There’s a lot of calling for the services provided by a personal trainer and the industry is a $10 billion one that is constantly changing and improving. That means there are always plenty of career opportunities for people interested in a job that allows them to help others and take care of their clients at the same time. You don’t need a college degree to become a personal trainer, though you will need to take some classes and complete training before being certified. However, the more training and education you have, the higher you can advance in the field. Here’s a look at what you need to do to become a personal trainer.
Graduate From High School
Your first step to becoming a personal trainer is to graduate from high school. Most certifying organizations require a high school diploma or the equivalent before being eligible to go through the certification process. While graduating from high school is enough, post-secondary classes and training are also nice to have.
Get Certified in AED/CPR
It’s important to know what to do if you’re working with a client who is injured or has a medical emergency. That’s why being certified in AED and CPR is vital to being a certified personal trainer. Once complete, these training classes will teach you to identify a medical emergency and will teach you what to do if you need to assist a client until medical help arrives. This includes in instances of a heart attack, if a client stops breathing or if there is any other kind of injury.
Choose Your Specialty
Fitness is a wide-reaching field and there are many specialties you might be interested in focusing on. For example, would you like to lead group exercise sessions or would you prefer to with individual clients, one-on-one? Do you want to focus on cardio or strength training? Would you like to also be able to advise clients on healthy living and eating habits? Consider the things you want to do as a fitness trainer and then look for certification courses that teach you the specialized skills you need to find that kind of job.
Get Ready for Certification
It’s not usually feasible to simply decide you want to be certified and then go take a test. Instead, there will be classes you’ll need to take and training you’ll need to participate in to help you prepare to be certified. These vary depending on where you’ve chosen to be certified. The American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine are two entities that provide certification for personal trainers.
Take the Exam
Once you’re ready to take the exam, you’ll need to register for it. This usually involves filling out an application and paying a fee. Many of these certification tests are done online and involve answering up to 150 multiple-choice questions. The tests cover several topics and encompass many parts of being a personal trainer, from the kinesiology aspects to the safety and client interaction aspects of the job. Because the test covers so much material, it’s highly recommended to do plenty of studying and preparation before attempting to take the exam. You can take it again if you don’t pass but will have to pay the fee and apply again each time you take it.
Look for a Personal Trainer Job
Once you’re certified, you can begin looking for a job in the field. There are many organizations that post personal trainer jobs online that you can look through and choose from. Many personal trainers start by working at a gym or local recreation center, which allows them to build their skills and their portfolio at the same time. Eventually, you may decide you want to work independently and build your own client list or set up your own gym. Combining your skills and expertise with your education and portfolio will help you build your client base and make a name for yourself in the field.
Being a personal trainer is a rewarding and fulfilling career that many people love. Following the steps to get there will take some time and effort, but it will pay off when you become certified and are able to do the job you’ve always dreamed of.