The Ministry of Defence predict that 96% of men and women leaving the Forces will find a new job within 6 months, despite the current unemployment rate of 120,000 veterans in the UK.
If can be difficult adjusting to life back on ‘civvy street’ and even harder to get back into a career without up-to-date skills and qualifications, particularly if you’ve spent years serving in the forces.
With more people than ever before choosing to upskill, reskill and even switch careers completely the job market is busier than ever, meaning you’ll need a strong CV to attract the recruiter or hiring manager’s eye and land that all important interview.
Many ex-military personnel turn to a career in fitness after leaving the forces, building upon the skills and experiences learned through life in the British Army, Navy, Air Force or Royal Marines.
Many ex-service people report feeling a huge sense of loss after leaving the military, often missing the camaraderie, bonds and teamwork formed in service.
Although this is hard to replicate in the ‘real world’, it’s reported that many of the ex-service people found the transition to a career as a Personal Trainer most satisfying as it incorporates those feelings of support and working together as a team (especially during military style boot camp training).
Becoming a Personal Trainer
also opens up a few more opportunities as you’ll be able to choose between working for a gym, fitness centre or health club, or going it alone and becoming a freelance Personal Trainer instead.
Whatever you decide, you’ll need to get yourself qualified first. Don’t forget, you can use your Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs) to pay for part or all of your diploma!
Tell me more about Enhanced Learning Credits
The Ministry Of Defence set up the ELC scheme back in 2000. Their aim was to help ex-servicemen and women transition back into civilian life and into a new career as easily and smoothly as possible. Once you’ve left the forces, you’ll need updated skills and qualifications to begin working in your chosen sector, but of course this means paying fees for your education. To help you out, The MOD have set up a fund to pay either all or part of your course costs. Sadly 76% of ex-service men and women don’t use their ELC entitlement; don’t let yours go to waste!
If you have served in the Forces for a minimum of four years since 2000, you’ll be entitled to Enhanced Learning Credits. These are offered in two tiers (higher and lower) and will depend on your total length of service.
Note: If you haven’t served the minimum of four years as you were Wounded, Injured or Sick (WIS) or medically discharged, it’s worth checking as you may still be eligible to claim ELCs. Learn more about Enhanced Learning Credits here
Becoming a Personal Trainer
If you’re keen to use the skills gained whilst serving in the Forces to help other people live healthier lives, becoming a Personal Trainer could be the perfect career move for you!
To work as a Personal Trainer in the UK, you’ll need to have a Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training. This course involves studying for two separate certificates:
1. Level 2 Fitness Instructor Certification
This course teaches you the fundamental skills needed for a career in the fitness industry. Whilst studying this course, you’ll cover the following modules:
- Health and safety in a fitness environment
- Understanding human anatomy
- The principles of fitness, health and exercise
- How to plan and instruct gym-based exercise
- How to support clients
Once you’ve gained this certificate, you’ll be able to continue your journey and earn your Level 3 Personal Training Certificate (if you want to train your own clients) or begin working in a gym as a Fitness Instructor (if you want to gain a little more experience and confidence working in the health and fitness industry first). Learn more about becoming a fitness instructor
2. Level 3 Personal Trainer Certification
Here at The Training Room, we educate all our health and fitness students to a Level 3 as standard. So, once you’ve completed the Level 2 Fitness Instructor certificate as part of the Diploma, you’ll go straight on to gain your Level 3 certificate in Personal Training.
You’ll cover the following modules during the Level 3 course:
- Health, safety and welfare within a fitness environment
- Anatomy and physiology for exercise
- Principles of exercise, fitness and health
- Planning gym-based exercise
- Instructing gym-based exercise
- Client support
Once graduated, these two certificates combine to become an industry recognised Diploma.
Learn more about Personal Trainer Qualifications
One of the great things about having a career in fitness is the ever-changing nature of the growing industry. You’ll certainly be kept on your toes with the changing trends, new discoveries and latest fitness equipment. Staying on-top of your game is great for a career after the Forces as you’ll be used to the demands of life in the military.
A career as a Personal Trainer could see initially earning around £19,000 a year
in the UK, however, this can be bumped up drastically. How, you ask? Well, completing additional training through CPD courses
in bootcamp workshops, gym-based boxing and kettlebell training will allow you to gain more clients and boost your income.
Just look at Fabrice Le Physique
, the London-based Personal Trainer who earns £1,000 an hour!
When it comes to a career in the health industry, the more hours you put in, the more you’ll get out and if there’s one thing ex-military personnel are used to, it’s hard work!
[Find out how The Training Room can support ex-service people into a new career here]