Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Alert

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted legislation and services. Information on this website may not reflect the current situation in Alberta. Please visit alberta.ca for up-to-date information about these impacts.

Personal Trainer

Personal trainers teach individual clients aerobic, flexibility, or resistance training exercises. They strive to help them achieve their personal fitness goals.

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness (5254) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation and Sport (F154) 
  • 2011 NOC: Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness (5254) 
  • 2016 NOC: Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness (5254) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness
2006 NOC : 5254

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in manipulating and assembling supplies and sports and game equipment; and in monitoring recreational and sports activities to ensure safety and provide emergency and first aid assistance when required

SOCIAL

Interest in instructing groups and individuals in arts, crafts and similar activities; in leading groups and individuals in recreational and leisure programs, and in attending clients with special needs by conducting therapeutic recreational and athletic activities

innovative

Interest in co-ordinating information to plan recreational, athletic, fitness and sports programs

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Personal trainers work closely with each client to build a positive working relationship. They may meet daily, weekly, or monthly to suit the level of training requested. One-on-one training sessions vary depending on the client’s goals and the amount of coaching or demonstration needed. Personal trainers may work with the general public or with a specific group. For example, they may work with seniors, elite athletes, obese adults without health complications, or persons with disabilities.

Personal trainers apply their knowledge of human anatomy and exercise principles to developing and evaluating clients’ fitness programs.

In general, personal trainers:

  • Perform a fitness assessment to ascertain client needs, abilities, and goals
  • Measure body composition, aerobic and anaerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance, joint flexibility, and postural alignment (which may include taking blood pressure, heart rate, and heart recovery rate)
  • Develop personal exercise plans
  • Demonstrate correct exercise techniques and proper use of equipment
  • Teach proper breathing techniques
  • Monitor client progress and adapt programs as needed
  • Demonstrate safety in all aspects of planning and delivery of programs, with an emphasis on preventing and managing injuries
  • Provide resources about nutrition, healthy living, and physical activity

Personal trainers who work for fitness facilities may also:

  • Record member information
  • Promote the facility through membership sales
  • Teach and demonstrate correct use of equipment, such as treadmills and weight machines
  • Clean and maintain equipment
  • Advise clients about proper clothing and shoes
  • Lead or help with workshops and information sessions
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Personal trainers work in various settings. They may meet clients at fitness facilities or in the clients’ homes. Clients may provide their own fitness equipment, or the trainer may supply it.

The work is physically and mentally demanding, and requires regular cardiovascular performance. Trainers must ensure clients do exercises correctly and safely to prevent injury. They are often required to lift weights or other heavy items.

Early-morning, noon-hour, evening, and weekend work is common. Personal trainers spend considerable time preparing for client sessions and revising training plans.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Personal trainers need:

  • Excellent physical fitness
  • The ability to be flexible
  • An open-minded attitude
  • Multitasking skills
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • The ability to hold others accountable for their performance
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • The ability to react to emergency health situations alone or in a team

They should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods, dealing with people, and designing new programs.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

NOC code: 5254

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 97 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 29, 2021 and Jun 28, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Plan and carry out recreational, fitness and sports activities
Monitor recreational, sports or fitness activities to ensure safety and provide emergency or first aid assistance when required
Demonstrate and instruct athletic, fitness or sports activities and techniques
Schedule activities, keep logs, maintain records and prepare reports
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Leading/instructing individuals
Ensure health and safety regulations are followed
Lead groups and individuals in recreational or leisure programs
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Varies

Most employers prefer to hire personal trainers who have a high school diploma, appropriate certification, and related post-secondary training. Applicants may need to:

  • Undergo drug testing
  • Obtain a police security clearance
  • Have a valid driver’s licence
  • Be bondable (acceptable to bonding companies as responsible and law abiding)
  • Have liability insurance

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Not Regulated

Although not required by law, employers may prefer applicants who have Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT) certification from the Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association (AFLCA). AFLCA certifications include liability insurance and are nationally recognized by the National Fitness Leadership Association (NFLA).

Trainers who work with people with specific needs may need Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Certified Exercise Physiologist (CEP) certification. These are offered by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Trainers who work with athletes may need Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification. This is offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Personal trainers may be self-employed or work for:

  • Private fitness facilities
  • Public leisure centres
  • Municipal recreation centres
  • YMCAs and YWCAs
  • Large corporations
  • Resorts and hotels
  • Post-secondary schools

Personal trainers who work for fitness facilities may move into supervisory or management positions. For more information, see the Recreation Co-ordinator and Recreation and Sport Administrator occupational profiles.

Advancement for self-employed personal trainers generally takes the form of building a larger client base. Entrepreneurial and business management skills are assets.

Personal trainers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5254: Program leaders and instructors in recreation and sport and fitness. In Alberta, 75% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 5254: Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 270 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Incomes for self-employed personal trainers vary from one trainer to another. A lot depends on their qualifications and skills in business, marketing, and customer service.

Wages vary greatly for personal trainers who work for an employer. Some earn bonuses, commissions, or other benefits on top of a base salary.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

2016 NOC : 5254
Average Wage
$20.07
Per Hour
Average Salary
$19,222.00
Per Year
Average Hours
21.8
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
10.2
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 5254 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $25.00 $18.18 $16.50
Overall $15.00 $32.50 $20.07 $18.00
Top $15.70 $43.75 $25.06 $22.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Educational Services
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES
Information, Culture, Recreation
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
71%
71%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
29%
29%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
7%
7%
Vacancy Rate
1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Physical Education and Recreation
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association (AFLCA) and Provincial Fitness Unit website: www.provincialfitnessunit.ca

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP): www.csep.ca

National Fitness Leadership Association (NFLA) of Canada website: www.nflacanada.ca

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA): www.nsca.com

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

Was this page useful?
Top