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  1. #1
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    Getting a personal training job w/ no experience...

    I am about 50% done with my NASM studying...but i have zero experience with this field.

    I've worked for UPS 5 years and I've driven a forklift at another place for over a year...still employed at both. Can't wait to quit the forklift job i HATE it...will keep the UPS job.

    I'm wondering how easy it is to get hired once you get the NASM certification. Will most gyms accept internships. I was also thinking i could post here or on the NASM facebook page to see if there was a certified trainer in my area that would more or less take me under there wing....let me observe some of their sessions and hopefully i could log that as experience.

    Not exactly sure how i would list that on my resume or if i would have to simply consider it a referral.

    I don't interview well (my gf is in HR and has done interviews so she's helping me w/ pointers), and i'm not a very outgoing personality so i want a strong resume and I'm trying to make sure i know the material backwards and forwards.
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  2. #2
    Registered User jando's Avatar
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    You should be able to get hired by Gold's, 24 hour fitness or some type of big box gym as a Level 1 trainer. Eventually at these places you can move up after a few months if you get a few clients and/more more certifications.

    At most of these places full time the pay can be halfway decent after you've moved up a level or two as in 40 - 60k full time.

    I'd work on your social skills because this is a people driven business and you have gotta be likeable if you hope to make a penny in this industry.
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  3. #3
    Party Enthusiast HollisterHB's Avatar
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    I had no experience and got hired at a commercial gym. I did have a bachelors of science but the other kid they hired with me only had a CPT.

    Get ready to work for next to nothing pay for the next few months though especially at a commercial gym. I got off to a faster start than most and still making **** for pay. I know in a couple months I'll be fine but it pretty much blows right now.
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    Originally Posted by HollisterHB View Post
    I had no experience and got hired at a commercial gym. I did have a bachelors of science but the other kid they hired with me only had a CPT.

    Get ready to work for next to nothing pay for the next few months though especially at a commercial gym. I got off to a faster start than most and still making **** for pay. I know in a couple months I'll be fine but it pretty much blows right now.
    please define the **** pay
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  5. #5
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HollisterHB View Post
    I had no experience and got hired at a commercial gym. I did have a bachelors of science but the other kid they hired with me only had a CPT.

    Get ready to work for next to nothing pay for the next few months though especially at a commercial gym. I got off to a faster start than most and still making **** for pay. I know in a couple months I'll be fine but it pretty much blows right now.
    yeah whats **** pay...i have two part time jobs both making a little over $12 per hour

    one job is 30 hrs a week and i hate it, everything about it and personal training will replace it....

    the other job is ups about 20 hrs, i get better benefits than just about everyone in the world and i don't pay a dime for them. I will keep that

    I make roughly 1100 or so a month at the 30hr per week job.
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  6. #6
    In The Gym Sauce-head's Avatar
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    The pay is going to vary mostly based on experience and location from what I've read and heard from other's who are experienced in the field. So if your in a small town, you likely won't make nearly as much compared to living in one of the bigger cities, esp one's that are driven to look a certain way (NY, LA etc).

    I'm in the same boat as you, about to take my NASM test here in a couple weeks, have a job that pays pretty well, and I'm going to use the PT gig as supplemental income and see if I can eventually transition to it full time.

    I think your idea of going on the NASM Facebook site is a good one to network. Also get on www.linkedin.com if your not there already. They have a great NASM community there. Basically as others have said, this is a marketing/networking driven business. If you can't sell yourself, your going to struggle.

    I have a sales, communications, public relations background, I think its going to help me tremendously in this industry.





    SH
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  7. #7
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sauce-head View Post
    The pay is going to vary mostly based on experience and location from what I've read and heard from other's who are experienced in the field. So if your in a small town, you likely won't make nearly as much compared to living in one of the bigger cities, esp one's that are driven to look a certain way (NY, LA etc).

    I'm in the same boat as you, about to take my NASM test here in a couple weeks, have a job that pays pretty well, and I'm going to use the PT gig as supplemental income and see if I can eventually transition to it full time.

    I think your idea of going on the NASM Facebook site is a good one to network. Also get on www.linkedin.com if your not there already. They have a great NASM community there. Basically as others have said, this is a marketing/networking driven business. If you can't sell yourself, your going to struggle.

    I have a sales, communications, public relations background, I think its going to help me tremendously in this industry.





