What is the difference between a Gym Instructor and a Personal Trainer?


In the world of gym employees and contractors, you may hear various titles to refer to different people. Two of the most common of these are ‘Gym Instructor’ and ‘Personal Trainer’. Although these two titles may sound very similar, there are some key distinctions, which will be explored in this short article.

What is a Gym Instructor?

A gym instructor is an employee, contracted by the gym to assist members navigating the gym, and understanding gym equipment. It may also be the role of the gym instructor to tidy and clean the gym in some instances.

What are the Duties of a Gym Instructor?

The duties of a gym instructor may include but are not limited to:

  • Assisting members with gym equipment.
  • Carrying out small and large group gym classes.
  • Tidying the gym floor.
  • Assisting members to navigate the gym floor.

What Qualifications do Gym Instructors have?

Gym Instructors have Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualifications.

What are the salary expectations for a Gym Instructor?

According to Indeed, the average salary of a Gym Instructor is £15.15 per hour.

What is a Personal Trainer?

A personal trainer is employed by clients to help them achieve their personal fitness goals. Personal Trainers must be specifically trained and qualified in order to carry out these roles. 

What are the duties of a Personal Trainer?

The duties of a Personal Trainer may include but are not limited to:

  • Providing fundamental nutritional guidance while adhering to their professional scope.
  • Supervising in person training sessions with clients. 
  • Providing training plans for clients to follow. 
  • Carrying out small or large group fitness classes.
  • Understanding the goals and aims of clients and providing lifestyle advice based on this. 
  • Tracking client progress.

What Qualifications do Personal Trainers need to have?

Personal Trainers must have a Level 3 Personal Trainer Course qualification. The PFCA L3 PT Course is CIMSPA recognised and accredited. To find out more, be sure to check out our Personal Training FAQs.

What are the salary expectations for a Personal Trainer?

The average hourly salary of a Personal Trainer in the UK is £22.48, according to Indeed.


If you don’t have any fitness qualifications and you’re keen to have a career change to become a personal trainer or gym instructor, then be sure to have a look at our L2 and L3 Combined Personal Trainer Course.