Had enough of your current job and thinking of the fitness profession?

Execute your plan right and you can become a personal trainer with a satisfying financially rewarding career doing what you love.

We outline below the five steps to leaving your job and becoming a successful fitness coach.

Personal training is a unique profession. You can:

  • Be your own boss
  • Live a lifestyle by your own design
  • Determine your own worth
  • Be financially secure
  • Help people change their lives

Overall, PT is a rewarding and privileged way to earn a living but you may be intimidated by that often-daunting first step:

How do you leave your current, financially secure, yet unfulfilling job and become a personal trainer – without your financial health taking a pummelling?

So let’s take a look at the five steps:

1. Know Your Destination

“Know the destination first, then start the journey”

Like many fitness enthusiasts, you may be in a financially comfortable position right now – but working in a job you don’t like (or even hate!)

But leaving your job to become a personal trainer and taking an almost certain financial hit is no doubt a genuine concern – and one that may well be stopping you from making the move to your dream job.

So to help you overcome this concern, the first thing we need to give you is some clarity around your current financial needs.

Let’s look at this in three areas…

1. Living Expenses

These are all the expenses/costs you require to live your current lifestyle. For example:

  • Food and groceries
  • Rent / mortgage
  • Petrol and vehicle costs
  • Electricity and gas
  • Basically anything you need to live

2. Financial Commitments

These could include any outstanding debts you have. For example:

  • Hire purchases
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Car finance

3. Savings requirements

How much do you want to be saving per week?

  • Your total weekly living expenses =
  • Your total weekly financial needs =
  • Your total weekly savings =
  • Total weekly financial requirements =

What it would take to meet your financial requirements?

Now that you’ve got some clarity on your financial needs, let’s take a look at what it would take as a personal trainer to meet these needs:

Your session rates will likely be around $75 per hour when you start out as a personal trainer.

  • Take your total financial needs number and divide it by $75
  • Then multiply this number by 1.4 (extra 40% for tax, Medicare levies and other extras)
  • This is the number of sessions you’ll need to deliver per week to be financially secure.

Working example:

Total Weekly Financial Needs = $1300

$1300/$75 = 17.33

17.33 x 1.4 = 24.26, rounded up to 25 sessions per week

In the above example you would meet your financial needs by delivering 25 sessions per week.

If you trained each client an average of 1.5 times per week (industry average) you would require only 17 clients to meet the above needs.

Right, next step… how do you find, train, manage and deliver great results to 17 clients?

Step 2: Get Qualified

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action”

Becoming a successful personal trainer and easily meeting the required sessions from Step 1 requires actionable knowledge and skills, including but not exclusively;

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Communication
  • Human behaviour
  • Exercise planning
  • Exercise programming
  • Nutritional guidance
  • Time management
  • Results testing… and more!

Not a short list by any stretch of the imagination… this is why you need a qualification.

However… not all personal training courses are created equal

A personal training course should set you up for success, it should give you the skills, knowledge, guidance and support to build a strong personal training business.

The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. Do your research to make sure your getting a course that will prepare you for success in the industry – this is not an impulse purchase.

Step 3: Start Training People While You Work

“Fire bullets first, then fire cannon balls” (Jim Collins)

Before taking the plunge, start training a few clients on the side – this will give you a taste of what’s to come. It will give you a great indication of what being a trainer is all about without having to leave your job.

Training a few clients while studying personal training is also a valuable exercise as well. Not only do you get to apply your new knowledge and skills, you also get the chance to test the water and see if personal training is really some you want to do full time.

A cropped image of a personal trainer and her client on a training track.

Step 4: Meet Industry Experts, Find the Right Opportunity

“It’s not all about what you know, it’s who you know”

Finding a personal training opportunity in a major population hub is not that hard. What is harder is finding the right personal training opportunity for you.

This means finding a situation (gym/club/bootcamp/box) that has the right culture, management team, and enough of the type of people you want to train.

When looking for a personal training course make sure you’ll get an opportunity to talk to fitness industry leaders, PT managers and gym owners during your course.

Making some industry connections before you get qualified gives you a massive head start in gaining work as a PT – and often a job to go into before you’ve even finished your course!

Step 5: Put Your Career Plan Together

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”

Put your plan together and start moving through it.

Get it right, follow through on your steps and you have a much greater chance of success. Your success is important; because when you win, everybody wins – you, your clients, personal training as a profession and the fitness industry as a whole.

So start your journey with a road map to success. A good personal training course provider will help you to create a personalised career plan based on your current situation, circumstances and goals.

Don’t leave your personal training success to chance, start on the front foot right from the word go and set a positive tone for the rest of your career – plan your path before you walk it.


The 5 steps to leaving your job and becoming a personal trainer are:

  1. Know your numbers
  2. Get qualified
  3. Start training people while you work
  4. Meet industry experts
  5. Get a career plan together

If you decide to move into the exciting world of personal training and would like some ideas on how to market your new business, see here.


The Questions You Must Ask Before Taking A Personal Training Course

Starting a Fitness Business