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What Can You Do With A Personal Trainer Certification?

personal trainer certification

If you’re thinking about becoming a personal trainer, you may be wondering, exactly what can you do with a personal trainer certification? Well, we’ve got you covered! 

In this article, we’ll take you through all of the exciting and lucrative avenues you can explore as a qualified personal trainer. 

Before we get started, why not take the first step towards a career in fitness and become a Level 3 personal trainer with OriGym? Enquire today, or download our free course prospectus to browse the full range of courses we offer.

What Can a Level 3 Personal Trainer Do?

A Level 3 personal trainer is the minimum qualification required to work as a personal trainer. 

But before you take the plunge and decide to become a personal trainer, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with what you will be able to do when you qualify. 

So exactly what can a Level 3 personal trainer do? Here are the 4 main things that you are qualified to do as a Level 3 PT:

What Can You Do as a Certified Personal Trainer? You Can Design a Tailored Fitness Program for Clients

what can a level 3 personal trainer do

One of the main things that you can do as a Level 3 personal trainer is design tailored fitness programs for clients. 

A personal trainer fitness program is simply a set plan created by a personal trainer to help a client achieve their goals. 

It is important to note that creating tailored fitness programs is something you can only do as a Level 3 PT- you are not qualified to do this if you are just a Level 2 gym instructor. 

Having a fitness program tailored to their specific needs is therefore one of the main reasons why clients will seek a Level 3 personal trainer. 

Compared to generic fitness programs, diets or regimes, some benefits of a personalised fitness program for clients include:

  • Helps them achieve their goals faster
  • Helps them achieve their goals safely
  • Helps them track their progress 
  • Holds them accountable

A fitness program can be carried out by a client in their own time, without your supervision. But most PT fitness programs are carried out under the supervision of a PT, during a one-on-one personal training session- which we will discuss next!

During a Level 3 personal trainer course, you will learn how to create a tailored exercise program around a client’s specific goals. 

For example, as part of OriGym’s Level 3 personal trainer course, you will complete a practical assessment where you will create a customised training program for a client. 

You will learn how to design a fitness program with the client's individual needs in mind, including considerations for clients with disabilities or special requirements. It also covers creating programs to be carried out outside of a gym environment.

 

Become a personal trainer with OriGym!

Enquire today to see how you can start a lucrative career in the fitness industry with our Level 3 personal trainer course

What Can You Do as a Personal Trainer? You Can Conduct 1-on-1 Personal Training Sessions

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As we have said, a fitness program can either be carried out by the client themselves in their own time, or under the supervision of a personal trainer during a one-on-one session. 

So, once you have designed a fitness program, one of the main things you can do as a Level 3 personal trainer is conduct one-on-one personal training sessions with clients following this customsied plan.

As a Level 2 gym instructor, whilst of course you can still work with clients on an individual basis, you aren't permitted to create a program for anybody, meaning you don't have the same opportuities to take on clients and help them progress as a Level 3 PT would.

A one-on-one PT session as a Level 3 personal trainer is when you’ll get stuck into the actual exercises and carry out the fitness program you've created.

A PT session typically lasts between 40 and 60 minutes, but can be more or less depending on the type of client. For example, when personal training pregnant clients, sessions should be around 30 minutes or less, to avoid fatigue and overstraining.  

During the session, the role of a personal trainer is to guide the client through a workout. This can involve:

  • Demonstrating exercises
  • Checking their form
  • Counting reps and sets
  • Providing motivation and encouragement

Check out our guide to planning a personal training session for more detail on what a session involves! 

What Can You Do as a Certified Personal Trainer? You Can Give Nutritional Advice to Clients

what can you do with a personal trainer certification

As well as instructing physical exercises, another thing you can do as a Level 3 personal trainer is give nutrition advice to your clients. 

During a Level 3 personal trainer course, you will learn the foundations of food and nutrition, including:

  • The basic principles of healthy eating
  • Macro and micronutrients
  • Catering for specific dietary requirements e.g. vegetarian 
  • Nutrition for specific goals e.g. weight loss or gaining muscle

However, as a Level 3 PT, you can only advise clients on nutrition, not prescribe anything that would have a medical consequence.

