How To Become A Personal Trainer In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how they can become personal trainers in Australia.


Are you a body enthusiast and a fitness freak who lives in Australia? If so, you should consider a career as a personal trainer.


With health and hygiene taking centre stage, the demand for special facilities encouraging a healthy lifestyle has increased exponentially.


For the same reason, an increasing number of people are pursuing professions in health and fitness. If you are interested in health and wellness, personal training can be a rewarding career for you.


But do you know how to become a personal trainer in Australia? Don't worry; we have your back in this; scroll down to learn everything you need to know to become a personal trainer, including qualifications, certifications, courses, salary, and more.



1. What Does A Personal Trainer Do?


A personal trainer works with clients to achieve their health and fitness goals through exercise, movement, dieting and nutrition control, and lifestyle changes. Their clients could be from any age range, from children to the elderly. It could also be within a gym or on their own as an independent personal trainer.


You could lead group exercise and fitness classes in a gym and take them outdoors for other physical activities. They can also be self-employed by working with their clients one-on-one by preparing a proper workout and diet plan according to their needs and lifestyle.


It is essential to create personalised exercises, fitness plans and diets for the patients. Personal trainers must use their knowledge to do this.


However, it is also important to remember that the goals must be achievable and that the program you develop for your client is per those goals.



2. Major Duties and Tasks of a Personal Trainer


  • Must understand the client's goals and needs.

  • Evaluate the health and fitness of the client.

  • Set goals that are realistic and achievable.

  • Develop an appropriate fitness and diet plan.

  • Explain the plan in an easily understandable way.

  • Help clients through the fitness plan by adequately guiding them.

  • Monitor the progress at every stage and modify the program according to it. Adjust the plan according to the health of the client.

  • Research health and fitness and stay up-to-date on the latest methods.

  • Provide detailed feedback to the clients on their progress.



3. Skills Needed To Become A Good Personal Trainer


The following are the skills needed to become a personal trainer:


  • Patience: Gaining fitness can be long, depending on the client's health. You need to stay patient throughout the program.


  • Communication skills: You must communicate your ideas effectively with your clients for the best result.


  • Adaptable: You should be able to adjust and adapt to clients of all backgrounds. It is also essential to change the program according to the progress. If it is too hectic for your client, the chance of a potential injury is very high.


  • Organisation: You will deal with a lot of data from different clients. If you are not well organised, you might mix up other clients' data, which would cause many problems.


  • Integrity: Never compromise on client confidentiality. The details they share with you are confidential, and you should not share them with anyone outside work.


  • Accountability: You should be accountable for your work. The clients are putting their trust in you.



4. What Qualifications Do I Need To Be a Personal Trainer?


You need a Certificate IV in Fitness to become a Personal Trainer in Australia. Alternatively, you may work with a human movement or exercise science degree in this profession.


Here are the steps to qualify for this role:


  • Be over 17 years of age.

  • Complete a Certificate III in Fitness 

  • Advance your learning with a Certificate IV in Fitness. It will equip you with specialist knowledge as a Personal Trainer and prepare you for entry-level positions within the fitness industry. Another option is to complete a Complete Personal Trainer qualification with the necessary units from both qualifications.

  • Once qualified, gain a professional membership with Physical Activity Australia AUSactive, and FITREC.

  • Have a current Working with Children check.

  • Ensure you have professional indemnity, product liability, and public liability insurance.



5. Steps To Become A Personal Trainer In Australia


Becoming a personal trainer demands a lot of work. Here are the things that you have to do to become a fitness/personal trainer:



Step 1: Join A Personal Trainer Course


No matter how many years of experience you have in Gym training, you need a certificate to become a personal trainer. And for that, the first step is to join a personal trainer course, online or offline. After that, you should get a certificate III or IV in fitness.


  • Certificate III Fitness: If you plan to work in a gym or fitness centre, a certificate III for fitness would be perfect. It is one of the best online personal training courses Australia provides in fitness if you want to become a gym instructor or a group exercise instructor. With this certificate alone, you will be able to find entry-level jobs. However, you will need to earn a certificate IV in fitness to become a personal trainer.


