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How Much Does It Cost to Become a Personal Trainer? (UK)

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Knowing the answer to how much does it cost to become a personal trainer? is vital for most of those looking to qualify as a PT. 

One thing that you'll be glad to know is that a Personal Training Diploma is an entry-level course. This means that you do not require a degree or any previous qualifications to qualify or work as a PT. 

You will only need to cover the cost of the PT course that you choose to enrol on, so no student debt to worry about here! 

In this article, we'll talk you through everything that you need to know about the average costs of a Personal Training Diploma, and the different factors that you need to take into account when comparing course prices. 

Contents:

  • Average Personal Trainer Course Costs
  • Can I Do A Free Personal Trainer Course?
  • Costs to The Provider
  • What Type of PT Course Is Cheapest?
  • A Provider Cost Comparison
  • Personal Training Course Cost VS Quality

Want to go ahead and get started working as a personal trainer? You can check out our Level 4 qualifications here before you carry on reading! 

Average Personal Trainer Course Costs

There is no set price for a Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification, with prices varying greatly among providers, depending on the type of course that you choose to do, and a couple of other factors – all of which are about to be explained.

How Much to Get Personal Trainer Certification?

On average, personal training courses cost between £1500 and £2000. However, there are some ‘free courses’ advertised online, as well as personal trainer qualifications that will set you back up to almost £3000.

As you can see above, the average cost of a course at OriGym lands on the slightly cheaper side of the price spectrum. With the price of our personal training diploma starting at £1188, compared to an average of around £1800.

All of these averages are based on our table of comparison which you can find a little further on, so stick with us for that!

Price isn’t always equal to value, so going for the most expensive course provider won’t guarantee that you’ll get the best service. At the same time, a good price doesn’t mean that the course would be a low quality. 

Because there are such differences between the price of the various personal trainer courses out there, comparing courses and providers is pretty much essential to finding a good quality course without paying more than you need to.

 

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What we’re saying is, it’s worth doing your research!

Fortunately for you, we’ve already got that covered. Below you can read about why some courses and course providers are more expensive than others, what are you waiting for?!

Personal Trainer Course Costs – Can I Do A Free Personal Trainer Course?

Above we mentioned that price isn’t always a true indication of quality. When it comes to the cost of personal trainer courses – this is true.

On the other hand, if a course is so cheap that it seems too good to be true, then chances are it is!

This is usually the case for free PT courses, as we’re about to explain.

A little further on, we’ll explain why the most expensive courses aren’t necessarily the best ones either. But first, we thought we’d start by covering the cheaper end of the price scale.

You may have come across some really cheap, or even free, personal trainer courses out there, and wondered why you would pay upwards of £1000 if you can become a personal trainer for next to nothing.

How Much Does A Personal Trainer Course Cost?

There is a huge difference between affordable personal trainer courses (from a reasonably priced provider like ourselves) and the cheapest courses out there, like the one below.

how much does personal trainer certification cost? screenshot of cheap course for comparison

That difference? Course accreditation and regulation.

Obviously we can see the initial appeal of free courses, but all too often people waste their time on ‘bargain’ personal trainer courses that aren’t regulated or accredited.

This means that the qualification you would receive is about as useful as typing out a ‘Personal Training Certificate’ on a word document and printing it out yourself.

If you look in the course description above, you’ll see that next to qualification it says, ‘no formal qualification’.

Even if it is only £17, completing this kind of qualification is still a total waste of time, money, and energy.

What you need to look out for is a course that is regulated by a governing body and accredited by REPs or CIMPSA (or both).

What Do We Mean by Accredited Courses?

By saying that the cheap or free personal trainer courses that you can find online are a waste of time, we mean exactly that.

To get a job as a personal trainer, you need a Level 3 personal training qualification that is regulated by the likes of NCFE, Active IQ, YMCA Awards, or Focus Awards.

Course accreditation and regulation are some of the first things that an employer will ask about, and so they should be the number one you look for in a potential course provider.