For example, say a client wants to gain muscle. You would be qualified to give them advice on the kinds of foods they should be eating to do this, such as suggesting some high protein snacks they could include in their diet. 

There are also courses that you could take as a qualified Level 3 PT to enhance your nutritional knowledge and allow you to give more advanced nutritional advice.

This would be a Level 4 course in Advanced Sports Nutrition- which we will discuss in more detail later in this article! 

For more detailed information, we have a whole article exploring whether personal trainers can give nutritional advice!

What Can a Level 3 Personal Trainer Do? You Can Lead Group Fitness Classes

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When wondering, ‘what can a Level 3 personal trainer do?’, one role that is often overlooked is leading group fitness classes.

Most gyms and fitness centres will typically want to hire personal trainers who can also step in and teach their timetable of group classes.

Whether you are required to teach group classes or not is something that an employer will state on a personal trainer job description.  

As a Level 3 PT, you are also qualified to run your own group fitness classes if you are working on a freelance basis. But we will discuss this career path in more detail later in this article! 

Some examples of group fitness classes you can teach as a Level 3 PT are:

  • Indoor cycling 
  • Circuit training
  • Dance fit classes
  • Yoga and pilates
  • Bootcamps

It is worth noting that some branded fitness classes such as LesMills classes (e.g. BodyPump and BodyCombat) will require you to take an additional qualification in order to teach their specific class. Check out our guide on how to become a LesMills instructor for more detail about this! 

What Can I Do With A Personal Trainer Certification?

So far, we have discussed all the things you can do within the role of a personal trainer in general.

But once you have a personal trainer certification, there are a whole host of other personal trainer career options, employment types and specialist areas that you will be qualified to pursue. 

We will outline some of the main things you can do with a PT certification below, discussing what each role involves and its benefits:

You Can Work as a Contracted PT in a Gym

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When wondering, ‘what can I do with a personal trainer certification’, one of the main roles that will probably come to mind is working as a PT in a gym. 

To be a personal trainer in a gym, you will simply need a minimum of a Level 3 personal trainer certification. 

There are two main ways that you can work as a personal trainer in a gym: as a contracted employee, or on a freelance/self-employed basis. Let’s first discuss working as a contracted employee at a gym. 

Working as a contracted PT in a gym simply means that you are an employee of that particular gym. Check out our list of the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer for an idea of the kinds of companies you could be employed by. 

When looking for these kinds of roles, job adverts will usually specify the number of hours a week, either full or part-time. They will also usually specify a set hourly or annual salary.

For example, the job advert below is a full-time role offering an annual salary:

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Whereas the vacancy below is a part-time position with an hourly salary rate:

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Working in a contracted position for a gym is a great option if you have just recently qualified as PT. There are lots of benefits, such as:

  • Provides structure and routine. A benefit of working under a contract for a gym is the stability and structure it provides, since you will be working set hours. 

This means that you can plan your other commitments around your working schedule. Whether that’s studying, another job, holidays or childcare, knowing your timetable means that you can plan around these things a lot more easily! 

  • You will have a stable income. Having set contracted hours means that you have a stable and guaranteed source of income. 

This kind of financial stability is particularly important if you are just starting out in the industry, as it means you can simply focus on gaining as much experience and skills as you can from the role! 

  • You will have access to an eager pool of potential clients. You will likely have access to a pool of potential clients to train through your position in the gym, given that people who attend will be fitness enthusiasts already.

If you have just qualified, it can be hard to find your own clients straight away, as you have not yet gained much experience in the industry or have developed networking contacts. Working for a gym takes helps to alleviate this problem, as potential clients are practically coming stright to you! 

Plus, if you choose to then go freelance after establishing a client base, you will already have some loyal clients. This is because if you make a good impression, it is very likely that they will stick with you!

So, starting off working as a PT for a gym is one of the best ways to get clients as a personal trainer

 

Become a personal trainer with OriGym!

Enquire today to see how you can start a lucrative career in the fitness industry with our Level 3 personal trainer course

  • Allows you to gain valuable experience. The stability and structure of working for a gym means that you can simply focus on gaining as much experience as possible. 

