“When should I jump?” This is a question many personal trainers (CPTs) ask themselves during challenging points in their careers. As they develop their ability to assess, build programs and coach exercises for their clients, they concurrently do so professionally by selecting a specialty and developing a loyal and committed clientele that helps them build their part-time job into a full-time career.
They see steps for progress, opportunities for growth and job security just on the horizon. But then something happens; three main issues occur and they get their first taste of frustration. After time, this frustration builds and leads to a dangerous (but potentially rewarding) thought of, “Maybe it’s time, maybe I should open my own place.”
Typically, CPTs ask themselves this question because of three primary reasons that push them away from their current employer, whether as an independent contractor or employee, and leave them pondering the idea of opening their own facility.
1) Opportunity for financial growth
Most fitness facilities limit the number of hours a personal trainer can work, typically restricting them from earning a full-time schedule (and disallowing qualification for health benefits).Trainers are often limited in the number of clients they can train on an hourly basis, severely capping their potential for growth and greater financial gain.
2) Health and retirement benefits
Of the current full-time personal trainers (contractor or employee) working in the industry, more than 65 percent of them do have health benefits, although most must purchase them out-of-pocket. This leaves a staggering 35 percent of CPTs with no health benefits whatsoever.
Retirement options are limited unless the trainer is offered partial ownership of the business. Any other options are purchased at their own expense.
3) Potential for career progression
CPTs have little opportunity for promotion since most businesses offer only one head personal trainer position and one fitness director position.Most trainers are hired (contractor or employee) on a commission basis because salaried CPT or management positions are limited.
CPTs who find limited flexibility with any of the above-mentioned issues will often consider opening their own facility. Although there are many challenges that come with opening a business, the potential for financial growth, security of health and retirement benefits and to develop as a business owner are vast. If you feel limited in your current position, begin to explore the many career opportunities this industry offers!