How to Become a Personal Trainer

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To become a personal trainer, an individual must learn about physical fitness and basic anatomy. Personal trainers also need to be familiar with several exercise variations so that they can help clients achieve their desired results. The fitness industry is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the United States. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that the demand for fitness trainers, including personal trainers, will increase by 24 percent by the year 2020.[1]

Wikimedia Commons: Todtanis
Education High school diploma or higher[1]
Starting pay $17,070[2]
Median pay $31,090[2]
10 yr growth Faster than average: 24%[1]
Related professions Fitness instructor, fitness trainer
Author Selena Robinson

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Personal Trainer Job Overview

The job of a personal trainer is to work with individual clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. Personal trainers generally demonstrate various exercises for their clients and then instruct them in how to perform them safely. Many trainers begin their consultations with a fitness evaluation. During this process, they often take clients' measurements and ask them to perform basic exercises as a test of their fitness level. Trainers then develop individualized workout routines based on their clients' unique fitness needs.[3]

Personal Trainer Education

Getting a job as a personal trainer generally requires completing at least a high school diploma. While many companies do not insist that their trainers have a college degree, some do. Personal trainer college programs typically include classes in anatomy, first aid, and weight training.[4] Those who want to obtain a bachelor's degree in order to work as a personal trainer often select majors such as Kinesiology and Exercise Science.[5]

Personal Trainer Training

Personal trainers who find work often have to complete on-the-job training. For example, many health clubs provide first aid or emergency response for new hires. Depending on the pay structure at the gym, personal trainers may have to learn basic sales techniques in order to sign new clients. Trainers also have to learn their clients' names, schedules, and workout preferences, which may change regularly.[5]

Personal Trainer Certification

Many gyms and health clubs prefer to hire personal trainers who are certified. Becoming certified as a personal trainer involves completing a course and taking an exam. Several professional organizations offer personal trainer certification courses, including the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).[6] Personal trainers who become certified must renew their qualifications every few years.[7]

Personal Trainer Certification Process

Certification for personal trainers

Also See: How to Become a Fitness Instructor, How to Become a Fitness Trainer, How to Become a Zumba Instructor, How to Become a Pilates Instructor, How to Become a Nutritionist


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