This will stand you in good stead for any future jobs you apply for, as you can say that you have experience in things like working on a gym floor, interacting with members, running fitness classes and more!

Plus, it can help you decide what area of the fitness industry you enjoy and want to go into. For example, you may find that you particularly enjoy teaching group exercise classes, so may want to become a group fitness instructor

If the thought of finding a job in a gym is daunting, when choosing a course provider, you should make sure that they offer careers support to their graduates. 

For example, if you take your Level 3 personal training course with OriGym, every student will have access to our award-winning post-course support.

This includes access to our network of partner gyms across the UK when you qualify, as well as CV advice and interview tips, making the process of finding a job as a PT in a gym that little bit easier!

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

You Can Work as a Freelance/Self-Employed PT in a Gym

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As well as working as an employee, the other way that you can work as a PT in a gym is on a freelance or self-employed basis. 

Again, this requires a minimum of a Level 3 personal trainer certification. 

This is another popular answer to the question, ‘what can I do with a personal trainer certification?’. Most personal trainers will ultimately go freelance, even if they start by working as a contracted employee. 

There are two capacities in which you can work as a freelance personal trainer in a commercial gym: 

Firstly, you can work as an employee for the gym for a set number of hours per week, in exchange for being able to use their facilities to train your clients. 

This is a good place to start if you’re new to the industry and are trying to start a personal training business with no budget as it grants you the opportunity to make connections and keep 100% of your earnings from clients. 

Just take a look at this job advertisement from Xercise4Less below:

what can a level 3 personal trainer do 4

This is a great option if you are just starting out as a freelance PT, it gives you the opportunity to build your clientele while not actually investing anything financially, but your time. 

The second option for being a freelance PT in a gym is to pay rent to the gym- as a fixed monthly fee, in order to be able to operate as a freelance PT in the facility. 

For example, this is what most personal trainer roles at PureGym offer. As you can see from the job advert below, to operate as a freelance PT in their gym, you have to pay rent to the gym. 

what can a level 3 personal trainer do 5

Whichever option you choose, there are undoubtedly benefits of being a freelance personal trainer, such as:

  • It increases your earning potential. Although being employed by a gym provides a stable income, at the same time, your salary will usually be capped at that specific rate, thus limiting your earning potential. 

However, as a freelance PT, you have the freedom to choose your own rates. This means that as you become more experienced and build up your clientbase, you can start to charge more!

Plus, if you choose the rent-free option, you can take home all of the earnings you make from a session. This is unlike working under a contract, where you will have to give a cut of each session fee to the gym.

  • More flexibility. Some people may enjoy the structure of having set hours when working as a contracted employee for a gym. 

However, many PTs prefer being freelance as they can be their own boss, with no obligations to work a set amount of hours and undesirable times such as early mornings or late nights. 

This is therefore ideal if you are studying or working part-time alongside personal training. For further advice on how to make this schedule work for you, check this out and learn how to become a part-time personal trainer. 

  • Find your niche. Being a freelance PT also means that you have the freedom to choose your own clients.

This allows you to really hone your personal training niche, as you can choose a particular type of clients to take on that align with your career goals.

For example, if you are particularly interested in women-only personal training, you can focus on taking on clients in this demographic.

For more information, check out our guide to becoming a freelance personal trainer

Offer Online Personal Training Classes

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When wondering, ‘what can a personal trainer do?’, another great way to use your qualification is to offer online personal training. 

Online personal training can involve a wide range of roles, such as:

  • Training clients one-to-one via video software such as Zoom
  • Teaching virtual group classes
  • Creating a virtual ‘library’ of exercise videos for your clients to use
  • Creating bespoke programs for clients that they do in their own time
  • Giving nutrition advice online
  • Tracking client’s progress online

To become an online personal trainer, you simply need a Level 3 personal training certification. There are no specialist qualifications required to train clients online!

Some benefits of being an online personal trainer include:

  • You will have less outgoing costs. Since you can operate from your own home, you won’t have to pay outgoings such as renting a space, travel costs or giving a cut of your earnings to a gym. 

