Walk into any gym or exercise facility and you could become easily overwhelmed by the choices. Which cardio machine is the best? Do you need to lift weights? A personal trainer is there for you to help you navigate through the complexity of workout equipment and to develop a personalized plan based on your current fitness and fitness goals. A personal trainer job description will show that they are always committed to helping you succeed and staying current on recent developments in exercise science.

This specific personal trainer job description gives you a glimpse into what they do and what they did in order to get where they are. A basic summary is covered along with essential skills, required education, any needed experience, a normal work schedule, and the job outlook. After reading this, you should have a good idea of this job and if you are interested in pursuing this career.

What Does a Personal Trainer Do?

The overarching goal for a personal trainer is to help people achieve their fitness goals. A personal trainer can be like a coach if someone is wanting to improve for a certain sport. However, a personal trainer job description demonstrates that their duties go far beyond coaching. They need to be able to develop customized workout plans for each client. This means taking into account goals, current fitness, and any health concerns. A Personal fitness trainer could train someone individually or in a small group setting. The benefit of training someone individually is that all of the trainer’s attention is on that person. In a group setting, the other people working out can serve as a source of motivation.

personal trainer

The education required for a personal trainer is varied. There are certifications in the field and some gyms require a personal trainer to have their bachelor’s degree. No prior experience is required, but additional experience can lead to more and better-paying clients. The average personal trainer salary is $38,160 dollars.

Personal Trainer Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities

Personal trainers are primarily responsible for improving health. The following statements are commonly found on a personal trainer resume. Take these and make them your own.

  • Develop an exercise plan for a client or clients.
  • As part of an overall plan, conduct a needs assessment balancing the end goal with current fitness.
  • Demonstrate how to perform various exercises.
  • Motivate clients to perform to the best of their abilities.
  • Maintain first aid and CPR certification.
  • Suggest fitness classes that would be a good fit for the client’s goals.
  • Give advice and critique on the client’s technique.

Personal Trainer Essential Skills

  • Lifelong learning skills. The exercise industry rapidly changes. Personal trainers need to keep current with fitness trends, contextualize them into the overall exercise plan, and explain to clients why or why not a fitness trend is a good fit for them.
  • Motivational skills. While some clients will be motivated all by themselves, others require someone to push and challenge them. The personal trainer is part trainer, part inspiration.
  • System awareness skills. Personal trainers train the body. However, they need to consider this in the context of the whole person. If someone has a bad workout, what was their mental or emotional state? Thinking in terms of systems can help with this.
  • Communication skills. It can be hard to communicate effectively in a gym. A personal trainer needs to be loud and clear without disrupting other people who are working out.

This list is inspired by a list from the balance.

How to Become a Personal Trainer

The requirements to become a personal trainer are as varied as the job description that lists a specific requirement. A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum requirement. There is no prerequisite experience, but a new personal trainer could serve as an assistant for a period of time.

Education & Training Requirements

Personal training is a field where navigating the educational requirements is complex. Some people state they are personal trainers with no specific education or certification. However, many jobs will require someone who has, at minimum, an associate’s degree in a field like kinesiology, human anatomy, or physical education. During the course of their education, they should also learn how to plan a program from start to finish and evaluate the program as it is running.

There are numerous licenses and certificates for personal trainers. However, some of these are specific to a certain discipline. For example, there are certificates to train in yoga or in running. You should always make sure that the certificate is issued be an accredited organization. The Institute for Credentialing Excellence provides information on what certificate programs are accredited.

After someone gets hired as a personal trainer, they will work as an assistant personal trainer until they can train clients independently.

Work Experience

The work experience required for personal trainers varies greatly. Some personal trainers are self-employed and do not need any work experience. However, many gyms limit the use of their space unless you are employed or serve as a consultant to them. Brand new personal trainers who work for a gym will need to spend a period of time training under a more senior trainer. This person is able to determine when the new personal trainer can supervise clients on their own.

If you are interested in becoming a personal trainer, you should try to work in this setting as you get your education and make connections in the field. Building a portfolio of clients should start as soon as you have any necessary certificates.

Work Schedules

Fitness trainers have a huge variation in their work schedule and environment. Thus, they will often teach or train in the evening when their clients are off work. They could also work in the morning before people go to work. In addition, part-time hours are possible if someone does personal training in addition to their full-time job.

You can find some work/life balance tips in this article on Personal Trainers. Among these are taking short vacations throughout the year rather than one long vacation, turning off the email or phone when you are not at work, create templates in accordance with the persona of a client, and have someone else train you.

Career Prospects

Overall, personal trainers should experience a job growth pretty similar to the average for all professions. As people and business recognize the importance of staying active, the demand for personal trainers will grow. However, it is up to a person to make the commitment to exercise. Therefore, personal trainers can expect a lot of turnover in their clients.

The 10th percentile of personal trainers make about $38,160 and the 90th percentile make $72,980. The most common industries for personal trainers are in fitness centers, in education facilities, and in civic organizations. The median salary for those who work in fitness centers is $40,200. Overall, the states with the highest proportion of personal trainers are also some of the healthiest states in Massachusetts, Colorado, and New Hampshire.


To summarize, the amount of variation seen in a personal trainer job description is indicative of the variation in the field. There is flexibility in when they work, where they work, and what is required to practice as a personal trainer. If you love working out, helping people get healthy, and learning about the human body as a system, then pursuing a career as a personal trainer is a sound decision. Another position for you to consider in the healthcare system is that of a physician assistant.