Are you an expat thinking of becoming a personal trainer? But are you still trying to figure out if it is the right career path for you? If your answer is yes to both questions, then this post is for you. It’s worth noting that being a personal trainer is more of a lifestyle than an occupation. It can be a suitable profession for people with excellent social skills and love to help others attain their fitness goals.
Additionally, it is an excellent option for those who are ready to work with a variety of personalities and irregular schedules.
All in all, personal training is attractive in many different aspects, but it still has several drawbacks. Before going through the time and effort of acquiring personal training certification, interested persons should weigh the pros and cons.
10 Pros of Being a Personal Trainer
1.Freedom and Flexibility
Are you an expat who hates the idea of a regular 9 to 5 occupation? If so, personal training may be an excellent career for you. It gives you a chance to schedule appointments whenever you want. Personal training does not control your life like ordinary 9-5 jobs. For instance, you can choose to meet with clients in the early hours of the day and rest in the afternoon. Or you can opt to hold sessions in the night. It is all comes down to what you want.
2. Getting to Do What You Want
Not many people get to have the job they love. Well, that does not apply to most personal trainers. Personal trainers are generally fitness enthusiasts, whose lives revolve around wellness and fitness. Hence, it is more like being paid for their passion. Who wouldn’t want that?
3. Helping Oneself and Other People
Personal trainers have just about everything they need to change the lives of people daily. They get to set realistic goals with their clients and see them improve physically and psychologically. Best of all, their clients trust them to achieve their ideal body and that’s a rewarding feeling. Furthermore, the personal trainer gets to maintain their own health while helping other people. The drive to maintain a healthy body is always there because the trainer wants to set an example for the clients.
4. Excellent Pay
Most personal trainers earn excellent hourly rates; therefore they only have to work with several clients to have a decent income. Additionally, a personal trainer can start working at a gym to build up a strong clientele and proceed to be self-employed. The average hourly pay for personal trainers is $18.82 in the USA and £24.16 in the UK. Of course, personal fees may exceed that, which is huge. With higher hourly pay, personal trainers can maximize their free time or just put in more hours to improve their income.
5. Job Satisfaction
Due to the excellent freedom and fulfillment of personal training brings, it is one of the most satisfying jobs out there. In fact, successful personal trainers are among the happiest professionals in the world. Many of them describe their work as fulfilling and free of stress. Most times, one needs to work in a corporate setting to earn a similar income. And as most people know, the corporate world can be very stressful.
For personal trainers, it’s hard to have two days that are the same. One day, a trainer might be doing gym sessions and the next day they may be training clients at home. At times, a personal trainer might find himself or herself training some traveling clients via Skype. All in all, it’s hard to get bored as a personal trainer.
7. Making Friends
In the course of their careers, many personal trainers develop solid friendships with some of their clients. They get to form great bonds with new people each day. Some even maintain lifelong friendships with former clients.
8. Meeting Different Types of People
Personal trainers meet some of the most interesting people in the course of their work. Just as no day is the same, no trainee is the same. Some clients share stories of their marriages, children, work, vehicles, neighbors, etc., with their personal trainers. The personal trainers are often treated like bartenders, which can be fun for those who don’t mind hearing everyone’s problems.
9. Opportunities for Growth
After becoming a personal trainer, one has a massive platform of opportunities to delve into. Some trainers end up working for top sports teams as part of the training team to keep the athletes fit. Others find themselves working for famous celebrities or working online. Personal training offers numerous options for growth.
10. Easy Clientele
Yes, some clients might be difficult to deal with. But, the mere fact that they’re exercising and activating their endorphins may also put them in a pleasant mood. And people with a good mood are always pleasant to work with.
10 Cons of Being a Personal Trainer
1. Difficult Clients
Some people are advised by their physicians to lose weight or become fit. For that reason, some may be spiteful and hard to work with. Moreover, some clients may skip out on scheduled sessions, wasting the personal trainer’s time. It may also be difficult to find long-term clientele.
2. Selling Oneself to Attract Clients
Personal trainers need clients to maintain their job. That means they have to sell themselves in order to attract clients. Therefore, personal training might not be a suitable option for people who are not good at marketing themselves.
3. Risk for Burnout
With personal training, the risk is high for experiencing burnout. For those who train a lot, that can occur very easily. Prolonged stays at the gym, and early morning or late evening training sessions could result in exhaustion and burnout.
Most personal trainers work with clients for multiple times in a week. It’s rare for them to just have a session per week. Now, at times, some of their clients continue to binge eat, smoke, and drink. And when they put on weight they blame the personal trainer. That is not only frustrating, but also nonsensical.
5. The Income Is Not Guaranteed
Person training is more of a luxury. It is not easy to achieve a decent income level in this field. While a personal trainer can gain clients, they can still lose them in a flash. Personal training is among the first things many let go of when life is no longer favorable. Maybe they are experiencing financial problems, poor weather, illness or other issues that prevent them from working out as usual.
6. Working When Others Are Relaxing
A personal trainer cannot succeed without working at the time others are relaxing. Most clients usually have 9 to 5 jobs, which means trainers are less likely to follow that shift. It is not unusual for personal trainers to have work on weekends, early in the morning or late in the evening. It all depends on the clients’ needs.
7. No Holiday Pay
Most personal trainers are self-employed, which is excellent. But, they do not have the luxury of receiving any paid yearly leave, because they basically work for themselves. Trainers working in established clubs, on the other hand, get to enjoy holiday pay. For self-employed personal trainers, they have to work consistently or be ready for times without pay.
8. Trainers Undercutting the Prices of Other Trainers
That can be a prime reason for leaving personal training. Most personal trainers love what they do, but they’ve still got bills to pay and families to feed. So, they have to put a price on their services. Many entry-level trainers discount their sessions or provide free taster sessions in order to attract lots of clients. That may have a knock effect with other personal trainers in the vicinity. It can make them feel that they have to discount their prices too.
9. Focus on Multiple Things
Self-employed personal trainers have to concentrate on much more than the coaching. They have to tackle advertising, getting new clients, printing contracts, making policies, booking appointments, branding, equipment, and overhead costs. On top of that, they have to keep track of their taxes and pay full price for their medical insurance. After working for oneself as a personal trainer, it might be a challenge to later find employment in a gym. That’s because many gyms may view it as a conflict of interest.
10. Possibility of Getting Sued
In the personal training field, things are not always simple. Unexpected missteps could potentially lead to a lawsuit. Of course, it’s best to adhere to quality practices and utilize risk management techniques in order to prevent accidents and injury. However, even the most proven strategies are still vulnerable to mishaps. Many malpractice claims are filed against fitness trainers yearly. Some involve legitimate performance failures, but others are made by displeased clients for not attaining desired results.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.