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How to Become a Personal Fitness Trainer

If you get excited about physical fitness and helping people become healthier, a career as a personal fitness trainer may be a good fit for you. As a personal trainer, you can help your clients make dramatic life changes and create strong, lean and healthy bodies. Watching improvements add up week after week can be very gratifying for both you and your clients.

Work Environment

Personal fitness trainers often work in gyms and other fitness centers, either as employees or subcontractors. They may also work in hospitals and physical rehabilitation clinics. Some even go to clients’ homes, though this is fairly rare.

How to Become a Personal Fitness Trainer

Personal fitness is far more scientific than it may seem at first. This is because of the mechanics of the body, which must be learned in order to understand what makes certain exercise techniques good and others harmful. Personal fitness trainers must also possess an understanding of nutrition among other related topics. Because mistakes in these areas can cause serious bodily harm, most employers require trainers to have formal education in relevant fields.

Some employers require trainers to have a bachelor’s degree that is focused on fitness or health. Courses required for such a degree can include kinesiology, nutrition, and exercise physiology. Those interested in helping people recover from injuries also need to learn rehabilitation methods and how to perform fitness assessments.

Other employers may require candidates to possess a personal fitness trainer certificate or diploma. These credentials are granted by institutions that focus more closely on courses directly related to the field.

Local regulators may also impose their own requirements, so it’s a good idea to check the regulations before accepting clients. This will ensure that there is no trouble later on.

Career Outlook

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for personal fitness trainers and instructors was $31,720 in 2012. The employment outlook is average, with employment of personal fitness trainers expected to grow by 13 percent between 2012 and 2022.

This career offers the opportunity to help people improve their physical health and abilities and witness tangible results. This can contribute greatly to job satisfaction and may provide the motivation you need to be excited about going to work.