  • Certificate IV Fitness: Earning this certificate will qualify you to work as a personal trainer in Australia. While certificate III gives you the basic knowledge in the field, this course trains you in skills needed to have a steady and long career as a personal trainer. You should be 16 years and above and be a permanent Australian resident to apply for this certificate. To apply for this course, you must also hold a current first aid and CPR certificate.


  • Complete Personal Trainer: This is a popular personal trainer course in Australia. You don't need any prior certifications to join this course as it includes both Certificate III and IV in fitness. So, it starts from the fundamentals and then covers the necessary knowledge and details for you to begin working as a personal trainer.


  • Personal Trainer Course TAFE: The Technical and Further Education colleges (TAFE) are an excellent opportunity to fulfil your dream of becoming a personal trainer. Personal Trainer Course offers certificate III and Certificate IV in fitness in one go, enabling you to become an independent personal trainer. This nationally recognised program of TAFE is a great choice to consider among the personal trainer courses in Australia, online and offline. These courses are highly flexible, and you can take them conveniently in on-campus or blended modes.



What To Expect From The Personal Trainer TAFE Course?


The Certificate IV fitness courses teach you the responsibilities of a personal trainer and prepare you well for it. Here is what you can expect from your training course:


  • The ability to arrange fitness programs with the consultation of professionals.

  • Developing a fitness training model for each client according to their requirements.

  • Deliver, demonstrate and teach fitness training activities to clients.

  • Monitor and set up fitness training equipment.

  • Be an instructor and train clients with physical fitness training activities.

  • Add the principles of science and physique to your training sessions.

  • Formulate healthy and fitness-assuring diet plans for clients according to individual needs.

  • Enable yourself to set up a business model and create your fitness training centre.




Step 2: Work And Gain Experience as A Personal Trainer


After completing the course, the next step is to build a reputation for yourself as a trainer. However, it won't happen overnight; you must be very careful and build your career slowly.


One way to gain experience is through the trainee program that comes with your trainer. During this program, you will be a trainee/assistant instructor in a Gym or a private facility for a certain period. It is one of the most critical steps in your career path, as you will only get clients with experience in the field.


It teaches you how to train your clients, manages a gym, and schedule training sessions. It is also an opportunity to meet professional trainers and build connections to be an independent trainer shortly.


You can do your vocation training in any of the following institutions:


  • Gym.

  • Fitness and recreational centres.

  • Aquatic recreational and training facilities.

  • Other fitness centres.


This training session provides you with all the necessary vocational training to become a personal trainer.


It gives you an insight into your future career and what mistakes you should avoid. It will also help in the job search process, as you already have a network to back you up.



Step 3: Register Yourself as a Personal Trainer


To practice as a professional trainer, you should register yourself as a trainer.


Ensure that you register with a well-recognised organisation so your career as a personal trainer will be smooth. It will help you increase your reputation among other training professionals and client confidence.


If you are looking for a safe and reputed organisation for registration, our suggestion is AUSactive. It is one of the most trusted health and fitness associations in Australia. That means your registration will have validity and the same reputation all over the country.


The best part about Fitness Australia is that you will get insurance along with the registration. That way, you can remain safe and secure and focus on your business.


To register in Fitness Australia, all you need is to have the specific qualifications of a personal trainer and the skills required for the job.



Step 4: Apply For a Personal Instructor Job


The last step of becoming a personal instructor is to apply for the role and get a job.


You can apply for the position in any physical training institution, such as a gym, aerobic training centre, or fitness facility. These are the places for a beginner to start their career and work up to a professional trainers.


However, if you want to work outside the board of a pre-existing institution, you can start training yourself. Start by taking small steps and train one to five clients first in the beginning. And if the session goes well, you can create your fitness facility easily.



6. Personal Trainer Salary


The salary of a personal trainer depends upon various factors like experience, reputation and location.