    SH
    ive heard of linkedin but never been on it....how does it work?
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by jando View Post

    I'd work on your social skills because this is a people driven business and you have gotta be likeable if you hope to make a penny in this industry.
    This. I work at a commercial gym, with ten thousands of members combined with the clubs. They asked all the members what they found to be most important with a PT Outcome; 70% personality, 30% skill
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  9. #9
    ACE CERTIFIED BC02's Avatar
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    The trainers at the 24 hr fit i go to make about 25k a yr (or at least the three main ones that i see there all the time)
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  10. #10
    YEAH BUDDAY! DEUCE518's Avatar
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    I got cert'd in ACE, applied at Gold's in February and got hired three weeks ago. I have one client at the moment (5:30am MWF) and two other potentials I'm going to consult later this week.

    I hear that if you're interested in being an unpaid intern it is somewhat simple; just take a day and travel to your local gyms and offer yourself up to help around the gym and to shadow trainers. Make sure to mention you're eager to get started. It's free labor, the gym owner or manager would be a moron not to accept your offer.

    I'm not experienced by any means, but I feel I'm catching on quickly. The Fitness Director at the Gold's I work at kinda looks over to see how I'm doing when I go through orientations and he said to me today I'm doing great and if I listen to him I will go far.

    I try to look at people in the eye as much as possible, smile and sound excited to be there for them even if I'm not. This helps because I'm told I look intimidating at first (buzzcut, don't really smile even if I'm happy unless I'm working with a potential client).
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  11. #11
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    yeah, i have the buzzcut look....

    i used to have a beard too like jax from sons of anarchy....a girl friend of mine i met at the gym a while back told me i looked like a criminal lol and was intimidating (after i had shaved)

    but yeah that will be my biggest challenge is developing a people person type personality.

    My gym is right down the street and would be ideal....should i just ask during my workout? ask a trainer or ask the general manager? Theres a little info on each trainer on the walls and only one is NASM certified. I'd prefer to shadow him seeing as he will be the one whose been through exactly what i'm going through.

    I feel kind've weird cause i've been at the gym like two years and i really don't conversate with people aside from "hey" and now its like i'm asking these people to help push my career in a new direction....its a rather large favor to ask
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  12. #12
    YEAH BUDDAY! DEUCE518's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EdgarAllanPoe View Post
    yeah, i have the buzzcut look....

    i used to have a beard too like jax from sons of anarchy....a girl friend of mine i met at the gym a while back told me i looked like a criminal lol and was intimidating (after i had shaved)

    but yeah that will be my biggest challenge is developing a people person type personality.

    My gym is right down the street and would be ideal....should i just ask during my workout? ask a trainer or ask the general manager? Theres a little info on each trainer on the walls and only one is NASM certified. I'd prefer to shadow him seeing as he will be the one whose been through exactly what i'm going through.

    I feel kind've weird cause i've been at the gym like two years and i really don't conversate with people aside from "hey" and now its like i'm asking these people to help push my career in a new direction....its a rather large favor to ask
    I mean it's up to you; you could ask to speak with the manager post or preworkout as long as you dont look like me (sweats covered in paint, raggy shirt, etc), but if I were in your shoes I'd come in at a different time sort of dressed up, maybe call ahead and ask to speak with the manager to see if you could come in to talk about it and to see if they're even interested at all. Appearance is everything in my opinion.

    As far as which trainer to shadow, it's probably best to shadow whoever is the most successful (most clients, most experience) but it's also important to shadow everyone just so you can observe the variety of training protocols involved.

    For example, one of the trainers at my gym is a former Army Ranger and is also a Hell's Angel, all he does is kettlebell and TRX training. He's all business and I rarely see him joke around with clients, yet he's quite successful. The female IFBB trainer on our staff loves to shoot the **** with clients but she is still strict with her programs. Both are effective and you will eventually learn your own way.

    I don't think it's asking a lot of them to help you further your career, you're offering free labor (if they ask you to do anything for them: clean, straighten out plates, etc) otherwise you're just a person standing to the side and observing trainer-client relations during a session. Just stress to whomever you speak with that you're eager to learn and that you really want to find out what it takes to be successful.

    If they decline just visit as many gyms as possible even if it is a drive (the Gold's I'm employed at is a half hour drive for me).
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by EdgarAllanPoe View Post
    I am about 50% done with my NASM studying...but i have zero experience with this field.

    I've worked for UPS 5 years and I've driven a forklift at another place for over a year...still employed at both. Can't wait to quit the forklift job i HATE it...will keep the UPS job.