If the following logos aren’t on your certificate, then you won’t even make it to the interview process.

Not only that, once you’re working as a personal trainer, your insurance provider will require that you are trained to a certain standard – which is demonstrated by the level of qualification that you hold.

If your qualification isn’t regulated by a governing body or accredited, then it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get insured.

Confused about the insurance that you’ll need as a personal trainer? Have a look at our blog post on Personal Trainer insurance for everything you need to know: https://bit.ly/2u9caQs 

Level 3 Personal Trainer Course Prices in the UK – What Am I Paying For? 

There’s no doubt that personal trainer course prices for regulated qualifications are higher than the likes of the course that we found on REED, but that’s the price you have to pay for quality.

The difference between paying £17 for a course that you found on REED, and investing in a qualification that will allow you to build a successful career, mirrors the difference between a qualification that is worth no more than the paper that its printed on, and one that will get you a job! 

To help you understand why there is such a variance in the prices, below are some examples of costs to registered providers:

Registration Fee 

When you sign up for a course that is regulated by a governing body, for example Focus Awards, the provider has to pay a registration fee of around £50 - £70 per level for every student that they enrol.

So, when you sign up for a Personal Training Diploma which covers your Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications, the course provider will have to pay the governing body a registration fee for both levels.

As you can see, these fees cost more than the total price of the cheap courses advertised on websites like REED and indeed.com.

Accreditation  

Course providers that offer accredited qualifications also have to pay the likes of REPs (the Register of Exercise Professionals) and CIMPSA (the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity).

This annual fee costs course provider around £2000, which adds to personal trainer courses prices to the them as a provider, and therefore you as the student.

Other Costs

There are also additional costs to the provider, and other influences, that come into play when it comes to explaining why personal trainer courses are priced the way they are.

Many of these costs are determined by the type of course you choose to do.

A little further on we’ve broken down some factors that explain why there is often a difference between ‘how much does it cost to become a personal trainer online’ and how much it costs to do a full-time PT course. This is a pretty big influence on course prices, so it’s worth having a look at!

But first, check out our next section where you’ll find a comparison of level 3 personal trainer course prices from 9 different providers.

Personal Training Course Cost Comparison

Now that you know that the free or extremely cheap PT courses out there aren’t worth wasting your time on, we’re going to focus on personal trainer course costs for accredited and regulated courses.  

The table below is a breakdown of the costs of each type of study (full-time, part-time, and online) for ourselves and a number of other course providers.

How Much Does Personal Trainer Certification Cost? Course Comparison:

comparison table for Personal trainer courses prices

Hopefully you understand that personal training qualifications that aren’t regulated or accredited aren’t worth having, so all of those included on our table meet the standards of a course that will actually get you a job as a qualified personal trainer.

Despite that, there’s still a fair bit of variance between the prices.

So, what else could explain the difference in personal trainer course prices?

The Type of Course You Choose

Now that we’ve established that you need to find a course provider that will leave you with a regulated and accredited qualification, the next big thing to consider is what type of course you want to study. 

Typically, your options will be full-time, part-time, or online. Personal trainer course prices often reflect the way that you study, so it’s worth having a think about these different options if you’re price conscious.

In pretty much all cases, online courses will be the cheapest option, part-time courses tend to cost a little more, and full-time courses are normally the most expensive option.

But before you jump straight to the idea of studying online, let us so explain why these price differences exist.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Personal Trainer Online?

Online courses are usually the cheapest way of studying a Level 3 PT qualification. Why? A number of reasons!

Generally speaking, with online courses the cost to the provider is significantly lower.

This is because the course provider saves on a number of expenses, for example:

  • They don’t have to pay to hire a venue
  • They save money on paying for tutors to teach classes
  • They don’t have to spend on money on printing resources
  • There’s no limit to the number of students that can enrol onto the course

By saving on these outgoings, providers can reduce the costs of the course to their students, saving you money – what’s not to like?!

