There is a lot of appeal in freelance work: making your own schedule, choosing the clients you work with, doing things the way you want to do them. You have the freedom and flexibility to own your expertise.
According to a 2022 study by Zippia, 48% of people working in the U.S. health and wellness industry participate in freelance work. That’s nearly half of all fitness professionals—and now you can join them.
1. Get (Or Renew) Your Certification
The first step in becoming a personal trainer is getting certified. Most places you end up working at will require you to be certified, and clients want to feel confident you know what you’re doing.
Once certified, you have to renew your credentials every few years. This keeps you up-to-date with the latest health and fitness knowledge, new techniques, and gives you the chance to learn more about certain topics.
There are dozens of certification programs for you to choose from. Some of the most popular programs are:
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
- National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- Fitness Mentors
- National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)
- National Aerobics and Fitness Trainers Association (NAFTA)
- National Association for Fitness Certification (NAFC)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
- National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
With a variety of programs available, and each claiming to be the best, it can be tricky to know which one may be right for you. The truth is, there isn’t one program better than the rest.
Each certification program focuses on a different niche of health and fitness, so it’s up to you to decide which one best aligns with your educational goals. Check out the tools, resources, and learning packages offered and compare your options.
2. Get Self-Employment Licensing
There are some legalities when it comes to running your own business. One of those things is being a licensed business. Essentially, this means you’re allowed to do business in your state(s) and file for taxes.
Start by checking with your state government to see if you need a license to be a freelance personal trainer. If you plan on being a traveling trainer, you’ll need to check licensing status within the states you plan on working in. Some states require it, while others do not.
You’ll also want to get an Employee Identification Number (EIN). This allows you to open a commercial bank account and gain access to certain tax deductions you may not get when filing as self-employed.
3. Get Personal Trainer Insurance
One of the most important things you can do as a freelance trainer is to invest in your protection. Insurance for personal trainers is designed to help you pay for a claim if an accident occurs, keeping you financially stable.
When working with someone’s physical health, there’s thousands of different ways they may get hurt. There’s also a thousand different ways you could damage someone’s property, have your gear stolen, or wind up with an unhappy customer who wants a refund.
Personal trainer insurance may help you cover the cost of:
- Medical bills
- Lawsuits and legal fees
- Funeral expenses
- Damage repairs
- Replacing stolen equipment
- Lost wages
Many different locations you may find yourself working at require you to carry liability insurance and add them on to your policy as an additional insured. This means if an accident occurs during one of your sessions, and your client is trying to make you and the location pay their medical bills, the location would be covered under your policy.
Getting insured is a lot easier than you think. In fact, it’s the easiest step in this whole process! You can be instantly insured with Insurance Canopy in just 10 minutes or less. Our online application quickly secures you with quality coverage for a low price. Plus, our nationwide coverage can insure you in most locations you choose to work at (even if you train at more than one).
4. Get Started
Once you’re certified, licensed, and insured, it’s time to start training. But where can you find work?
Many freelance trainers work in a mixture of locations, such as:
- In one or multiple gyms
- Private training centers
- Client’s homes
- Community centers
- Public spaces
- Events and retreats
- Corporate offices
- Their own home
- Virtually or online
- Schools and
- Health facilities
- Athletic centers
You can start by looking for job openings at a specific location, offering your services to a new business, or promoting your business online.
Just like that, you’re ready to begin your career as a freelance personal trainer! We wish you the best of luck on your new journey. When you think of liability insurance, think of Insurance Canopy—we’re your partner in business protection.