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19 Different Types of Jobs for Personal Trainers (Career Opportunities)

Personal trainer on weights lifting training with client.

When you are looking for a new job as a personal trainer, there is some information you may want to know before you make career decisions. It would be best if you were interested in knowing that there is a 13 percent estimated growth in this field over the next five years. A fitness center or gym may be the first place you think of when it comes to a job as a personal trainer.

However, there are many other areas where you can work as a personal trainer. If you are interested in finding a career as a personal trainer, this article gives you all the details you need to know about personal training careers. 

What is a Personal Trainer?

A personal trainer is someone that is a professional skilled at assisting other people with completing exercises. The individuals who work in professional training are knowledgeable in all areas of nutrition, health, physical fitness, and anatomy. Personal trainers often work in a wide variety of settings, including gyms, physical therapy offices, hospitals, online, or in private homes.

These individuals work one on one with people. During this time, they assess physical means and understand fitness goals. With these assessments, they develop personal relationships and design exercise routines to challenge and motivate.

Types of Jobs for Personal Trainers

1. Bodybuilding Coach

 Handsome muscular men exercise with weights.

A bodybuilding coach is a personal trainer that works with sports teams, athletes, individuals, and competitive bodybuilders. They help these individuals reach their goals, both fitness, and physique. A bodybuilding coach uses scientific research to design routines involving weightlifting to gain maximum effect. 

These coaches watch the progression of clients by monitoring that they adhere to the plans that are made specifically for them. As a coach, you would push your clients to work harder to see improvements. You work to keep your clients focused on staying in the best possible shape to achieve success in bodybuilding.

2. Exercise Physiologist

Young athlete getting professional help after sports injury.

An exercise physiologist is a personal trainer who analysis the vital statistics of a patient while they are active and at rest. The vital statistics they measure include heart rate, blood pressure, breath rate, metabolic rate, and the overall cardiac response. In addition, an exercise physiologist manages the overall cardiovascular response so they can create a fitness plan so the client can achieve optimal fitness. 

In this position, you also administer exercise stress tests which can determine the health of the patient. Your fitness plans also help improve strength, physical fitness, energy, and endurance. An exercise physiologist aims to help their patients recover from and avoid chronic diseases while improving cardiovascular function, flexibility, and body composition.

3. Fitness Consultant 

Professional black fitness coach gesturing hands while supporting trainee at stadium.

A fitness consultant is a personal trainer that works with groups or individuals to understand, define, create, achieve, and maintain fitness goals. These individuals gain an understanding of physical fitness health and abilities to create workout routines.  In addition to creating workout routines for clients, they also provide nutritional advice.

For example, a fitness consultant might create meal plans and provide proper guidance to prevent injury. A fitness consultant works with specific types of individuals, athletes, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with medical concerns. 

4. Fitness Director

Fitness personal trainer takes notes while woman exercising outdoor.

A fitness director is a personal trainer who manages a large scale facility or group of facilities focused on fitness activities. As a fitness director, you would hire, train, and manage others. In addition, you would buy and sell equipment, create reports, and track performance. 

Other aspects of your job include growing the client base, improving revenue and customer service, and working on member loyalty. In addition, a fitness director works on marketing and sales to generate new clients and business for the facility. 

5. Fitness Equipment Technician

A bike technician makes adjustments to the bike.

A fitness equipment technician is a personal trainer that assesses, repairs, and replaces gym equipment. In this position, you would work on equipment such as exercise bikes, treadmills, universal weightlifting machines, and elliptical machines. As a technician, you can work in office buildings, people’s homes, apartment buildings, office buildings, gyms, and the office of physical therapists. 

As a technician, you can assemble machines, disassemble machines, replace parts, check wiring, and make assessments about machines to determine if they need to be replaced. You may also maintain the equipment to ensure it is calibrated properly. Your goal is to have exercise equipment working properly. 

6. Fitness Manager 

A friendly gym manager greets his client.A fitness manager is a personal trainer who deals with the everyday maintenance and operation of a fitness facility. This could include a hotel at a gym, resort gym, fitness center in a business, or a private gym. Part of your responsibilities includes hiring and training staff.

Once hired, you will manage the team you hire, many of which will be personal trainers. You decide what equipment to buy, sell, and maintain. You also create and plan schedules, create an action plan for growth, deal with a crisis, and manage all situations.

You may also have to give tours of the gym to clients. 

7. Group Exercise Instructor

Female fitness instructor in late 20's leading group of young men and women in warmup stretching.

A group exercise instructor is a personal trainer that leads group exercise classes. As a group exercise instructor, you create and teach the group classes. These classes include aerobic and cardiovascular exercises, muscle conditioning, and stretching.

Many of these types of classes play music, and the movements are timed to the music. You can choose the music and the choreography. To be a group exercise instructor, you must be on time and prepared.

It would be best if you were educated and maintain your certifications. You will have a group of people to motivate with each new class. You bring the energy to the class and keep it moving. 

8. Health Coach

Health coach office with vegetables and tape measure.

A health coach is a personal trainer that works directly with clients. In this role, you assess, evaluate, and improve the health of your clients. As a health coach, you conduct evaluations to determine the health of an individual.

Then, you make recommendations to your client and encourage them to incorporate healthy choices and behaviors into their everyday lives. Next, you will design and implement a personalized health plan for each one of your clients. You will also conduct all follow-up meetings with your clients to help them stay on track to meet all of their goals.

9. Injury Prevention Specialist

Female physiotherapist working examining treating injured leg of patient.

An injury prevention specialist is a personal trainer that is the expert in the best ways to perform exercise movements. The best way equals a safe and effective way to do the movements and use the equipment. An injury prevention specialist has specialized knowledge of first aid, exercise physiology, and kinesiology.

