Being a personal trainer can be a very rewarding career, especially if you are passionate about health and fitness. It’s not the easiest job in the world, but it certainly isn’t difficult either.
You have to know, though, that you cannot call yourself a personal trainer and decide to take on clients without any training or qualification. Passion for helping people become fit won’t make you eligible for personal training jobs.
So, what does one need to do to be considered a qualified personal trainer in Cork? Also, how long does it take to earn the required qualification?
Steps in Becoming a Personal Trainer in Cork
Anyone can call themselves a ‘Personal Trainer’, but if you want to be taken seriously and work at gyms and health clubs or build your clientele, then it’s important that you get the proper qualification and sufficient training. You should also note that you will not be able to get the protection of professional indemnity or public liability insurance without a recognised, accredited qualification.
Moreover, when working as a personal trainer, people’s lives are in your hands. Hence, it’s essential that you have the knowledge and skills needed to prescribe safe and effective exercises.
To be eligible to work as a personal trainer in Cork or anywhere in Ireland, you need to do the following:
Step 1: Get certified by a recognised training provider.
There are plenty of great programs that will give you the education and skills you need to make it as a personal trainer in Cork or elsewhere in Ireland. These courses typically have both theoretical and practical learning components that require students to demonstrate proficiency before they receive their certification.
Most entry-level fitness qualifications are accredited at Level 2 or Level 3. This has created the notion that individuals getting their first certification can only take a Level 2 or 3 course. But this is not accurate as it is possible to enrol in an EQF Level 4 personal training course even if you don’t have any existing qualifications.
A good example here is the National Training Centre’s EQF Level 4 personal training course which is open to all individuals, including those who have no fitness instructor certification of any kind. While this is an entry-level programme, it already provides students with the highest qualification that can be achieved in Europe as a personal trainer.
With this type of course, you don’t just get the certification you need but also end up saving money. Why? You don’t have to take a Level 2 or 3 course before enrolling in NTC’s Level 4 accredited programme. You see, some institutions require students to have a Level 3 qualification to be eligible to take a Level 4 personal training course. By skipping these levels and enrolling in a programme that offers the highest accreditation, you gain advanced knowledge and skills while saving time and money.
Step 2: Become registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS Ireland).
It is not a legal requirement in Ireland to be a member of REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals). However, many employers prefer personal trainers registered with reputable regulatory organisations.
Being a member can also add to your credibility, helping you gain more clients. Why? Organisations like REPs work to ensure that fitness professionals meet Ireland’s standards for safety and professionalism. Hence, by being part of the organisation’s register, clients are assured that you know what you are doing and that they are in safe hands.
Furthermore, being a member of REPs Ireland can make it easier on the pocket to take Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses. This is because you are eligible to apply for funding for CPD courses through the Leisure Health & Fitness Skillnet.
How Long Does a Personal Training Course Last?
As someone who’s considering getting certified, you’d certainly want to know how long it would take to complete the course. This matter influences most people’s decision on which personal training course to enrol in.
Naturally, most want to get certified quickly – say in a month or less. Well, the length of time varies depending on the course or certification. The duration can range from 5 weeks to 2 years.
So, yes, it is possible to become a personal trainer in a little over a month. However, you should know that the length of time impacts the knowledge and skills acquired by the students. Short courses simply prepare students to pass the certification exam but often fail to teach them to be safe and effective personal trainers.
Reports show that these short courses fall short in terms of helping new personal trainers build a successful careers. A major reason for this is that there is a vast amount of knowledge and skills that students must learn. A month of training is not enough to acquire the competencies they need to succeed in this field.
So, please don’t choose a programme simply because of its short duration. Put a premium on the quality of the course and the amount of training you’d be getting. After all, what good is a short course if you won’t be able to hit the ground running after you complete it?
It is also worth mentioning that employers believe that personal training courses should not take less than 18 weeks or 170 hours to complete. This is to minimise the need for them to provide additional training to the new personal trainers they hire.
Furthermore, the perspective of employers is that finishing longer courses is a testament to a student’s commitment to becoming an excellent personal trainer. This is why they keep an eye on individuals who meet this criterion.
However, please note that the schedule of the personal training course can also affect the course duration – say part-time or full time. Part-time programmes run longer than full-time ones. For example, NTC’s part-time Personal Trainer Qualification Course runs for 18 weeks, while their full-time or intensive programme lasts 9 weeks.
While the intensive courses are shorter, the topics discussed and the coursework required are no different from those in a part-time programme. The timeframe may be shorter, but the amount of time you’ll have to put into it is just the same. It’s just that the class takes place several days a week and lasts at least four hours.
Becoming a personal trainer in Cork is easy, but it will require time and effort. All you have to do is complete a recognised qualification that shows you have the skills and knowledge to train clients. If you enrol in a sought-after programme like NTC’s Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer Qualification course, you can get certified in 18 weeks.
Do you want to become a personal trainer in Cork? Visit our website to learn more about our part-time personal training programme in Cork, or click here to book a slot.