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How to become a Master Personal Trainer: Definitive Guide (2020)

Banner image of how to become a master personal trainer

Thinking of taking up a master personal trainer course? Here at OriGym we have designed a definitive guide on how to become one of the stand out, successful personal trainers in the UK. 

If you want to start your journey as a Level 4 personal trainer, why not take a look at our range of courses here before you carry on reading! 

What is a Master Personal Trainer?

what is a master personal trainer

We’ll be honest with you, the qualification “Master Personal Trainer” does not actually exist, it’s just a very good marketing technique.

Let us explain...

A number of, if not all fitness education providers have some sort of "master personal trainer diploma" or package. This has been created by multiple training providers as a marketing sales technique to create the illusion of exclusivity. 

This can range in a number of wording and phrases, for example:

  • Elite personal trainer 
  • Platinum personal trainer 
  • Deluxe personal trainer 
  • Gold package 
  • Black label
  • Ultimate package

You may have noticed that the majority, if not all training providers do not include packages such as the Silver or bronze package. Many education providers do not offer lower than "Silver" packages as people may look elsewhere to feel elite, even though the courses contained could be exactly the same or better.

Think about it, would you rather call yourself a Level 4 Master Personal Trainer or a "Silver" standard trainer?

Of course, there are an endless amount of possibilities and combinations of wording to make sure the customer feels elite and experienced. As a buyer of a package, you will want to ensure you will get the best package for you. 

A master personal training diploma will vary depending on the course provider, but not to worry; we'll break down exactly what you should look out for when choosing your course. 

Below is an example from LinkedIn of an individual who has listed themselves as a ‘Master Personal Trainer’: 

screenshot of master personal trainer linkedin

As you can see from the screenshot, this profile will likely gain more traction compared to those that label themselves with the generic ‘personal trainer’ title. As there are thousands of profiles on the platform, you would want your profile to stand out from your competitors when applying to jobs! 

When it comes to labelling yourself as a master PT online, you're not limited to social media platforms.  If you run your own website, for example, you can still use this medium to do so. 

Here's an example from W3 Club

master personal trainer screenshot on webpage

Here, he has listed that he is a master personal trainer, and this will direct attention specifically to his profile as he stands out from the other PTs that are on the website. 

 

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This should, in theory, bring more clients to his profile, as he would be the more experienced personal trainer in comparison to the others. 

Already qualified up to Level 3, and wondering what you need to call yourself a master PT? Stick with us for everything you need to know! 

How to become a Master Personal Trainer

There are a number of routes you can take when you’re looking to become a master personal trainer, whether you’re brand new to personal training or you’re already qualified.

Below are qualifications that you should definitely go for if you want to become a personal trainer master: 

Route 1: Master Personal Trainer Diploma

level 3 master personal trainer

Of course, the question to beckons, why become a master personal trainer? 

The main theory behind this is to build on what the Level 2 and Level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications teach you, and then move on to those that are Level 4 (and highly sought after by employers). 

The master personal trainer diploma is ideal for individuals who are brand new to the fitness industry and want to kick-start their career. 

The majority of education fitness providers include courses Level 2, 3 and 4 with CPDs. These packages actually save a significant amount of money when you buy all the courses in bulk. 

When you perform your research to find the right course for you, remember to compare prices with different training providers so you can get an insight into the bigger picture. 

Master personal training packages may differ from provider to provider. Some companies could provide less further qualifications than others, or some may appear great on the surface but have a terrible review history due to poor course content! This is why it’s important to do your research thoroughly.

Route 2: Speciality Fitness Courses

OriGym master personal trainer certification

Already qualified as a PT, but wondering how you can take the next step to becoming a master personal trainer? This is the section for you. 

Speciality fitness courses are ideal for those who want to take the next step and become one of the top 10% of PTs who have the prestigious REPS Level 4 status. 

The courses would also be ideal for personal trainers who do not have much evidence of professional development and are looking to expand their services. 

There are even some job opportunities that state that they are specifically looking for master personal trainers, but we’ll discuss this later on in the article. 

Below are some Level 4 courses you should definitely consider if you want to become a master personal trainer: 

Level 4 Obesity and Diabetes Control Course

Level 4 Master personal trainer course

This level 4 course has a huge demand in this sector, especially in the UK as it’s a growing health problem. For this course, you will need to have a Level 3 Exercise Referral or equivalent to join the course. 

Once you are fully qualified, you will be able to help clients better manage their health complications and behaviour in the long term. 

This is ideal for when you are working or if you have a pre-existing personal training schedule with clients to see. As it is online, you can take your time with the course and complete it whenever you are ready. 

From there, you will be able to take on long-term referral patients and this can only be a positive as it would expand your client portfolio as a personal trainer. As you have attained the REPS Level 4 status, this will make you a master personal trainer whilst having specialist experience in that field.  

Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition Course

Nutrition advisor as a level 4 master personal trainer

It’s only natural for nutrition to be interlinked with fitness. There is a job gap in the market for personal trainers to be qualified in sports nutrition. As the modern diet is so varied and diverse, it’s a great opportunity for personal trainers who are already qualified to take a jump into nutrition. 

Upon completion of the Level 4 sports nutrition course, you will be able to provide nutrition advice and create diet plans for a range of fitness clients. 

You will be able to find new careers in employment which will increase your earning potential or you could go self-employed and become a sports nutritionist. 

Nutritional guidance to improve level 4 master personal trainer salary

You do not need to take the personal trainer diploma to have this course however in order to attract potential clients is to be as qualified as possible. As you have nutrition knowledge, this will go perfectly with a personal training diploma as you can get a great master personal trainer salary!  

Level 4 Exercise Lower Back Pain Management

Lower back pain as part of a master personal trainer diploma

This Master Personal Trainer Course is ideal for those who want to specialise in lower back pain.You will be able to help clients through effective exercises safely and recovery. You will need a minimum of a Level 3 Personal Trainer qualified or equivalent to complete the course. 

Having this qualification in this modern era is vital for those looking to further their personal training career. 

Once you have completed the Lower Back Pain Management course, you will be able to offer lower back pain specialist services. This will mean you could increase your client retention from being able to treat individuals that incur lower back issues. 

You will often have chiropractors or physiotherapists referring to you to treat their patients. In fact, many gym companies are looking for PT’s who are qualified in treating lower back pain which would in theory increase your master personal trainer salary. 

Now that you’ve got an idea of the specific Level 4 qualifications you need to become a master personal trainer, we’ll move on to what CPDs are available to you if you want to improve up your fitness CV. 

CPD qualifications

CPD to enhance master personal trainer salary

There are many ways of getting CPD qualifications from e-learning programs, practical workshops, conferences and events. When you complete a specific CPD, whether it would be in your own time or in work hours, you know that your skills will be developing as a personal trainer. 

Here’s just a few CPD’s you could potentially take: 

There are a number of courses out there and it can be quite daunting, we suggest doing your research into CPD’s and as mentioned earlier, like with personal training packages, compare different training providers and look at reviews for the courses! 

It’s so important when you are looking for your next job, to complete CPD as proof that you are willing to go the extra mile when it comes to improving yourself and getting experience so you will stand out from other PTs. 

Now that we’ve gone into detail about the courses you can take, we’re going to discuss the types of careers you can have to as a master personal trainer! 

Master Personal Trainer Careers 

Re skill to gain a master personal trainer certification online

The term ‘Master Personal Trainer’ can be considered a vague term. As mentioned earlier, it is essentially a marketing technique to attract prospective customers to the course. 

This is why when you see a job post asking for ‘master personal trainer’ applicants, it can be quite confusing. In this context, it basically means that they are looking for a personal trainer who is trained to the highest standard and specialises in a number of areas.  

We’ll use this job post from Virgin Active as an example: 

master personal trainer screenshot - virgin active

In the example, Virgin Active are hiring specifically for a master personal trainer. They are using this term to hire highly qualified personal trainers. 

Job posts such as this one from Virgin Active, would show the more qualified and experienced in different sectors you are in personal training, the more likely you would be hired for the role. 

When you search with the keyword ‘Personal Trainer’ on job sites, a number of the job opportunities are listed as £18,000 as a starting salary and On To Earning (OTE) almost triple the basic salary. 

Even though companies are not specifically looking for ‘Master Personal Trainers’, they are always on the hunt for potential employees who are highly qualified and experienced as a PT. This means there’s a great chance for you to be hired by these companies! 

There are plenty of PT jobs on the market and they are located all over the UK! Below is a graphic to show how many personal training jobs there are on different job board websites!

master personal trainer job listings

Master Personal Trainer Salary 

For this section, we have browsed a range of job websites, viewed the salary estimates and took the top bracket figures. It’s important to bear in mind the salary will depend on how many years of experience you may have!

Below is a graphic which contains a PT salary estimation from the most popular job board websites! 

highest salary for PT's as a master personal trainer

It’s important to note, if you want to earn this type of salary, you would need to ensure that you are a highly qualified PT and have a few years experience in the industry. 

Do not let this put you off from applying! You can always work your way up but having proof that you have CPD qualifications will ensure you will climb up that career ladder in no time!

Even though the master personal trainer salary does not exist, it’s the high potential earning you can get by completing CPD courses to boost your career prospects. 

If you want to find out more about personal training salaries, check out this guide here

What traits do you need to become a Master PT?

traits to become a master personal trainer

Once you are a qualified personal trainer, of course, it is important to start building up your client base. Like many other professions, it’s important to carefully plan your future career but more importantly, what traits do you need?