By reducing your outgoings, this will all help to significantly increase your overall income! 

  • Online personal training is a growing industry. With the increase of people working from home, more clients are wanting to workout from home too!

By offering online personal training, you can therefore take advantage of this demand- which is only set to grow even further!

  • You can take on a wider range of clients. Since you won’t be limited by location, you can technically take on clients from all over the world!

You can also take on a wider demographic of clients that you may not otherwise have had access to. For example, clients who may not be able to travel to a gym in person, such as disabled clients

  • You will have greater freedom and flexibility. By not having to travel to a specific location to train clients, you will therefore have more time available to pursue other commitments, such as a part-time job, childcare or studying. 

For more information on how you can use your PT certification to train clients online, check out our in-depth guide to becoming an online personal trainer here

Become a Mobile Personal Trainer 

what can a personal trainer do

Another great way to use your personal training certification is to become a mobile personal trainer. 

As the name suggests, mobile personal training is simply when instead of being based in a gym and the client coming to you, you travel to your client. 

Some places where you can train clients as a mobile personal trainer are:

  • Their homes
  • Their workplaces
  • The local park 

The benefits of being a mobile personal trainer are very similar to those of being an online PT. 

Like online personal training, being a mobile personal trainer means that you are operating on a self-employed basis. This comes with the freedom and flexibility of being able to dictate your own schedule, fitting your clients around your other commitments such as part-time work or studying. 

Again, just like online personal training, being a mobile PT immediately expands your potential clientbase. You can train clients who either cannot or don’t want to train in a gym, such as clients with disabilities, or even just those who don’t have the time or money to travel into a gym.

This therefore opens up a whole new demographic for you, increasing the amount of clients you have and thus increasing your earnings!

Check out our guide to becoming a mobile personal trainer here for more detail about how you can use your personal trainer qualification to pursue this career path.

 

Become a personal trainer with OriGym!

Enquire today to see how you can start a lucrative career in the fitness industry with our Level 3 personal trainer course

Offer Group Personal Training Classes

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In answer to the question, ‘what can you do with a personal trainer certification?’, you may think that you are limited to just one-on-one training. 

But as a qualified personal trainer, you can also offer group training sessions.

Much like regular one-on-one personal training, group personal training involves creating a fitness programme to help clients achieve their goals. However, you will be training multiple clients at the same time, who all share the same or at least similar fitness goals.

It is important to note that group personal training is different to teaching a group fitness class.

Fitness classes are when a group follows the same choreographed routine at the same time, whereas group personal training sessions can involve clients doing different exercises at different times. We will discuss group fitness classes in more detail next!  

Training multiple clients at once means that you will have to consider multiple clients' needs and split your time and attention equally between everyone. 

This method of training can be somewhat overwhelming when you’re just starting out. If group personal training is something you’re interested in, we would recommend taking a CPD course in group training to complement your personal training certificate. 

By completing this course you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge required to teach large groups of people simultaneously.

One of the main benefits of being a group personal trainer is that it is time-efficient. This is because instead of having several one-on-one training sessions, you can train multiple clients in one place, at one time!

This not only means that you will have more free time to spend on other commitments, but you can also save money by only having to rent one gym space at a time, for example. 

Check out our whole article on group personal training here for more information about this career path! 

Run Group Fitness Classes

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As we mentioned when answering ‘what can a Level 3 personal trainer do?’, you are able to teach group fitness classes with a PT certificate. 

Whilst teaching group fitness classes is often simply part of your role in a gym, you can also choose to pursue it further by starting your own business running group classes.

There are a whole host of different types of fitness classes you could run, including:

  • Bootcamps 
  • HIIT workouts
  • Aerobics
  • Indoor cycling
  • Zumba 
  • Kettlebell training
  • Box fit

If you are interested in teaching a particular class, we would recommend taking a relevant CPD course in that area to complement your Level 3 certification. 

For example, a CPD course in boxing and pad work would be beneficial if you are wanting to teach boxing-based fitness classes. This would give you more knowledge and skills specific to boxing, to help you deliver a higher standard of class to your students.  

