What Is A Level 5 Personal Trainer?

level 5 personal trainer

Whether you’re already qualified or are looking to get into the industry, you will come across lots of different courses and qualifications. This could lead you to wonder, ‘is there a Level 5 personal trainer?’

In this article, we answer this and tell you all you need to know about the idea of a Level 5 personal trainer, covering:

Before we get started, if you’re not already, become a qualified personal trainer with OriGym today! Enquire now, or download our free course prospectus to browse the full range of courses we offer. 

Is There A Level 5 Personal Trainer Qualification?

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If you are wondering, ‘what is a Level 5 personal trainer?’, let’s first establish what we mean by ‘levels’ in personal training. 

As you may already know, in the UK, there are various levels of qualifications when it comes to personal training. 

We have a whole article here explaining personal trainer levels and why they are important. 

But in summary, there are 3 main levels of personal trainer qualifications:

  • Level 2 Fitness/Gym Instructor
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Level 4 Specialist Personal Trainer 

As you can see, ‘Level 5 personal trainer’ is not on this list!

This is because in short, there is no such thing as a ‘Level 5 personal trainer course’ in the UK. 

In fact, the highest level of personal trainer qualification you can get in the UK is a Level 4- which we will discuss later in this article. 

The only place where you may see a Level 5 personal trainer course is in Ireland, where the ranking of personal training courses is slightly different to the UK. 

As a rule of thumb, in Ireland, qualification levels are typically one above those in the UK.

So, a ‘Level 5 personal training course’ is equivalent to a Level 4 qualification in the UK. 

As you can see from our Irish website below, here at OriGym we offer Level 5 personal trainer courses in Ireland. level 5 personal trainer 4

If this sounds confusing, don’t worry! 

Here’s a quick summary of the PT course levels in the UK and Ireland:

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So if you were wondering, ‘is there a Level 5 personal trainer?’, the answer depends on if you are in the UK or Ireland. 

  • In the UK- no, a Level 5 personal trainer does not exist!
  • In Ireland- yes, a Level 5 personal trainer course is the highest level of course you can take, and is the equivalent of a Level 4 PT course in the UK.


Take the next step in your personal training career

Become a specialist personal trainer with OriGym today

Ensure That Your Personal Trainer Qualification Is Regulated By Ofqual And Endorsed By CIMSPA 

This idea of ‘levels’ in personal training qualifications is set by Ofqual in the UK.

Ofqual is the UK government body responsible for setting the frameworks for all vocational courses- including personal training. 

This means that any two personal training courses from two different course providers- if they are regulated by Ofqual, should provide you with the same level of knowledge, skills and experience. 

In fact, if a course is labelled by a ‘level’, this is a sign that it is Ofqual-regulated.

You can find a list of all Ofqual qualifications here

As you can see, when we search for ‘Level 5 personal trainer’ courses and even filter the results to show ‘Level 5’ courses within the ‘Sport, leisure and recreation’ sector, the only results that appear are for other Level 5 courses, not personal training! 

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Again, this is because an Ofqual-regulated Level 5 personal trainer course does not exist in the UK! 

However, the concept of a Level 5 personal trainer can exist in some capacity- which we will explain later in this article. 

Similar to Ofqual, CIMSPA is a professional development body that is specific to the fitness industry and also provides regulation across personal training courses in the UK. 

We have a whole guide to what CIMSPA is here for more information. 

So, why is regulation and endorsement from Ofqual and CIMSPA important?

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Choosing a course provider that checks both these boxes is essential when you come to find a job as a personal trainer

That’s why here at OriGym, all of our personal trainer courses are Ofqual-regulated and CIMSPA-endorsement, giving you peace of mind that you are receiving the highest standard of teaching in the industry. 

This is because it acts as a ‘stamp of approval’ to employers that you have been trained to the highest industry standards, and will therefore be a good personal trainer that will want to hire! 

In summary, there is no such thing as a Level 5 personal trainer course in the UK. However, next, we’ll take you through the qualifications that do exist and why they are important. 

Take A Level 2 Gym/Fitness Instructor Course Before Becoming A Level 5 Personal Trainer

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Before you can even think about the idea of being a Level 5 personal trainer, if you’re not already, you will need to become a qualified Level 2 fitness instructor. 

To do this, you will need to take a Level 2 Fitness/Gym Instructor course

This is an entry-level course meaning that you don’t need any prior qualifications or experience to enrol. 

As we have mentioned, it is important that the course you choose is Ofqual-regulated, such as OriGym’s. This ensures that you receive the highest standards of teaching, covering topics such as:

  • Basic principles of exercise and fitness
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • How to motivate and train groups and individuals
  • Health and safety
  • Introduction to the business and marketing side of the fitness industry

Upon qualifying, you will be able to work as a fitness or gym instructor in a gym.

A typical fitness instructor job description involves roles such as:

  • Monitoring fitness equipment
  • General gym maintenance, cleaning and safety
  • Teaching group exercise classes
  • Promoting gym classes and upselling memberships
  • Conducting gym inductions with new members

As you can see, this is reflected in the following job adverts for gym instructors:

level 5 personal trainer

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One of the main things to remember about a Level 2 qualification is that you are not qualified to train clients on a one-to-one basis. For this, you need a Level 3 PT qualification, which we will explain next!