Below are 5 key skills that essential to become a Level 4 master personal trainer:

Wealth of Knowledge and Talent

knowledge of what is a master personal trainer

To truly stand out from the number of personal trainers who are qualified is to have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. If you are a master personal trainer, you are at the forefront for new techniques and to understand the market trends to keep up to date. 

This continuous learning and exploration ensures that you will be highly effective when you deliver sessions to a client and opens potential gaps in the market and possibilities.  

Leadership as a Personal Trainer 

master personal trainer job description

When you take a master personal trainer course, you are a natural leader. This trait ensures that your plans will help clients achieve their health and fitness goals, this is through effective exercise programmes and constructive nutritional advice. 

A Role Model 

helping others to become a master personal trainer

A role model will be an important asset to any business and help others without any question. Clients are seeking holistic health methods to improve their health and fitness goals, you are the answer to their questions. 

From a range of topics like stress management, nutrition, exercise and mindfulness. All master personal trainers help clients in all these types of fields. 

It’s important to note that you are still demonstrating a high level of advanced fitness training. Some personal trainers have this high level of advanced training, it’s down to a role model to help clients replicate these behaviours in order to achieve results. 

You are valuing whoever you teach and what you stand for. You will need to help your clients buy into your ethos with the exercise and nutritional advice you recommend. This will in theory, improve your master personal trainer salary!

Passion and Determination

someone taping up to become a master personal trainer

This is probably one of the most important traits, as you should be passionate about what you do. This should rub off on your client as it’s infectious and helps the client to be committed to the cause. 

At the start, clients may seem a bit hesitant in terms of your enthusiasm for the long term goals but due to your determination and desire to achieve those goals that at the start, therefore those long term targets are now achievable. 

This can be supported by another quote from Kay Cross:

You can increase your professionalism by polishing to perfection your work standards, scheduling policies and expectations.

It’s only natural the passion and determination you have shown the results with your clients. This means you will be highly committed to growing your career and personal trainer business. 

You will always be moving forward and setting career goals and improving your salary as a master personal trainer which would be the penultimate section we will discuss! 

Master Personal Trainer Insurance

The final part you need to consider before you start practising as a ‘master personal trainer’ or offering extra services to your clients is insurance. 

If you are Level 3 qualified and practising as a PT you will already have insurance, below is a graphic of insurance providers to help you on your way if you don’t! 

NOTE: if you are looking to offer extra services to your clients, such as sports massage, you will need to ensure that your current insurance provider covers you for each of them. 

insurance needed to become a master personal trainer

When searching for PT insurance, always do thorough research! When you become a master personal trainer and complete a level 4 course or CPDs, find out from the provider if they cover you for the additional services you provide to your clients.  

We’ll give you a brief overview of what type of insurance you need if you do not know what type of insurance to go for or require: 

Public liability insurance

This insurance covers most personal trainers as it will cover for damage to clients or properties because of your potential personal training mistakes. 

Majority of insurance policies normally cover a minimum of £1 million - £5 million which ensures all costs are covered if any claims are made against you. 

Professional indemnity insurance 

This insurance would cover any professional advice you may give which a client may deem incorrect. 

It covers the costs of the legal costs to defend you and if you do lose the case, it will cover costs for any compensation payments.

Gym Equipment Insurance 

If you are a freelance master personal trainer, you may need insurance to cover for any equipment that you may need if any equipment is damaged or in worst-case scenarios stolen! 

Employers Liability Insurance 

If you run your own gym or PT studio, it’s a legal requirement to have insurance which covers your employees and your company!  

Some insurance policies cover up to £10 million if individuals who become unwell or potentially get injured if they work for you. 

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Conclusion

We hope that you found our article useful, especially since there is a lot of conflicting information online regarding the myth of the master personal trainer. 

It’s important to remember that while it is technically a term coined by education providers, it has still managed to become a sort of ‘generalised term’, and is sometimes used in job postings (which is where a lot of confusion stems from).  

In a nutshell, this translates to a ‘highly qualified personal trainer’, which is something that is incredibly important to become if you want to get the most out of your career, as we have stressed throughout our guide!

Why not check out our other career related articles:

References

  1. Cross, Kay L. "Professionalizing in-home personal trainers: improve your reputation and income as an in-home trainer by upgrading your business practices." IDEA Fitness Journal, Mar. 2008, p. 30+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 24 Jan. 2020.

 

Enquire about our Level 4 Nutrition for Sport Course

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Written by Zac Yeo

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Zac on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

With a BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations from Kingston University and previous experience working in the finance sector, Zac’s passion for fitness brought him to OriGym, and ultimately led him to become a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist. With a keen interest in developing consumer trends, Zac enjoys the creation of deep, insightful content catering to new trends and has contributed to various publications including the Daily Star. Outside of work, Zac can be found watching football, either in-person supporting Charlton Athletic or virtually on Fifa.

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