How to Hire a Personal Trainer

Does your growing business need a personal trainer? Personal trainers work with clients who are interested in increasing their level of fitness.

Here are some tips to help you find great personal trainer candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Personal trainers searching for jobs on Indeed*


job seekers that clicked personal trainer jobs


resumes for job seekers with personal trainer experience on Indeed


personal trainer jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring a personal trainer?

  • Common wage in US: $22.56 per hour
  • Typical wages range from $7.25$57.80 per hour
  • Find more information on Indeed Salaries

*Indeed data (US) – December 2020

As of December 2020, personal trainer jobs in the US are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 19 job seekers per personal trainer job.

Why hire a personal trainer?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great personal trainer hire can help your business by:

  • Providing clients with safe and reasonable exercise programs
  • Conducting personal training sales for existing gym members
  • Advising clients about safety concerns and proper physical form
  • Preparing customized workout plans and exercise routines for each customer

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance personal trainer

Before writing a personal trainer job description or interviewing candidates, it’s important to decide if you need a full-time or freelance personal trainer (and what your budget will allow).

If you own a gym, for example, you may want to hire a full-time personal trainer on staff to meet business demands. If you’re looking for a personal trainer to help you meet your personal health and fitness goals, you may want to hire a freelance personal trainer to work with you a few times per week.

What are the different types of personal trainers?

When hiring a personal trainer, it’s important to understand the specific kind of personal trainer you need. Whether you need someone to provide services to customers at your gym or give you one-on-one fitness training, there’s a personal trainer that can get the job done. Here are some of the most common types of personal trainers to help you find one that meets your needs:

  • Group fitness instructor: Leads group fitness classes, such as pilates, yoga, fitness boot camps and spin classes.
  • Gym instructor: Instructs classes on the gym floor and teaches customers how to safely and effectively use gym equipment. 
  • One-on-one personal trainer: Develops workout plans and assists people in a one-on-one setting to improve their fitness level.
  • Performance personal trainers: Specializes in training athletes in certain sport-specific skills such as powerlifting, running, swimming or weight lifting. Typically requires a certification in strength and conditioning.  

Where to find personal trainers

To find the right personal trainer for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Ask for referrals: Reach out to your personal and professional networks and ask if they know anyone who would be a good fit for your personal assistant role.
  • Post help wanted ads: Create eye-catching help wanted signs and post them in your gym’s window to attract personal trainer candidates.
  • Search for ACE certified personal trainers: The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers certifications for personal trainers. Use their website to find personal trainers who have an ACE certification.
  • Post your job online: Try posting your personal trainer job on Indeed to find and attract quality personal trainer candidates.

Skills to look for in a great personal trainer

A great personal trainer candidate will have the following skills, education and work experience that reflects:

  • Personal training certification
  • First aid and CPR certifications
  • Experience in personal training or group fitness instruction
  • Sales experience
  • Motivational coaching style
  • Ability to promote a healthy lifestyle

Writing a personal trainer job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified personal trainer candidates. A personal trainer job description should include a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your personal trainer job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on personal trainer jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • personal trainer
  • athletic trainer
  • fitness
  • gym
  • certified athletic trainer
  • strength and conditioning
  • exercise science
  • strength conditioning
  • fitness instructor
  • wellness

Interviewing personal trainer candidates

After you’ve reviewed the resumes of your top personal trainer candidates, ask meaningful interview questions to gain insight into each candidate’s experience, personality and specialized training in order to find a focused and dedicated personal trainer. Strong candidates for personal trainer positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

  • Discussing fitness and health goals with clients that includes diet and exercise
  • Maintaining and improving client exercise programs
  • Their ability to promote and sell fitness programs and group classes to gym members

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of personal trainer interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a personal trainer

What is the difference between a personal trainer and an athletic trainer?

Personal trainers create tailored workout routines and lead people through exercises, while athletic trainers help clients and patients rehabilitate after an injury and educate people on best practices in injury prevention and management.

How long should you work with a personal trainer?

For those hiring a personal trainer on a personal basis (i.e., not hiring for a gym or other fitness business), how long you’ll need to work with a personal trainer depends on your specific needs. For example, if you recently started working out, meeting with a personal trainer two to three times per week for six to eight weeks could be a good goal. This is often enough time for your to develop positive habits and and gain enough knowledge to safely and effectively start exercising on your own. 

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021