    I'm wondering how easy it is to get hired once you get the NASM certification. Will most gyms accept internships. I was also thinking i could post here or on the NASM facebook page to see if there was a certified trainer in my area that would more or less take me under there wing....let me observe some of their sessions and hopefully i could log that as experience.

    Not exactly sure how i would list that on my resume or if i would have to simply consider it a referral.

    I don't interview well (my gf is in HR and has done interviews so she's helping me w/ pointers), and i'm not a very outgoing personality so i want a strong resume and I'm trying to make sure i know the material backwards and forwards.
    I can only speak for North Jersey area.. this is a huge gym market and I know for a fact that gyms here are in need of trainers. So getting hired is easy.

    I started out at Bally with no cert. I sold really well in my first few months, and got grabbed by a better paying company EFT (Retro) to manage training in a gym in a wealthy area.

    Here is my take on the job: to go far in this industry, it's not about being a good trainer, it's about being good at sales. At the manager job I was pulling in 10k/month in commissions and bonuses.. but I was doing much better than all the other managers. You have to be really good at selling training. Training is about dealing with a lot of people and being very social.

    Trainers that don't sell training at a company like Bally, don't even make 2k/month. They train you but from what I see, they aren't very good at it.

    On the other hand, you can get a very expensive/unique cert like kettle bell or trx, or nutrition. By doing this you can get hired at a very high-class gym that puts trainers on salary. I think these jobs are hard to get into.. luckily I know the managers of the ones here. :P

    Or you can work at a gym where they find you clients and pay you by the hour. It usually falls around 20-30 dollars/hrs these days. Not like the old days, gyms cut back. So you have to put in a lot of hours to make like 3-4k/month.
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  14. #14
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    i make 12 bucks an hour doing what i do...so 20/30 would be a huge upgrade as far as im concerned
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    Originally Posted by EdgarAllanPoe View Post
    i make 12 bucks an hour doing what i do...so 20/30 would be a huge upgrade as far as im concerned
    It really depends. Some trainers make minimum wage but also get paid 1/3 commission on the rate paid by the client.

    At retro, you need a degree or a NASM cert to get $18/hr but then you have to do really well to get paybump from there.

    At bally you can make like 30+ per hour but only if you sell high level training -- not easy since bally generally attracts low-income customers.
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  16. #16
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    ideally for me, i'd just start at a gym where they give me clients and then i'd like to find maybe some weekend work or other work independently through FB friends, craigslist, etc

    and I will have the NASM certification before applying anywhere
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    Registered User Ifrit's Avatar
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    Too bad you don't live in Tennessee since I've been looking for the right personal trainer to hire for 6 months "at least". All of the potential hires so far have told me what they want from me "haha big mistake" as far as pay and what they want in a gym. I'm looking for someone like me when I started. I was just happy to be able to do what I love, I wanted to learn, and I didn't expect to make $60.00 an hour right away. What I look for in an interview is passion. I can tell when someone is genuinely passionate and that wins over anything else for a personal trainer during an interview. A personal trainer with marketing and computer skills would be nice too.
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    I would like to be updated with your progress.
    I recently got NCSF certified and I applied in person to my University gym and I applied to Bally's and 24 hour fitness online. I have notn been hired by any of them and this was about a month ago.
    I am pursuing a Biology degree and I worked (no pay) at a baseball specific training facility and still no luck.
    I was just thinking that if I train somebody I know for a while (still no pay), should I put it on my resume as a client.
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  19. #19
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Machuka View Post
    I was just thinking that if I train somebody I know for a while (still no pay), should I put it on my resume as a client.
    I was thinking of this as well....i may use my gf (not sure if thats allowed).....but as a REFERRAL. Maybe post on craigslist offering free training for two people to help enhance your portfolio. Obviously as a trade off for free training, these people will be used as a referral and plujs u get the experience. People can't really bitch if they're getting something for free
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  20. #20
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ifrit View Post
    Too bad you don't live in Tennessee since I've been looking for the right personal trainer to hire for 6 months "at least". All of the potential hires so far have told me what they want from me "haha big mistake" as far as pay and what they want in a gym. I'm looking for someone like me when I started. I was just happy to be able to do what I love, I wanted to learn, and I didn't expect to make $60.00 an hour right away. What I look for in an interview is passion. I can tell when someone is genuinely passionate and that wins over anything else for a personal trainer during an interview. A personal trainer with marketing and computer skills would be nice too.
    well i'm actually under the assumption the i'm going to be making a good bit moer than the 12.50 (50c raise last week) i make at forklift job and i make roughly the same at UPS (but free health care benefits). So even if its 18 at a minimum thats better than what i have now. I'm EXPECTING an upgrade even if 18 would be the lower wage salary for this profession.