The Seek website lists the average annual salary of personal trainers in Australia as between AU$50,000 to AU$70,000.



7. How Much Does Becoming a Personal Trainer in Australia Cost?


The study cost for a Personal Trainer course usually varies between education providers; here is the indicative fee range (2023-2024) for courses at TAFE Queensland and TAFE NSW.







8. Career Opportunities For Personal Trainers in Australia


Personal trainers generally have a very successful career in Australia; according to the seek website, the projected job growth in 5 years in this field is 8.5%. There are different work opportunities for personal trainers. Some of them are:


  • Running a gym

  • Group training activities 

  • One-on-one training with clients

  • Health and fitness coach

  • Fitness class instruction

  • Fitness influencer



9. How Long Does it Take To Become A Personal Trainer?


The main factor that affects the duration of the personal trainer course is the mode of education.


To complete the course, personal trainer courses online and face-to-face learning take different durations. 


It usually takes nine months to two years to become a personal trainer in Australia. It is way less than compared to many other careers, but it takes just as much effort to achieve it.



10. Is it Worth Being a Personal Trainer in Australia?


If you feel strongly about living a healthy lifestyle and are passionate about helping people gain better health and physique, then being a personal trainer can be the fulfilling way to live your passion.



Emotionally Rewarding


Working in the profession allows you to bring a holistic transformation in people. You can teach them about nutritional strategies, exercises, and healthy lifestyles that can positively transform their physical aspects and mentality about health and fitness.



Ample Scope For Career Advancement


The profession offers ample scope for specialisation and career advancement, from working with children or athletes to training older adults or new mums. Some of these areas include:


  • Strength and conditioning coach

  • Fitness manager

  • Senior fitness specialist

  • Group exercise instructor

  • Youth fitness specialist

  • Weight loss transformation specialist

  • Corrective exercise specialist

  • Health Coaching

  • Bodybuilding specialist



Endless Career Opportunities


Studying for personal trainer courses prepares you for endless possibilities within the health and fitness industry, such as:


  • Lifeguard: National average salary: AU$ 42,606 per year 

  • Sportswriter: AU$ 45,523 per year

  • Exercise physiologist: AU$ 52,677 per year

  • Health coach: AU$ 55,169 per year

  • Sports coach: AU$ 55,816 per year

  • Fitness consultant: AU$ 62,643 per year

  • Nutrition assistant: AU$ 63,459 per year

  • Injury prevention specialist: AU$ 65,758 per year

  • Physical education teacher: AU$ 70,200 per year

  • Fitness equipment technician: AU$ 73,197 per year

  • Fitness manager: AU$ 75,414 per year

  • Bodybuilding coach: AU$ 81,950 per year

  • Fitness Director: AU$ 82,473 per year

  • Yoga instructor: AU$ 103,399 per year

  • Physical therapist assistant: AU$ 106,397 per year

  • Pilates instructor: AU$ 121,690 per year

  • Physical therapist: AU$ 123,116 per year



High Earning Potential


Earnings-wise, skilled and experienced personal trainers are well-compensated in Australia. Even entry-level personal trainers can make around AU$ 37 per hour and quickly up to AU$ 150 per hour if they have experience.



Strong Career Outlook


As more and more people become obese and motivated to adopt a healthy lifestyle, the job growth in the Personal Trainer profession is expected to grow strongly at 9.8% in Australia.


The government projects the number of workers will grow strongly from 36,300 in 2021 to 39,800 in 2026, with 3,600 new jobs created over this period.


So, we have seen countless benefits of pursuing a Personal Trainer profession in Australia. However, you must know that it takes a lot of determination, dedication, and mental and physical strength to succeed in this profession.



11. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Can You Be a Personal Trainer Without Certification in Australia?


No. Being a Personal Trainer without an official certification in Australia is not possible.


You need a Certificate III in Fitness to work as a gym floor instructor, overseeing and instructing gym members on correctly using the equipment. You will also need a Certificate IV in Fitness to coach individual clients as a Personal Trainer.


