Career Outlook for Personal Fitness Trainers in 2020 and Beyond

fitness trainer outlook
Personal fitness trainers help clients reach any number of health and fitness goals.

The Future of Personal Training

Personal fitness trainers are certified professionals who help people meet their fitness goals. Though some fitness trainers may work with professional athletes, most personal fitness trainers work with individuals who simply want to improve their level of fitness.

Personal trainer education covers evaluating the health and fitness of clients, including warning signs like signs of injury, muscular or skeletal problems, or medical conditions that need to be addressed by a physician. Fitness trainers are also taught to help clients develop and understand appropriate exercise goals.

In some trainer-client relationships, the trainer only meets with the client for a few sessions to clarify goals, teach techniques, and design an exercise program. But in other cases, personal fitness trainers work with clients on a long term basis, designing a fitness program and providing motivation and help with technique.

If you are interested in a personal trainer career, here is what you can expect in terms of training, job outlook, and potential work settings.

Personal Trainer Education

The personal trainer education you choose should prepare you for an entry level career as a fitness trainer, and should also prepare you for certification as a fitness trainer and other related specialty certifications like weight loss specialist or fitness nutrition specialist as defined by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Expect to take courses on anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, weight management, exercise physiology, client assessment, fitness program design, and exercise psychology. Your personal trainer school should also provide training in first aid and CPR. Your training should consist of both classroom lessons and hands-on learning. When you complete your program, you should be ready to sit for the certification exams as a personal fitness trainer and corrective exercise specialist.

Job Outlook for 2020 and Beyond

Job growth for personal fitness trainers is expected to keep pace with the overall rate of job growth over the next several years. In May 2020, the median annual salary for personal fitness trainers was $40,510 per year, according to statistics from the Department of Labor. An aging population combined with increased demand for health and wellness programs to contain the costs of medical care are expected to increase demand for personal trainer careers through 2017 and beyond. More employers are offering incentives for employees to join gyms and health clubs, and this is a positive sign for those who want to attend personal training school and become a certified fitness trainer.

Work Settings for Personal Fitness Trainers

Work as a fitness trainer may take place in a variety of settings.

A personal training career will most likely take you to a gym or fitness center. However, many personal trainers find that starting their own fitness training business gives them the income and flexibility they need to make a living as their own boss. Many other work setting options for personal fitness trainers are also available. Some work in corporate fitness centers, on cruise ships, or at resorts and spas. And there are some personal trainers who move into teaching at a personal training school, helping others become certified fitness trainers. The motivated personal fitness instructor has great scope and flexibility for creating a unique career in their preferred setting.

Reasons People Work With Personal Fitness Trainers

Many people work with personal trainers because they don’t feel like they are self-motivated enough to reach fitness goals on their own. Others have been out of shape for years and simply don’t know where to start on the journey to fitness. People who have pre-existing physical conditions like arthritis or old sports injuries that cause problems may turn to a personal fitness instructor to learn how to exercise and improve fitness while minimizing risk of injury. A new mother may want the assistance of a trainer to regain fitness after having a baby, or a person may call upon a personal fitness trainer because they haven’t achieved the results they expected from training on their own.


People with self-discipline and drive who are great at interacting with people can develop a successful personal training career, and personal trainer education can prepare you to go into business for yourself or work in any number of beautiful and dynamic settings. The Personal Fitness Trainer program at SOCHi offers comprehensive classroom and hands-on training that prepares you for certification exams and an exciting career. To learn more about the personal trainer education at SOCHi, we invite you to contact us at any time or complete our information request form.