    I'm also thinking if i do some side independent work i can make more money that way as well, it just wouldn't be as reliable of an income obviously.

    I have no marketing experience (altho i do believe i come up with good ideas), what computer skills would be required in personal training...at your facility for example.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by EdgarAllanPoe View Post
    ive heard of linkedin but never been on it....how does it work?

    Linkedin is a professional networking site for all industries of the workforce. Its a great way to get the inside track on tons of jobs, meet other in your industry, network and ultimately get hired.

    Its pretty simple, get on the site, fill out the profile and then start adding people you know and people you WANT TO KNOW (haha) to get you hook ups for jobs. They also have group pages for literally everything on there from your fav sports team, to fraterities, outside groups your involved in and a really good NASM page.



    SH
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  22. #22
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sauce-head View Post
    Linkedin is a professional networking site for all industries of the workforce. Its a great way to get the inside track on tons of jobs, meet other in your industry, network and ultimately get hired.

    Its pretty simple, get on the site, fill out the profile and then start adding people you know and people you WANT TO KNOW (haha) to get you hook ups for jobs. They also have group pages for literally everything on there from your fav sports team, to fraterities, outside groups your involved in and a really good NASM page.



    SH

    Did you signup "looking for work"....I'm employed but not in the profession i want to be
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  23. #23
    YEAH BUDDAY! DEUCE518's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EdgarAllanPoe View Post
    I was thinking of this as well....i may use my gf (not sure if thats allowed).....but as a REFERRAL. Maybe post on craigslist offering free training for two people to help enhance your portfolio. Obviously as a trade off for free training, these people will be used as a referral and plujs u get the experience. People can't really bitch if they're getting something for free

    I think this should definitely be put on a resume. Anything that's related to the job you're aiming to get should be on the resume. Don't specify it was your girlfriend but just say you helped someone achieve fitness and health goals through amateur personal training.

    Let me know how this goes dude. I really think your best shot is to ask if you can shadow/be an intern for a local gym. That way if they lose a trainer you should be at the top of their list for new hires. If they're good with staff then you could at least put it on your resume and use the facility manager/director/other trainers as references, not to mention some much needed experience. They may even freeze your billing since you'll be working for free and compensate you with a free gym membership. It's a small chance but that would be icing on the cake.
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    Registered User mttcttrll's Avatar
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    A different view on wages...

    Originally Posted by DEUCE518 View Post
    I think this should definitely be put on a resume. Anything that's related to the job you're aiming to get should be on the resume. Don't specify it was your girlfriend but just say you helped someone achieve fitness and health goals through amateur personal training.

    Let me know how this goes dude. I really think your best shot is to ask if you can shadow/be an intern for a local gym. That way if they lose a trainer you should be at the top of their list for new hires. If they're good with staff then you could at least put it on your resume and use the facility manager/director/other trainers as references, not to mention some much needed experience. They may even freeze your billing since you'll be working for free and compensate you with a free gym membership. It's a small chance but that would be icing on the cake.
    First, I definitely think that's a cool idea.

    Second, I PT at a YMCA, which has an oldschool gym downstairs. I get 12/hr, but it's per hour i'm there, not how many clients I train (cause I sit at a desk "supervising"). So I get a free gym membership, and if I don't have any clients, I can do my own workout (aka get paid to workout). But for 12/hour, I kinda expect that.
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    Originally Posted by mttcttrll View Post
    first, i definitely think that's a cool idea.

    Second, i pt at a ymca, which has an oldschool gym downstairs. I get 12/hr, but it's per hour i'm there, not how many clients i train (cause i sit at a desk "supervising"). So i get a free gym membership, and if i don't have any clients, i can do my own workout (aka get paid to workout). But for 12/hour, i kinda expect that.
    thats more then most trainers make
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  26. #26
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    i figured certified trainers would make a good bit more than 12 per hour on average
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    Originally Posted by edgarallanpoe View Post
    i figured certified trainers would make a good bit more than 12 per hour on average
    not really, especially with all the unpaid work they do
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    Originally Posted by EdgarAllanPoe View Post
    i figured certified trainers would make a good bit more than 12 per hour on average
    If you're really are good at selling yourself and retaining clients then you can make a good living (~75k a year).

    The Fitness Director at my gym told me he processes ~40k for 7 trainers. The trainer that does the most session there earns $1500 a week.
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