So, it is mandatory to have a Certificate III and IV in Fitness to work as a Personal Trainer in Australia.



Is 30 Years Too Old To Be a Personal Trainer?


You can start in a Personal Trainer profession at any age if you have a passion for fitness and the inner drive to succeed. According to Labour Market Insights, the average age of fitness instructors in Australia is 35 years.


Typically, older Personal Trainers enjoy greater popularity than some of their younger counterparts. This could be attributed to factors such as reduced financial pressure or their wealth of experience, which enables them to assist clients in achieving proven, desired results over time.

The benefits of becoming a Professional Personal Trainer in your 30's and above:

  • Not every client seeks a 21-year-old to train them at the gym. Instead, most people look for trainers who they find compatible and relatable.

  • Skill, experience, and knowledge all come with age. The more time you work in a real-world industry setting, the more life experience you gain and the more credible you become for clients. 

  • People may choose you as a trainer for your maturity, experience, know-how, and professionalism, as they will feel you have something worthwhile to teach.



Which Gym Pays Trainers The Most?


According to Indeed, top employers for Personal Trainers in Australia are:


  • Fitness First - AU$ 155 per hour

  • Fit n Fast - AU$ 125 per hour

  • Sky Zone - AU$ 134 per hour

  • Goodlife - AU$ 120 per hour



What Are Two Traits of a Bad Personal Trainer?


The two bad traits of a personal trainer are:


  • Use body shaming to belittle clients to make them exercise

  • Do not educate clients



What Are The Pros and Cons of Being a Personal Trainer?


If you aspire to be a Personal Trainer, it is worth knowing the benefits and challenges associated with the role.





  • Flexible work hours

  • Freedom to choose clients you want to work with  

  • Be your boss

  • High Job satisfaction by helping people improve their health and appearance

  • Numerous career pathways 

  • Endless opportunities for career growth and specialisation

  • It keeps you physically fit and healthy

  • Meeting people from diverse backgrounds and all stages of life

  • Varied work every day





  • It may require dealing with difficult clients.

  • Have to work when others rest

  • No guarantee of income 

  • Require constant promotion of themselves to attract clients.

  • Chances of getting sued due to unexpected mishappenings, including negligence leading to a client's injury during a workout 

  • Chances of exhaustion and frustration due to long working days at the gym and working multiple sessions with clients, including late evenings and weekends.

  • No holiday pay

  • Immense competition 

  • Have to juggle multiple tasks more than coaching. These include advertising, booking appointments, printing contracts, branding, equipment monitoring, etc.  



Is it Stressful To Be a Personal Trainer?


Being a personal trainer is both mentally and physically demanding.


Here are a few factors that can contribute to stress while working in this profession:


  • Dealing with clients who have no interest and self-motivation to do exercise and do it just for the sake of health reasons. Motivating clients can be demanding. Continuously encouraging them to do the exercise while adhering to professional standards is a challenge. 

  • Dealing with clients who blame trainers for failing to achieve desired results on time can frustrate trainers. 

  • Continuously asking clients who forget to pay for their sessions can lead to stress.

  • Constant hunting for new clients and engaging in self-promotion while coaching existing ones can be taxing.

  • Paying continuous attention to clients during each session to ensure they follow proper form while exercising can be demanding. 

  • Creating personalised workout plans for each client based on their anatomy, lifestyle, needs, fitness goals, existing health issues, etc., can lead to exhaustion.

  • Constant evaluation and adjustment of workout plans based on the client's progress and preparing tailored fitness programs to ensure the client's goals are met is no less than a challenge. 

  • Dealing with scheduling conflicts, handling clients' expectations, and managing family expectations when working long hours can strain trainers physically and mentally.



Is It Hard To Make Money as a Personal Trainer?


Being a Personal Trainer is not a career for those wanting to get rich. However, a comfortable living is perfectly possible in this profession.


In the initial years of your career, you may struggle to find clients. That's why having enough money to survive some months without pay is essential.