If your only concern is finding the lowest personal trainer course prices, then an online course is definitely the way to go.

BUT (there’s always a but) there are still other things to consider.

Obviously online courses aren’t the ‘be-all and end-all’ of personal training qualifications, or else other ways of studying wouldn’t exist.   

Online personal training courses cost less, but you still have to invest a lot into them, in terms of time, effort, and self-motivation.

For example, online courses are entirely self-led, so you have to be motivated and well organised to get through the course content. If you lack these qualities, it might be worth thinking about spending a little bit of extra money on a more structured way of studying.

Full-Time Personal Training Courses Cost

If you research ‘how much does it cost to become a personal trainer UK’, you’ll see that full-time personal trainer courses are typically more expensive than online and part-time courses, but not without good reason!

The main benefit of choosing a full-time course is that it’s the quickest way to get qualified.

If you’re in a hurry to start your career in the fitness industry, then you can be qualified in just 4 weeks with a full-time course – but, at what price?

Just as online courses are cheaper because of the reduced costs, a full-time course will cost you a little extra cash because of these costs to the provider:

  • Paying to hire a classroom and a gym to teach in
  • Employing experienced fitness instructors to ensure high quality teaching
  • Printing and purchasing physical learning materials
  • Restricted numbers of students that can enrol at once

As with most things in life, the price you pay reflects what’s included with the product.

For example, the cost of the ingredients to make your favourite meal at home is a lot less than what you would pay if you ordered the same meal at a restaurant.  

But, if you choose to save money and cook at home, you’ll have to do all of the cooking and cleaning for yourself.

On the other hand, if you go to a restaurant, the food will be of a better standard and the service will be included in the cost – saving you time and effort.

In the same way, you’ll save £££ by studying online, but you’ll have to put a lot of work in and sacrifice some of your free time.

Don’t get us wrong, studying full-time is no piece of cake, but you’ll get a lot more support from the tutors, and all of the work will be completed during the study hours.

What Do Part-Time Courses Involve? How Much Do They Cost?

The final study option to consider is part-time. If you want more face-to-face learning than what is offered on an online course, but you can’t commit to studying full-time, then part-time courses are a happy medium.

Part-time courses combine the best things about online studying and some of the benefits of the full-time course, because they involve online learning and practical workshops.

You’ll be able to study online and learn at your own pace, but you will also get to learn from experienced fitness tutors at the weekend workshops.

With most providers, part-time courses are slightly more expensive than their online equivalent, and a little cheaper than full-time courses.

Again, this price reflects the cost to the provider – they’ll save some cash because of the large online component, but there are still costs associated with holding the weekend workshops.

Personal Training Course Cost VS Quality

It would be easy to assume that because the training room prices are higher, then they have the best quality course.

Tons of academic research has shown that we assume that more expensive products and services are of a better quality.

For example, Akshay R. Rao and Kent B. Monroe investigated the influence of price on consumers’ perception of product quality in this study, and found that:

The relationship between price and perceived quality was positive and statistically significant.

We can’t blame you for thinking that the training room prices mean that they offer the best personal trainer qualification, but we’re here to tell you that that isn’t exactly the case. 

In some cases, price does reflect quality.

Look at it this way – a cheap pair of gym leggings from Primark might only last a few cycles in the washing machine, whereas clothes from a more expensive brand like lululemon will stay good quality for a lot longer.

But in terms of quality, the difference between lululemon leggings and a pair from a mid-range brand like Nike or Adidas isn’t all that much. Certainly not enough to justify a price difference of upwards of £100 and compared to the £20-£30 range (respectively).

Why Is There Such A Difference in Price? Marketing!

Brands and companies do consider their costs and outgoings when creating a pricing strategy, but a lot of pricing is based on where a brand wants to put themselves in the market and what kind of consumers they want to target.

High pricing strategies play on the fact that we associate price and quality. Companies set higher prices so that they can create the illusion that they are offering a premium product or service, even if this is not reflected in the value.

