How to Become a Personal Trainer: Your Ultimate Guide

Are you passionate about health and fitness? Do you enjoy helping others achieve their fitness goals? If so, becoming a personal trainer could be the perfect career choice for you. As the demand for fitness trainers continues to grow, so does the need for industry-leading education and certifications. 

In this ultimate guide, we will explore everything you need to know about becoming a personal trainer in Australia. From qualifications and registration to job opportunities and earning potential, we’ll cover it all. So, whether you’re just starting out or considering a career change, let’s get started on your personal training journey. 

What does it take to be a personal trainer? 

A personal trainer is a certified professional whose main role is to guide individuals or groups in exercise routines tailored to their fitness goals. They do a variety of things like conducting fitness assessments, creating personalised workout plans, demonstrating exercises, and providing motivation and feedback. They excel at inspiring commitment to health and wellbeing, and making sure clients exercise safely and effectively.

A good personal trainer possesses excellent communication skills, effectively conveying their expertise and knowledge to clients. They are adaptable and able to tailor their approach to suit individual needs and goals. Alongside their empathy, they have a genuine passion for fitness, inspiring and motivating clients towards achieving their desired results. Their patience and persistence create a supportive environment, empowering clients to push their limits and surpass expectations. With a positive and encouraging atmosphere, they foster a sense of determination and confidence, helping clients to unlock their full potential. 


What qualifications do you need to be a personal trainer? 

To become a personal trainer in Australia, you must hold a Certificate IV in Fitness, which is a nationally recognised certification. To obtain a Certificate IV in Fitness, you must complete the course and its pre-requisite units through a registered training organisation (RTO). 

Many RTOs offer flexible study options, including online courses, which allow you to study at your own pace and on your own time. Onfit, Australia’s leading online health and fitness RTO, offers engaging Certificate III in Fitness and Certificate IV in Fitness courses that combine theoretical and practical elements, giving you the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the industry. 


How long does it take to become a personal trainer? 

The time it takes to become a personal trainer in Australia varies depending on your study mode and schedule. Typically, a Certificate III in Fitness course takes between six and twelve months to complete, and a Certificate IV in Fitness course takes around 12 months to complete depending on your availability and workload. 


How to register and become insured as a personal trainer? 

It is highly recommended that you become a registered member of AUSactive or FITREC, which are the leading industry associations for fitness professionals in Australia. By affiliating yourself with these well-respected registering bodies, you’ll gain access to a wealth of resources and networking opportunities, receive pathways for insurance as a personal trainer and you’ll demonstrate your commitment to maintaining high standards and staying updated with the latest trends in the fitness industry. 

Registration involves completing an online registration application with AusActive or applying for a FITREC Pro membership online and providing evidence of your qualifications, including a valid first aid and CPR certificate (HLTAID011).

 AUSactive also requires ongoing professional development (PD) to maintain your registration. This ensures that you stay up to date with the latest industry trends and maintain your high standards of professionalism. Onfit offers a range of courses that will provide you with CECs (continuing education credits) required to maintain registration, including boxing, kettlebells, and specific fitness skills, to help you grow your career and expand your knowledge. You can find our course offering here. 

Personal trainers who are self-employed must have appropriate insurance to safeguard both themselves and their clients. This generally includes Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance. Professional Indemnity Insurance protects you against potential legal claims related to your professional advice or services that might result in a client’s injury or loss. On the other hand, Public Liability Insurance provides coverage for any injuries or damages to third parties or their property that might occur during a training session. Some insurance providers offer specific insurance packages tailored to the needs of personal trainers. It’s always best to consult with an insurance professional to ensure you have the right coverage for your specific situation. If you are employed by a fitness centre or gym, their insurance should cover you as their employee. 


How to find a personal trainer job? 

In Australia, there are abundant job opportunities available for personal trainers, allowing them to thrive in various settings such as fitness centres, gyms, and private studios. Moreover, personal trainers can explore the possibility of starting their own business and working as freelance trainers, granting them even more flexibility and control over their career. 

When it comes to finding a personal trainer job, networking plays a pivotal role. By joining professional organisations, attending fitness events and conferences, and even volunteering at fitness competitions, personal trainers can establish valuable connections within the industry. These connections not only provide opportunities for growth and collaboration but also help in building a strong professional reputation. Onfit has partnered with HealthyPeople, to provide career opportunities and resources for students and graduates. 

To further enhance your prospects in the fitness industry, consider enrolling in Onfit’s Fitness Business Mastery course. This comprehensive program equips you to build and sustain a successful career in the highly competitive fitness industry. With this invaluable knowledge, you can confidently embark on a successful career in the fitness industry. 


How much can a personal trainer earn? 

The earning potential for personal trainers in Australia varies depending on factors such as location, experience, and market demand. According to the Fitness Industry Award 2020, the minimum hourly rate for personal trainers is $27.70, with a maximum of $64.20. The median annual salary for a personal trainer, according to talent.com is $78,000, or $40 per hour. 

However, it is worth noting that many personal trainers can earn significantly more than the aforementioned range, particularly those who operate their own businesses or are employed by upscale fitness establishments. Moreover, specialising in a specific niche area, such as senior fitness or sports training, can further enhance their earning potential, opening doors to lucrative opportunities and expanding their client base. By honing their expertise in these specialised domains, personal trainers can position themselves as sought-after professionals, commanding higher rates for their services and enjoying a thriving career in the fitness industry. 


Your next steps 

In conclusion, embarking on a journey to become a personal trainer in Australia can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career path. It starts with obtaining a Certificate IV in Fitness, which equips you with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this field. By registering with a reputable fitness association like AUSactive or FITREC, you can establish yourself as a trusted professional in the industry. 

As a personal trainer, you have the potential to work in a variety of settings, such as gyms, fitness centres, or even start your own business. The flexibility and freedom that come with this career allow you to tailor your services to meet the unique needs of your clients. Moreover, by specialising in niche areas, you can enhance your earning potential and carve out a niche for yourself in the industry. 

Remember, perseverance, commitment, and a genuine passion for fitness are the keys to a rewarding and successful career as a personal trainer. So, if you’re passionate about helping others achieve their fitness goals and making a positive impact on their lives, then starting a career as a personal trainer might just be the perfect choice for you. Embrace the journey, embrace the challenges, and embark on a path that allows you to make a difference in people’s lives through the power of fitness. 

Fitness Qualifications:

SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness

SIS40221 Certificate IV In Fitness

SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness & SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness Bundle