As a junior Personal Trainer, you may require working long hours in gyms and fitness studios or promote yourself on social media to be more visible to people. You have to be highly supportive and likable so that people can approach you for Personal Training.

Your demand and client list will increase as you gain practical knowledge and experience. You will also experience more freedom and flexibility to set your price rate, choose your clients and work hours while still making a good living.

Additionally, location is another critical factor that may affect your earnings. Often, Personal trainers in affluent regions or larger cities command higher rates than those working in smaller towns or less wealthy areas.


Personal Trainers with a specialised degree or certification in exercise science usually get paid higher rates than someone without relevant qualifications.


If you gain relevant education and experience and work in larger cities, you can make a good income in this profession.



Can You Make Money as a Personal Trainer?


Yes. Besides coaching, there are plenty of other ways in which a personal trainer can boost their income:


  • Publish e-books or sell courses on health and fitness on online platforms such as Udemy, Skillshare, Teachable, etc. 

  • Sell photos of your workout, training sessions, or nutritious recipes online. 

  • Organise health-oriented fitness retreats and holidays

  • Offer 4-6 weeks courses on specialist topics such as pre- or post-natal health, nutrition, etc. 

  • Run small workshops and seminars for people who can't commit to month-long courses.

  • Promote supplements

  • Develop tailored meal plans to ensure your clients get proper nutrition while supporting them in their goal achievement.

  • Sell at-home workout equipment, including resistant bands, dumbbells, mats, and kettlebells. 

  • Sell merchandise such as trendy workout clothes, gym bags, wearables, printed planners and fitness trackers, and other workout accessories.  

  • Design a recipe book with healthy and tasty treats and sell it to your clients at farmers' markets, festivals, and local health food cafes.

  • Personal Trainers with established reputations can even create and sell supplements of their brands. 

  • Become a master coach at fitness equipment manufacturing agencies to deliver instruction training to their customers. 

  • Personal trainers can use their physiology or exercise science knowledge to tutor biology students.

  • Become a brand ambassador for fitness companies to attend their events and promote their products within your network.     

  • Conduct fitness training, particularly Strength and Conditioning training, and nutritional guidance at weekend sports clubs in your area. 

  • Be a Ghost Writer for health and fitness blogs, websites, magazines, and books. 

  • Become a Fitness Model for health clubs, supplement companies, and equipment manufacturers. 

  • Join Freelance websites to offer consulting services or online fitness training sessions to people worldwide. 

  • Become an Influencer for top fitness brands to promote their products while earning.



Is It Better To Be A Self-Employed Personal Trainer?


Looking at the pros and cons of both types of employment will help you identify the right option for your needs and career goals.



Pros of Being a Self-employed Personal Trainer:


  • Enjoy more flexibility in work days and hours.

  • Freedom to take holidays or time off without seeking permission

  • Set your prices

  • Decide the size of your client base

  • Greater scope for career growth

  • There are no work restrictions as you usually have while working in a fitness studio, gym, or other fitness establishments.



Cons of Being a Self-Employed Personal Trainer:


  • Your income is wholly dependent on your abilities and how much you work.

  • You don't get holiday pay and other employee benefits.

  • You have to bear the cost of your equipment and uniform. 

  • You don't earn when clients don't show up.

  • You may not get the training, guidance, and support you get when you work in a company.



Pros of being an Employed Personal Trainer:


  • You earn a fixed income each month.

  • Your employer pays for your uniform and equipment.

  • You get paid for sick leave and holiday pay.

  • You have a set schedule to work each week, which enables you to plan your days easily.

  • You get mentored by fellow trainers or senior trainers who can quickly help you become a better trainer.



Cons of being an Employed Personal Trainer:


  • The establishment governs your work hours, uniform, and how you conduct your training sessions.

  • Less scope for career growth.

  • You may require additional duties such as reception, clearing equipment, etc.

  • You have to work with your colleagues and clients, whether you like it or not.

  • You don't earn if you lose your job.

  • You may only sometimes get a holiday or leave when you request it.



