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What Qualifications And Skills Do I Need For A Career In Fitness?

What Qualifications And Skills Do I Need For A Career In Fitness?

Tired of sitting behind a desk and working to deadlines? Want to bid overtime adieu? Wish you were out there in the sunshine improving your health? If you enjoy exercise, want more control over your hours and can’t wait to leave the office everyday, a career in fitness may be what you’re looking for. However, before making any decisions and enrolling in a fitness course, get informed on what it actually takes to become a successful PT.

Keep reading to learn about the qualifications and skills that you need to become a personal trainer.

Qualifications For A Career In Fitness

Certificate III in Fitness

This is the most basic qualification you will need to work in the industry. This qualification reflects the role of instructors who perform a range of activities and functions within the fitness industry. Depending on the specialisation chosen, this qualification provides a pathway to work as an instructor providing exercise instruction for group, aqua or gym programs, however you will not be able to conduct one-on-one personal training with clients. On this program, you’ll cover the basics of wellbeing, nutrition, health and fitness, while also learning how to communicate this knowledge to others. You’ll also learn how to manage fitness equipment, develop training programs and more.

Certificate IV in Fitness

This certificate will go into more depth, touching subjects such as planning and programing, how to motivate clients, program delivery and business planning. If you’re prepared to take the next step and are thinking of training clients one-on-one, this qualification is essential to become and register as a Personal Trainer. 

Certificate IV in Massage Therapy

This certificate provides you with a deeper understanding of the human body and its chemistry, as well as healing exercises, such as massages and manual therapy. It’s perfect if you’re willing to learn more about anatomy and physiology.

Characteristics For A Successful Career In Fitness

Live A Healthy Lifestyle

If you want to be a PT, you need to practise what you preach. Committing to a healthy lifestyle is a must, as well as making sure you exercise yourself on a regular basis. There’s no way you can motivate others if you’re not motivated yourself. If you have any unhealthy habits, such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol, it’s time to reassess! Your body should be an inspiration to your clients and is in many ways your business card.

Passionate And Energetic About Being Active

You need to be truly passionate about leading an active lifestyle, as you’ll have to push people to keep going even when they feel that nothing can motivate them to finish those squats! If you’re not passionate or energetic enough about it, your clients will notice and your credibility will suffer.

Desire To Help People

Being a personal trainer means you’re helping people help themselves. You need to leave all personal problems and judgements aside and be ready to give your everything to every client that approaches you, and be invested enough that you’ll be just as happy as the client is, when they reach their goals.


Fitness changes don’t happen overnight. Chances are most of your clients will know this too, however, things can get a little out of focus when they push themselves and see no immediate results. Be patient, keep motivating and teaching them, and explain that their hard work will definitely bring results – just not overnight!

Flexible Schedule

As a personal trainer you’ll definitely be able to walk away from the 9 to 5, but this also means you’ll most likely be doing early or late hours, or a roster if you work for a gym. As most people exercise either before or after work, you could end up waking up at 4am some days and going to bed at 11pm on others. This can also involve working some weekend days if you’re on a roster, so be open to flexibility when it comes to working hours.

A Desire To Keep Upskilling

Like any other field, you may eventually need to find a point of difference, or something to specialise in that will differentiate you from other personal trainers. There are a number of areas you could continue studying further, such as injury rehabilitation or pregnancy.

Being a personal trainer is a career path full of challenges. If you possess any of the skills mentioned above, and are willing to get some of the qualifications listed, then a successful career as a PT is definitely in the works! Being a personal trainer is both rewarding and inspiring, with many perks if you’re truly committed to health, fitness and helping others.

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