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What’s The Difference Between A Gym Instructor And A Personal Trainer?

For those interested in entering the fitness industry, picking a field or a niche can be challenging. That’s because, from the outside, everything looks pretty much the same, and it’s hard to form an opinion when you haven’t got any insights.

As a result, many prospective trainers end up enrolling in the wrong certification courses. Two of the most popular employment options in the fitness industry are gym instructors and personal trainers. Both are similar, but some key differences make both fields different.

Many prospective trainers can’t decide which one fits them the best. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you out. If you want information on some other types of fitness training fields and courses, check out the W.I.T.S Education’s course catalog.

Who Are Personal Trainers?

Personal trainers are fitness professionals have work with clients one-on-one to help identify gaps in their physical fitness and help them develop their fitness goals. These fitness goals are composed of exercise plans, additional physical activities, and diet plans.

These plans are carefully developed after discussing with the client their physical fitness level, any health issues, endurance levels, and any dietary restrictions. In some cases, personal trainers with certified dieticians if their clients have any health issues.

In addition, they also work with several other professionals if their clients have any other specific needs. That’s why, to become a personal trainer, you’ll need proper certification before being considered for employment.

Who Are Gym Instructors?

A gym instructor or a fitness instructor are trainers whose job is to help people in the gym improve their fitness by teaching them different workout methods and introducing them to different gym equipment.

These trainers cater to several gym members simultaneously, and that’s why they aren’t invested in any particular client, and that’s why they’re not responsible for their medical and physical needs. It’s up to the client to explain their requirements to the trainer before using any equipment.

Besides training, gym instructors also take on a managerial role within the gym and offer support to the gym members regarding their everyday queries and complaints.

Are Both Jobs Interchangeable?

A simple answer would be no! however, in reality, it depends on the qualifications and experience of both parties. For a personal trainer, it’s easier to switch jobs and become a gym trainer. That’s because gym trainers don’t need any specific certifications for employment.

However, their work is quite different from personal trainers’ work, so personal trainers may need some training before becoming gym instructors. On the other hand, gym instructors can only offer personal training services if they attain certain qualifications required by the government.

Once they pass these qualifications, they’ll be allowed to work as personal trainers. However, to become a good personal trainer, more skills are needed than just making exercise plans for the clients.

What Are The Qualification Requirements?

While gym instructors need some level of education and a few certificates to acquire certain skills needed in the gym environment, things are a bit different for personal trainers. Not only do they need to complete certain courses, but they also need these certifications to be accredited by NASM, I.S.S.A., or A.C.E. before they become eligible for employment.

W.I.T.S. Education has a personal training course accredited by the A.C.E. and offers trainers good employment opportunities. Besides certifications, the personal trainer also needs some interpersonal skills to help them deal with clients from age groups and professional backgrounds.

What Are The Job Prospects?

Personal trainers generally have wider job prospects because of their certification and training. They can work as independent personal trainers in gyms, offer online training, or in other fields that accept their qualifications. Additionally, they can also take some extra specialized courses in fields such as medical fitness or senior fitness to enter specific niches and create more employment opportunities.

The case is different for gym trainers. Since they don’t have any additional qualifications, their job prospects are limited. But they can take on managerial roles after gaining some experience, and there are several employment opportunities in the fitness management sector.

How Does The Day To Day Life Look?

A typical day for gym instructors involves opening up the gym, supervising most administrative activities, and monitoring the gym floor. They’re also responsible for offering customer service to existing members and guiding and giving facility tours to prospective members. Besides that, gym instructors are also responsible for ensuring that all members use the gym equipment properly without damaging the equipment or sustaining any injuries.

For personal trainers, the day starts with them going over their client’s schedules and making any alterations. They also need to be physically present during their client’s training sessions and make time to market their services and guide prospective clients. Moreover, personal trainers also need to meet with their client’s dieticians or physical therapists if they have any special conditions.

Which One Should You Go For?

This depends on what you want from your career in the long term. Personal trainers usually stick to fitness training for most of their careers before branching out into the business world. On the other hand, since gym trainers don’t have the required qualifications or training experience, they tend to move towards administrative and management roles.

Most gym instructors also buy gym franchises to expand their careers. Even though both professions start with similar roles, they become quite diverted from each other in the long run. So before you make your pick, it’s important to decide whether you want to stay in the fitness training field or branch out into the fitness management industry.

Because if you want to branch out into the management field, a personal training certification won’t be of much use to you. But if you don’t, you’ll need to get additional certification on top of the personal training certification to move ahead in the competitive fitness industry.

If you still haven’t figured out which fitness field you’re interested in, check out W.I.T.S. Education. We’re a fitness training institute that offers courses on personal fitness training, group exercise training, senior fitness training, and many more. Our institute is accredited by the N.C.C.A. and A.C.E. and offers college students course credits upon completion of their training.

Additionally, we use a hybrid teaching method comprised of thorough online lectures followed by hands-on practical labs that increase the student’s knowledge and help them gain practical experience that’s needed in the industry. So hurry up and enroll today!

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