So, What Is The Best Option?


The choice between working as an employed or self-employed Personal Trainer depends on your experience level, financial needs, career goals, and preferences.


For personal trainers who have been working as a trainer for a while and know the ins and outs of coaching and marketing, working self-employed could be the ideal option.


However, if you are not well-established, have fewer connections, seek job security, and want to work fixed hours, look for an employed role at a gym or a studio.



What is The Difference Between a Fitness Coach and a Personal trainer?


The profession of a fitness coach and a personal trainer varies based on how much they earn, where they work, and how they conduct their workout sessions.





According to Pay Scale, the average salary of a Personal Trainer and a Fitness Instructor is AU$ 31.37 and AU$ 29.31 per hour, respectively.



Area of Employment


Usually, personal trainers work as self-employed and advertise their services in person and online to attract new clients.


Fitness instructors work for a gym, leisure centre, fitness organisation, fitness studio, etc., to support people who visit that place.





Personal Trainers privately work with clients to provide advice and guidance on various fitness-related areas, including nutrition, dieting, and exercise. They often schedule workout sessions every week or on scheduled days to keep a routine.


On the other hand, fitness instructors teach several people at once in a fitness institution. They may even organise a workout class for a large group of clientele, ranging from slow-paced aerobic workouts to high-intensity circuit training.


Where Personal Trainers primarily work part-time or full-time in freelance work, Fitness instructors are employed permanently at a fitness centre.


Due to being highly trained, a personal trainer also performs specific tasks in addition to the general responsibilities that a fitness instructor does.


They customise workout routines and design their clients' diet plans and fitness goals. They also take on higher-risk clients, perform medical screenings, and offer advanced dietary and nutritional advice to clients in a one-to-one fitness session.


It enables their clients to get the most out of their workout sessions.



Required Skills


Fitness instructors and Personal trainers require a high physical fitness level and the capability to convey information to clients.


Personal trainers may require advanced scientific knowledge and skills to offer specialised advice to help clients achieve individual goals. Personal trainers usually take one-on-one training fitness sessions privately, requiring more interpersonal skills than fitness instructors.



Is it Better To Be a Personal Trainer or Fitness Instructor?


When choosing between a fitness instructor and a personal trainer, you must understand how the two professions differ.


The most significant difference between the roles is the specialised training, individualised service, and advice.


Fitness instructors will have a different one-on-one connection with clients than personal trainers. Without personalised attention and specific strategies, it becomes a challenge for most people to find the drive to exercise and achieve or set goals.


Another critical distinction between the professions is that personal trainers can work self-employed or charge a fee for their written programs, whereas fitness instructors can't.


Deciding which profession to choose is a matter of personal choice. If you wish to offer a more customised service to clients, a career in personal training could be an ideal option.



How To Become A Personal Trainer in Australia Online?


Two leading education providers offer online Personal Training qualifications in Australia.


Consider enrolling in courses at any of these institutions to turn your passion for fitness into a meaningful and successful Personal Trainer profession!


Here are the details:



Certificate IV In Fitness - Australian Institute of Fitness


This comprehensive program covers the different aspects of fitness for all age groups. It equips you with business acumen and essential sales and marketing skills. This knowledge serves as a guide to establishing your small business while mastering the skills to attract clients.



Certificate III in Fitness and Certificate IV in Fitness- Australian Fitness Academy


On completing this Online Personal Trainer Course, you get the knowledge and practical skills to work as a Personal Trainer while maintaining your regular work and lifestyle commitments.


Students who complete the course also get a great work placement opportunity to apply their learned skills and knowledge into practice and gain valuable industry experience.



9. Closing Words


Becoming a personal trainer is easy if you are ready to work hard and put your best efforts into it.


You can become a personal trainer in nearly a year with dedication and focus. However, you will need to continue to work hard to gain experience and a reputation to find good clients.


Hopefully, this guide on becoming a personal trainer in Australia has helped you understand the educational qualifications and requirements needed to be a personal trainer.


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