receive word from the general manager or HR from Virgin Active. These will have a short informal chat over the phone to get to know if you’d be suitable for an in-person interview. 


Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym

Take the first step and enquire about studying your Personal Trainer Diploma with us!

The Interview

If you have passed the initial stage, it is time for your interview. You should ensure that you do the preparation and get yourself confident. It is obvious if you haven't prepared for a PT interview, so it is crucial to show that you’ve done your research - especially when it is so easy to find. 

For example, Virgin Active has an FAQ’s section that can help you prepare and there is one area they’re clear about. You can see below what they have to say about it:

how to become a personal trainer at Virgin Active

Ensure you do your research on their values and even their mission statement so you can answer appropriately and tell the interviewer how your personal values align with theirs.

Aside from the research on the company, you should also make yourself familiar with the selection process and how this can change depending on how competitive the candidacy is. Virgin Active states that sometimes, the process may become longer if there are tough decisions to make. You can see below what they say about this:

how to become a personal trainer at Virgin Active

As you can see, they make it clear that there is always the possibility of a second interview so be prepared for this if you’re applying for popular roles like in Central London perhaps. 

Nonetheless, they will let you know if this is the case. With that in mind, we did some research on Glassdoor’s interview page to see what past interviewees experienced, here are some of the questions you could expect.

“Where is your ideal location of work?”

“How do you expect to progress within the company?”

“How many clients have you had at one time?”

“How would you prepare a client for your workout? (warm-up, mobilisation etc)

“What do you think is the most important thing for a fitness instructor to do?”

“Where do you see yourself in the future?”

Some questions are to assess character, while some may be asked to find out your past responsibilities and what you want for your future. So, be ready for every kind of question, not just your qualifications but also your personality. 

Character is a huge part of personal training, you need the right traits to work with people and represent a company so keep this in mind when prepping.

To find out about how you can be the best PT, check out our article - what makes a good personal trainer?


Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym

Take the first step and enquire about studying your Personal Trainer Diploma with us!

The Job Offer

Finally, the pressure of the interview process is over and it is time to find out whether you got the job. 

You will then be offered the job if it all went well and be asked to begin with an induction. Ensure you do all the prep and research possible and sell yourself well and there is no reason why you can’t be the chosen candidate!

Step 4: Career Progression Opportunities for a Virgin Active Personal Trainer

where do i start to become a personal trainer at virgin active

After you have taken all of the necessary steps to begin your career and apply for Virgin Active personal trainer jobs, you might want to know what is in store for your future with the company. 

Progress to a Freelance Personal Trainer 

The freelance PT route is among the most popular, as you’re able to utilise the reputation of the Virgin Group while building your own business. 

One of the reasons that many people want to know how to become a personal trainer at Virgin Active is due to the salary. You can see below within a job advertisement for a freelance PT at Virgin Active what they say about their business structure for freelancers:

how to become a personal trainer at Virgin Active

As you can see, your earnings are uncapped. This is one of, if not the, most attractive factor of becoming a personal trainer and if you’re operating out of Virgin Active, you’re going to find it much easier to gain clients with their help. 

Plus, remember what we spoke about earlier about the type of demographic that joined Virgin Active? Since you have people coming through the door that are willing to invest in their health already by buying a membership, there is no reason why you can’t push your sales and turn them into your clientele too! 

Progressing to a General Manager

Becoming a manager of a Virgin Active gym has great pay benefits and general employee benefits too so it is a great way to climb the ladder and find your feet in the company.

However, what you should know about this role is that though you are climbing up the ladder, you will be stepping away from the fitness side more and entering the more corporate side of things. 

Take a look at the job requirements for example below:

how to become a personal trainer at Virgin Active

As you can see, there is very little mention of fitness based activity, and more focus on what kind of leader you need to be. Nonetheless, if it is your goal to have a stable income with a comfortable salary of approximately £24,900 - £29,400, this might be the role for you. 


Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym

Take the first step and enquire about studying your Personal Trainer Diploma with us!

Before You Go!

Now that you have all the tools you need and know how to become a personal trainer at Virgin Active, what are you waiting for? 

Enquire today about OriGym’s accredited Personal Trainer DiplomaFind this and many other health and fitness courses to up your fitness portfolio and CV here in our downloadable course prospectus.

Written by Kimberley Mitchell


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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