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Gym Instructor, Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer: What’s the difference?

Two women working out together
When entering the Health and Fitness industry, you’ll probably hear a variety of job titles thrown around and the ones you’ll hear the most are Gym Instructor, Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer.

While all three of these career options sound similar, they are actually very different.

Whether you’re looking to gain a Fitness Instructor qualification, or looking to apply for Gym Instructor jobs, these are both essentially the same thing. Fitness Instructor and Gym Instructor are simply two ways of saying the same role; it just depends on what the person in question prefers to be called. A personal trainer on the other hand is much different.

Here at The Training Room, we provide Personal Training courses. If you’d like to know how to become a Fitness Instructor, there are plenty of options out there - however, we offer only a Personal Training certification as becoming a Personal Trainer provides you with much more than if you train as a Fitness Instructor (or Gym Instructor).

So, if you’re debating whether to become a Fitness Instructor, Gym Instructor or Personal Trainer, read below to find out more.

Working as a Gym Instructor or Fitness Instructor. What clients can they have?

When you become a Gym or Fitness instructor, you’ll typically be trained to your Level 2 Certificate and employed at either a gym, leisure centre or health club.

Due to the fact that those working as gym instructors are only trained to level 2, they aren’t able to work with specific members of the public, and clients with certain medical problems. This is because the training at this certificate level doesn’t provide enough knowledge to be able to deal with these groups in an efficient manner.

Therefore, many that opt to become a Gym Instructor will spend more time ‘working the floor’. They tend more to talk to members of the public and offer advice and assistance and, dependent on the facility in which they work, may be able to show people how to use certain pieces of equipment and create a basic programme based on the person's goals. If qualified, they may also cover certain group exercise classes. 

An upside to this is that there are more required qualifications to be a Personal Trainer compared to Gym or Fitness Instructor. However, for the most part, a Fitness Instructor cannot work one-on-one with the public or provide programmes.

Alongside this, the job of a Fitness Instructor can also involve carrying out basic admin duties, and are required to clean equipment within the gym.

Working as a Personal Trainer

When working as a Personal Trainer, you’ll be at a more advanced level than those working as a Fitness Instructor as you’ll be trained to level 3. It’s also worth noting that those who become Fitness Instructors often train and advance to being personal trainers.

Most Personal Trainers are self-employed, with almost two-thirds of those within the sector becoming their own boss. With this, many leisure centres, health clubs and gyms will have propositions they give to self-employed staff where they’ll take a percentage of what they earn in order for the trainer to use the establishment’s facilities to train their clients.

Being a qualified Personal Trainer means you can provide a lot more help and assistance to people than a Fitness Instructor could. Being a level 3 qualified Personal Trainer means you can conduct fitness tests and advise people on weight management, injury prevention, nutrition and rehabilitation.

Due to this, you’ll be in a place to best advise your client on what they require to help them meet their needs and goals. Whether that be losing weight, toning or building muscle, you’ll be able to help through things such as a trainer regime and a nutrition/diet plan; helping them achieve everything they want to successfully, efficiently and safely.

The minimum qualification for this is the Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training. There is further learning you can complete after this, including CPDs and Level 4 qualifications. These will give you a broader knowledge of the industry, enabling you to provide clients with the best advice there is.

To learn more about the benefits and opportunities of a career in the health and fitness industry, find out more below.

Find out more here

Global Administrator | 23/11/2020 17:00:00

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