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Take A Level 3 Personal Training Course Before Becoming A Level 5 Personal Trainer

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Once you have a Level 2 gym instructor qualification, you can then take a Level 3 personal training course.

This is the minimum requirement to work as a personal trainer in the UK. 

To take this course, you will need to already have a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification. 

Again, it is important to ensure that your Level 3 personal trainer course is Ofqual-regulated, so that you cover the essential topics such as:

  • Advanced human anatomy and physiology
  • Principles of nutrition 
  • Programming PT sessions
  • Delivering PT sessions 
  • Demonstrating leadership
  • Business and marketing skills

As you can see, this builds on the topics that you will have covered in the Level 2 course. 

The main difference between a fitness instructor and a personal trainer is that as a qualified PT,  you will be able to train clients on a one-to-one basis. 

As a personal trainer, you will typically only be working for a gym or fitness centre, usually on a contracted basis. 

This means that you are more likely to have to work set hours each week, as well as having to fulfil other duties around the gym such as cleaning and maintenance. 

This is reflected in the job adverts below for personal trainer roles in gyms:

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Being a Level 3 personal trainer also gives you more employment options. 

As well as working in a gym or fitness centre, you will also have the option to work on a freelance/self-employed basis, giving you more freedom over how much and where you work.

Some types of personal training you could pursue are:

  • Online personal training
  • Training clients in their homes
  • Outdoor personal training e.g. in parks
  • Training clients in your own home or home gym

Being a Level 3 personal trainer therefore gives you a lot more freedom and flexibility compared to Level 2!


Take the next step in your personal training career

Become a specialist personal trainer with OriGym today

Take A Level 4 Specialist Fitness Course Before Becoming A Level 5 Personal Trainer

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The final level before we discuss a Level 5 personal trainer is Level 4. 

Once you are a qualified personal trainer, you can then further your education by taking a specialist Level 4 fitness course. 

These are shorter and more specialised qualifications that focus on a particular area of personal training and fitness. 

​​Here at OriGym, we offer the following Level 4 qualifications: 

As you can see, there is a huge variety of Level 4 courses for wherever your interest and passion lies! 

They are therefore a great way to find your niche as a personal trainer and specialise in a particular area of fitness that you are passionate about. 

After taking a Level 4 course, you can then call yourself a ‘Level 4 personal trainer’ and will be qualified to take on a wider range of clients, which in turn means that you can increase your earnings!

Being a Level 4 personal trainer will also qualify you for a higher range and standard of personal training jobs. For example, check out the job advert below for a ‘master personal trainer’ at Virgin (a high-end and well-regarded gym chain in the world):

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Having a Level 4 qualification would therefore open you up to these kinds of jobs, setting you apart from other applicants and helping you stand out as a personal trainer!

Does Having A Degree Make You A Level 5 Personal Trainer?

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If you were wondering, ‘what is a Level 5 personal trainer?’, we hope that you now understand that a Level 5 personal trainer course does not technically exist in the UK. 

However, there is one instance where you may be able to call yourself a ‘Level 5 personal trainer’. 

We have already discussed Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 in relation to personal training. 

According to the UK government, there are 9 levels of qualification in the UK, and the Level 5 qualifications are:

  • Diploma of higher education (DipHE)
  • Foundation degree
  • Higher national diploma (HND)
  • Level 5 award
  • Level 5 certificate
  • Level 5 diploma
  • Level 5 NVQ

With this in mind, if you have a relevant degree in a sports and fitness-related subject- such as a sports science degree, you could technically call yourself a Level 5 personal trainer. 

However, if you want to become a personal trainer, a degree or Level 5 academic qualification is not necessary! 

It is rare that you will find a personal trainer job that requires an academic degree. 

Instead, employers will just want to see that you have at least a Level 3 personal trainer qualification from an Ofqual-regulated course provider. 

They will also be more concerned with your practical skills and experience you have, which is ultimately what makes a good personal trainer! 

What Is The Average Level 5 Personal Trainer Salary?

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One of the main reasons that people ask, ‘what is a Level 5 personal trainer?’ is that they think it means that they can earn a higher salary. 

But as we have discussed, a Level 5 personal trainer does not exist in the UK. So this idea is simply not true!

Instead, we can say that being a Level 4 personal trainer (the highest level in the UK), can indeed mean that you increase your earnings as a PT. 

This is because as a specialist personal trainer, you can offer more advanced services to your clients. This higher level of service then means that you can justify charging more for your sessions. 

Similarly, if you want to work as a PT in a gym, having a Level 4 qualification will also help you earn more. 

For example, Pure Gym states on their website that their PTs charge more depending on their experience and qualifications.


Take the next step in your personal training career

Become a specialist personal trainer with OriGym today

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With this in mind, you can therefore earn the higher end of or more than the average personal trainer salary if you specialise and become a Level 4 PT!

Before you go! 

If you were wondering, ‘what is a Level 5 personal trainer?’, we hope that this article has given you the answer you need! 

Feeling inspired? Check out our industry-leading PT courses and kickstart your career in the fitness industry! Enquire today or view our full range of courses by downloading our free course prospectus

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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