These individuals help the client use free weights and weight machines correctly. You also show people how to use other equipment like exercise bikes and treadmills. You are focused on helping your clients avoid injury and find the most benefit from the exercise. 

10. Lifeguard

Rear view of male lifeguard with emergency equipment in red uniform watching swimming pool.

A lifeguard can be a personal trainer that spends the summer or warm months supervising swimmers and swimming activities. These activities can occur at a pond, lake, beach, pool, or some other aquatic facility. When you are a lifeguard, your job is to keep people safe while they are in the water.

You enforce safety procedures and rules. You also assess the water conditions to determine the safety or if it poses any danger to swimmers. Each water type has different requirements.

As a lifeguard, you use knowledge of life-saving techniques like first aid and CPR to prevent injury and determine when there is someone in distress. 

11. Nutrition Assistant

Closeup shot of cropped hand of nutritionist explaining nutrition facts label to a client.

A nutrition assistant is a personal trainer that often helps dietitians at healthcare facilities. In this role, you ensure that the dietitians provide the best nutrition advice for their patients. In addition, they help understand the nutritional needs of patients, determine any risk factors, plan menus, and cook meals.

In this role, you use your expertise about nutrition, food, and metabolic functions to help clients eat properly to meet their goals. 

12. Outdoor Boot Camp Trainer

Instructor running fitness boot camp with women.

An outdoor boot camp trainer is a personal trainer responsible for leading functional fitness classes. These classes use full body exercises that utilize all joints to simulate everyday life movements during exercise. The intention of these trainers is to incorporate bursts of intense activity along with the light activity.

When you are in this role, you must master interval training and jump training. You must also be an expert in speed training, squatting, lunges, planks, and jumping jacks. As this type of trainer, you have to motivate and encourage your clients.

In most cases, you will be training a group of people, and you want to encourage teamwork and cooperation.

13. Personal Trainer

Workout with personal trainer doing low plank.

In this role, you can be a personal trainer. As a certified personal trainer, you are an exercise and fitness, training expert. You use your experience and knowledge to guide your clients toward their fitness and health goals.

In addition, you will assess the current physical condition of the client to help create nutrition and exercise plans in support of their goals. 

14. Physical Education Teacher 

Group of children in gym class.

A physical education teacher is a personal trainer that teaches physical education, or PE, in a school environment. This environment may be an elementary, middle, or high school as a physical education teacher leads physical activity in a classroom structure. In addition, they educate students in various activities involving sports, fair play, nutrition, and exercise.  

A physical education teacher helps students reach their goals in physical fitness that are set by federal and state governments. As a physical education teacher, you want to enjoy an active lifestyle. In addition, you should be able to communicate the concepts of health and nutrition to students of various ages.

15. Physical Therapist

Physical therapis helping senior woman with leg exercises.

A physical therapist is an individual that is an expert in the human body. In this position, you understand the way the body moves and functions. You have patients, and you help them as they recover from surgery, injuries, and disease.

First, a physical therapist examines patients to gain an understanding of their history and rehabilitation goals. Then, you design and put treatment plans into motion. These plans help reduce pain while increasing joint and muscle health in an effort to prevent further injury.

A physical therapist continues to evaluate and record the progress of each patient. As a physical therapist, you help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage pain. You play an important role in preventive care, rehabilitation, and treatment.

In addition, you can help patients with chronic illnesses, conditions, or injuries.

16. Physical Therapist Assistant 

A female physical therapist assistant holding a male patient's arm and stretching.

A physical therapist assistant is a personal trainer that helps physical therapists when they are directing the treatment of patients as they recover from injuries or surgeries. The role of this position is to help clients regain movement and function in their muscles and limbs. You will help patients perform their exercises and treat them with massages and adjustments.

In addition, you can help them stick to their care plan. As a physical therapy assistant, you clean, prepare equipment, schedule appointments, and answer phones that come into the physical therapy office. In this role, you assist with implementing patient programs designed by the physical therapist, data collection, and making appropriate judgments.

You may also modify interventions in the plan of care that was created and participate in discharge planning and follow-up care. You also document the care that was provided to the patient.

17. Sports Coach

Teenage boys listen to their sports trainer on football field.

A sports coach is a personal trainer that helps youth sports or adult sports by guiding and instructing them. A sports coach focuses on the regulations and rules of a particular sport. As a sports coach, you teach techniques and provide a strategy to help the sports team excel in a particular sport.

Coaches lead training and practice sessions to strengthen the team’s skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Coaches also help players with fair play and integrity.  As a coach, you create a physically and emotionally safe environment.

It would be best if you promoted social benefits and psychological and physical encouragement for participation. As a coach, you plan, teach, assess, and adapt to quality sports practices for competition.

18. Sports Writer

Caucasian woman woman working in her office and trying to write while suffering from writer's block.

A sports writer is someone that is a professional journalist and writer who reports on news that is sports related. In this role, you provide information, opinions, and commentary in newspapers, magazines, websites, and blogs. As a sportswriter, you can specialize in writing about one particular sport or several sports.

A sports writer focuses on the sports news that is within a particular geographical region. As a sportswriter, you are a journalist who delivers informative, entertaining, and engaging content related to everything in the sports industry. When you are in this role, writing the best content involves traveling to games, networking with sources, and researching current events within the industry.

19. Yoga Instructor

A man teaching a multi-ethnic yoga class in a gym studio leading a meditation.

As a yoga instructor, you will lead individuals and classes through regular yoga practice. In this role, you provide instruction on the various aspects of yoga. These include breathing exercises, yoga, stretching postures, relaxation, and meditation techniques.

As a yoga instructor, you use your expertise in yoga history, philosophy, and safe practice to teach people of all ages and fitness levels. You become that helps to guide students to connect to their breath while moving them through a series of mental and physical exercises.