Personal Trainer Courses Prices – Getting the Best Value

Value is one of the most important things to consider when comparing Level 3 personal training course prices.

When it comes to the value of pretty much any product or service, mid-range brands are often a happy medium between price and quality.

Rather than assuming that the most expensive course is the best option, do your research and asses how much a particular course is worth to you.

Regardless of which course provider you choose, the point of a regulated qualification is that a Level 3 Qualification is a Level 3 Qualification, whether you do your course with Future Fit, OriGym, Study Active – you get the idea. 

Not only that, all accredited and regulated personal trainer courses follow a curriculum that is outlined by the awarding body (e.g. Active IQ), and so the content of all these courses is pretty similar between these providers.

This means that if all you want is a Level 3 qualification, then there’s no need to pay over the odds for it.

What Is Worth Paying More For?

When it comes to the differences in personal trainer course prices, it’s not always possible to do a direct comparison.

Regulated courses follow a similar structure because of curriculums set by awarding bodies but that doesn’t mean that all courses are exactly the same. Some things to consider when comparing providers and prices are:

  • Additional Qualifications
  • Tutor Time
  • Level of Service
  • Additional Costs
  • Post Course Support
  • Payment Plans Available

Additional Qualifications

group of people exercising with a personal trainer graphic

Just as it wouldn’t be right to compare the cost of our online course with another providers full-time course (because what you get out of any full-time course has a lot more value and cost to the provider than any online course), you can’t always compare providers directly.

This is because the majority of level 3 qualifications or personal training diplomas are sold as part of a course package. 

One course might seem like a great deal – reasonably priced and you’ll come out of the course as a qualified personal trainer. What more could you want?

We’d forgive you for questioning why you would ever consider not going for the cheapest option.

Course packages are often made up of your Personal Training Diploma and additional CPD (continuing professional development) courses. 

These CPDs are of high value because they can add to your employability, help you to find a niche for your business, and make you a better PT overall. 

A course might look more expensive initially, but if the price includes both Level 2 & Level 3, comes with free CPD courses, and it includes added extras like career support and free resits, then it's definintely worth paying a little extra. 

What we’re trying to say is, even though a course might be more expensive, things like free CPDs, and career support (as we’ll discuss very soon), add a lot of value.

Basically, rather than going for the cheapest option, do your research!

When it comes to choosing a provider it’s worth weighing up whether you want the cheapest way to get qualified, or a more expensive option that can maximise your employability and open up more opportunities for progression. 

Tutor Time

One thing that can differ between providers is the amount of help and support you get from the tutors.

This isn’t really an issue if you’re choosing to do a full-time course because you’ll have a pretty standard amount of time with the tutors (who will act as your teachers), regardless of the course provider.

However, if you’re studying part-time or online then the amount of contact you can have with tutors isn’t always set in stone.

Tutors are experienced fitness professionals, so the more you get to talk with these people the better.

Even though you could pass without their help, there are tons of benefits of speaking with these industry professionals that add to the value of the qualification, outside of getting your certificate.

If you’re studying online, ask providers about how and when you will be able to chat with the tutors. For part-time courses, it’s worth asking about how many weekend workshops you can attend.

A course might seem more expensive on the surface, but if you can attend unlimited workshops, or have contact with the tutors on the evenings and weekends, then you need to think about whether this additional cost will pay off in the long run.

Level of Service

‘Level of service’ is very much an indication of quality, and therefore something worth paying a little extra for. Having efficient and experienced staff will add to a provider’s outgoings, and therefore increase their personal trainer course costs their students (that’s you).

But it also adds value!

If you’re serious about getting qualified, then it’s worth paying extra for a provider with a good standard of service, mainly, an efficient admin team.

The admin team will be responsible for booking in your assessments, marking your coursework, sending out your certificate, and dealing with any general queries that you have about the course.

