Can I Become a Part Time Personal Trainer?

Being a personal trainer can be an incredibly rewarding career in many different ways. Fulltime trainers make a good living at it, but you don’t need to work forty hours a week to get a lot out of the job. Even if you only train one client a week, you’re making a little extra cash and sharing your love of fitness. A fair number of trainers work part-time, enjoy it, and make excellent money.

Many part-time personal trainers may already have a career in another field but still have a passion for fitness and training. Serious fitness buffs will already have more knowledge about exercise and fitness just from pursuing their own goals, and may realize that they could put their knowledge to use and become certified personal trainers, but may not have the time to dedicate themselves to being a trainer fulltime. Even working “just” part-time as a trainer allows them to move their already fitness-oriented lifestyle in a new and fulfilling direction, and of course extra money always comes in handy.

It can be a great second job for someone who is already spending a significant amount of time in and around fitness facilities. Earning money to help others learn how to exercise better and more efficiently—part-time, without having to completely change careers—is a great way to share your love and knowledge of fitness without a huge, life-changing commitment.

And you don’t necessarily have to work for a gym. Self-employed trainers can set their own schedules according to what else is going on in their lives, and can take on as many (or as few) clients as suits them. Of course, any personal trainer who’s paying monthly rental fees for gym space can’t work too sparingly—working too few hours to cover expenses or turn a profit doesn’t make a lot of sense. But there’s nothing saying you can’t train people in other locations, or even from your own home.

Which isn’t to say you should rule out working for a gym entirely. Many gyms, especially larger franchises which may be open long hours, may be able to give part-time trainers more flexibility in their working hours. Some gyms are open for business twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and may have a real need for part-time training staff on evenings, nights, and weekends. In fact, newer employees at a gym generally won’t be working prime hours, as those will go to the trainers with more seniority—who are almost always going to be fulltime. But for the person who’s coming to personal training as a second job, those off-hour shifts may be exactly what they need.


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A lot of larger gyms and fitness centers sometimes experience high turnover in their staff, which would make qualified, consistent, and loyal personal trainers a valuable asset. No business wants to lose a good employee, especially one with specialized training and knowledge. It’s likely that gym management in many larger gyms would be more than happy to keep a good trainer on their team even if it’s only for a small number of hours per week. They may even need part-timers to cover specific days and times, or split shifts.

And of course, there’s no rule against working part-time for a gym and part-time for yourself, as a self-employed personal trainer working out of a home or other location. Some gyms do expect or require their trainers not to work elsewhere, but many will have no such restrictions, and a certified trainer with a real love for the business and a winning way with clients is likely to be in demand regardless of whether they’re an exclusive employee of a specific gym or not. Bear in mind that most gyms would expect trainers not to solicit current gym members, which only makes sense: no one in their right mind would pay someone to steal their customers. Make sure you understand what’s expected of you and that everyone’s on the same page, and everything should work out fine.

Part-time work provides a lot of flexibility. Weekly personal training hours can change as needed, and the only thing necessary to increase a part-time schedule to a fulltime one is to seek out more clients. It’s a good way to transition from one career to another, and of course you can always scale back your working hours and go back to being part-time if the need should arise.

If you have a passion for fitness and a love of helping others, working as a part-time personal trainer is something you’ll want to consider. Working as a part-time trainer provides additional career options, a lot of freedom, and a great backup plan if anything should happen to your “main” job.

If you’re interested in becoming a part-time personal trainer, your best first step is to look into acquiring a Certificate III in Fitness, and the best place to do that is right here at the Personal Training Academy. Contact us today to learn more about the process, and be one step closer to realizing your goal.