There are also many different ways to teach group fitness classes. As well as teaching in a studio or gym space, you can also teach group classes online, or even outdoors!

Some of the benefits of running group fitness classes are:

  • It is a great way to hone your personal training niche. For example, say you start your own business running dance aerobic classes. As your business grows, you can start to dominate that particular area of the fitness industry. 

You can then charge more for your classes, since you can market yourself as a specialist in a specific type of fitness class. This will give you the scope to increase your overall earnings and progress your career! 

  • It is highly rewarding. As well as being lucrative, being a group exercise instructor is also hugely rewarding on a personal development level. 

Designing your classes is a great way to express your creativity, share your passion for a particular type of exercise with others.

Plus, there is a huge social element to teaching an exercise class, since you will be interacting with lots of different types of people every day!

So, if you’re wondering, ‘what can you do as a personal trainer that doesn’t involve just working in a gym?’, then this could be your answer! 

If this sounds appealing, we recommend checking out our guide to becoming a group exercise instructor for more information. 

Become a Specialist Level 4 Personal Trainer

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Our final- yet arguably most important answer to the question, ‘what can a personal trainer do?’, is that you can use your Level 3 qualification to become a Level 4 personal trainer. 

But what is a Level 4 personal trainer?

Level 4 is the highest level of qualification you can get as a personal trainer in the UK and allows you to specialise in a particular niche of the fitness industry. 

Here at OriGym, we offer a wide range of Level 4 personal trainer courses:

Almost all Level 4 courses have a Level 3 as an entry requirement. This ensures that you have a strong foundation of knowledge, skills and experience before you go on to specialise. 

So, if you want to go on to specialise in a particular area of fitness, you will first need a Level 3 qualification before you can take a Level 4 course.

But you may be wondering- especially if you are already a qualified Level 3 PT, why should I become a Level 4 PT? Here are 3 of the main benefits of becoming a Level 4 personal trainer:

  • You can attract a unique demographic. As a Level 4 personal trainer, you can take on a wider range of clients, compared to if you were just a Level 3 qualified. 

For example, if you have a Level 4 qualification in Obesity and Weight Management, you will then have the knowledge needed to train clients with obesity or other weight-related issues.

This will of course then increase your earnings, as you will ultimately have more paying clients!

  • Charge more for your services. As a Level 4 personal trainer, you will be a specialist in a specific area of fitness. Since you are offering a higher level of service, clients will be willing to pay more for your sessions.

For example, a personal trainer with a Level 4 qualification in Sports Nutrition can offer specialist nutrition advice to clients. This is an extra service that many clients will be happy to pay more for, compared to a Level 3 personal trainer who is not qualified to offer nutrition plans.

 

Become a personal trainer with OriGym!

Enquire today to see how you can start a lucrative career in the fitness industry with our Level 3 personal trainer course

  • Increase your employability. If you are looking for a contracted role as a personal trainer, a specialist in a particular area of fitness can help you have an edge over other applicants. 

This is because having a Level 4 qualification shows that you are more qualified and have specialist skills and knowledge in a particular niche. 

This makes you more appealing to potential employers because ultimately, the more qualified you are, the better personal trainer you will be! 

So as you can see, perhaps the best thing you can do with your Level 3 PT certification is to use it to become a specialist Level 4 personal trainer!  

For more information about being a Level 4 personal trainer, we have a whole article detailing the differences between Level 3 and 4 personal training courses here

Before You Go!

If you were wondering ‘what can you do as a certified personal trainer?’, we hope that we have shown you exactly what you are qualified to do as a personal trainer, and the huge range of avenues you can go on to explore!

Feeling inspired? Start your career as a PT today with OriGym’s Level 3 personal trainer course

You can also browse the full range of courses we offer by downloading our free course prospectus here

Written by Alice Williams

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Alice is a content writer at OriGym. With a first-class degree in French and Linguistics, she loves all things language, fitness and culture. 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. 

When she’s not writing, you can usually find Alice practicing yoga and she hopes to one day become a yoga instructor herself. She also loves running, tennis and cooking up a vegan storm in the kitchen! It was this passion for health and fitness, combined with her love for writing, that brought Alice to OriGym.

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