Basically, they’re responsible for a number of things that can speed up or delay the process of you getting qualified. Not only that, the service from the admin team can pretty much make or break your overall experience so this is something that’s worth investing in.

Our advice is to check out company reviews on websites like Trustpilot to see what previous students have to say about the service.

Additional Costs 

Additional costs can often add up, and before you know it the bargain course that you originally signed up for has ended up being just as pricey as one of the more expensive options.

Some providers will have an additional registration fee that you need to add on to the price of the course, for example with the training room prices, bear in mind that there is also a £100 registration fee.

Outside of that, there isn’t a lot of room for sneaky additional costs. But at the same time not everything you will need to work as a personal trainer is always covered by the initial price of the course.

For example, the cost of resitting an assessment. Pass rates are typically very high, but it’s still possible that you could fail an assessment. In this case, there could be additional costs depending on the course providers policy.

So, when you enquire for a course, ask how about your opportunities to resit. How many times can you resit your assessments? How much will it cost you?

Have a think about whether you think it’s worth paying a little extra for the peace of mind that comes with a course that offers free, unlimited resits.

Post Course Support

A factor that will really add to the value of a personal training course is post-course support.

If you’re asking ‘how much does it cost to become a personal trainer?’ then you should also be thinking about what you want to do once you’re qualified.

Here at OriGym, our post-course support is something that we’re really proud of. We have relationships and partnerships with a number of big name gym brands and a team of staff with first-hand experience in the industry.

The post-course services we offer include:

  • CV Analysis & Distribution
  • Interview Preparation
  • Free Business & Marketing Resources
  • OriGym Exclusive Job Boards
  • Guaranteed Interviews
  • Advice Social Media and SEO Marketing

Your certificate will qualify you for any given job, but post course support is what will get you a job. If you’re serious about working as a PT and having a long and successful career in the industry, then post course support is worth paying for.

Payment Plans Available 

Finally, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to pay for the course. If you have the savings to pay the fees up front, then this point doesn’t really concern you.

But, if like most people you don’t have upwards of £1000 to spend on the cost of a personal trainer course, a payment plan is the best option. Typically, this will involve making a deposit and then a monthly payment over a set period of time.

In some cases, there will be interest on the monthly repayments. Although it is convenient to pay in monthly instalments, this could seriously add to the price of your course.

If you’re thinking of setting up a payment plan to cover the costs of your course, discuss your finance options when you enquire for a course. you might find that a more expensive provider with an interest-free payment plan works out cheaper than the course you originally thought was the best value.

Before You Go!

Hopefully we’ve covered everything you could need to know, and you should have a roundabout answer to the question how much does it cost to do a personal training course?

Now that we’ve covered your course fees, you should also think about ‘how much does it cost to be a personal trainer’ because there are some additional fees that you’ll have to pay once you start working. For example, marketing, insurance, and paying rent to the gym.

If you’re serious about a career in the fitness industry, check out some of our other blogs for more info about working as a PT and the costs that you need to consider:

To get started with your qualifications, you can check out OriGym's Online Personal Training course, or download our latest prospectus for more info on what you could be learning! 

References

Rao, A. R. and Monroe, K. B. (1989). The Effect of Price, Brand Name, and Store Name on Buyers’ Perceptions of Product Quality: An Integrative Review. Journal of Marketing Research. 26 (3), pp. 351-357.

 

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Written by Abbie Watkins

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Abbie on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Holding an MA Marketing Communications and Branding as well as a BSc Psychology from the University of Liverpool, Abbie’s experience encompasses the retail, hospitality and fitness industries. Since joining OriGym, she has become a qualified Personal Trainer, taking particular interest in Group Exercise. Abbie’s main focuses cover staying up to speed with YouTube fitness influencers, identifying successful and innovative content formats. She has contributed to various publications, including the Daily Express. Beyond OriGym, she describes herself as a ‘work-hard, play-hard’ type going on scenic runs and upbeat exercise classes, and often found on the front row of a Saturday morning spin class.