Personal training managers combine fitness training, human resources management, and sales into one job role. To be considered for a personal training manager position, one should have some experience as a personal trainer first. For this job, current certification in CPR and First Aid is a must, as are communication, leadership, and social skills.
Personal training managers primarily work in health, hiring, and training new fitness trainers. They are also responsible for teaching and evaluating their trainers' performance. In doing so, they provide feedback on their trainers' professionalism, service, clients, and personal training skills as part of that continuous evaluation.
Personal trainer managers are also certified fitness trainers. Therefore, they must typically act as a personal trainer to a client base as well. They design fitness programs at the club for not only their own clients, but they must also initiate, support, and direct programs for all of their training staff to undertake as well. They must have a thorough understanding of their clients' needs and comprehensive knowledge of how to use all exercise equipment. They conduct evaluations of both the programs that they have designed and those that their staff uses for clients.
In general, there is also a sales element to the responsibilities of a personal training manager. That may include specific club goals, like selling personal training packages to clients or focusing on customer service and client retention. Their performance in these metrics may be evaluated by club management or ownership.
A personal trainer manager should always have a current CPR and First Aid certification. They should also have a current AED (Automated External Defibrillators) certification for use in case of cardiac emergency. These skills can often be learned in the same program and can be obtained through any number of organizations, such as taking courses through the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org).
A personal trainer manager should have a current personal training certification through a nationally-accredited organization. Some of the top recognized personal training certifications are obtained through these organizations:
- NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
- ACE (American Council on Exercise)
- NCSF (National Council on Strength & Fitness)
Continuing fitness education is required in order to retain valid certification with the majority of national organizations. In addition to these certifications, completing an associate's or bachelor's degree program in exercise physiology or a related field can be beneficial.
Personal traits such as honesty, integrity, compassion, and most of all, communication skills, are needed to be successful in this career. The profession's goal is to work with and motivate others, so it's important to remain energetic and personable at all times.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow by approximately 8% during the decade spanning from 2014 to 2024, which is about average. Although the median annual salary earned by fitness trainers and aerobic instructors was reported as $36,160 in May 2015 by the BLS, the highest 10% of earners took home salaries of $70,180 or more per year.
Personal training managers must know how to manage a client base and fitness programs, as well as how to direct their staff with their clients and their clients' fitness goals. They must be motivated to engage with others and share their energy and enthusiasm for fitness and health. They must also manage club goals, such as promotions, memberships, and sales objectives.