Become a certified personal Trainer

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Photo: Eric McGregor CC BY 2.0

Do you have a passion for fitness? A desire to help those on a weight loss journey? Are you a gym rat, and figure that you might as well make a few bucks while you’re there? Perhaps you should consider being a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer).

It is a very satisfying feeling to offer your experience and passion to somebody that is starting out. There is tremendous gratification from sharing your passion for fitness with somebody else.

If this sounds like something that you would like to consider, there are a few items that you should think about.

Why certification?

Just like a college degree, certification shows that a person has acquired a basic level of knowledge as a personal trainer. The extent of a personal trainers knowledge will depend on background and schooling. Certifying bodies have varying requirements, some more in-depth than others.

Who to certify through?

There are probably dozens of “organizations” that sell Certified Personal Trainer credentials. However, there are only a handful that are fully accredited.

What does it mean? Essentially, the certifying organization has had their procedures accredited by a group, such as the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies).

A few examples of accredited certifying bodies would include the (look out, it’s an affiliate link ahead) ISSA (International Sports & Sciences Association), ACE (American Council on Exercise), and ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). There are many others available.

Requirements:

Depending on the certifying group, a minimum of a high school diploma/GED, and CPR certification, in addition to being at least 18 years of age.

For some certifications, a college education is required. For instance, in order to obtain a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) through the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) must have a BS/BA degree. This is an extreme example, but it is out there.

Where can you work as a PT?

As a CPT, of course you may work for a gym, or for yourself. Other places to work could be at a corporate wellness facility, spa, resort, or cruise ship.

There are any number of opportunities for employment, or for building a business for personal trainers.

Expected salary range

Salary range is wide open. A trainer can make as little or as much as they want, depending on their ambition. A part-time trainer working in a club may make $10K per year, while a trainer running their own business can easily see a six figure income.

National standard for PT certification

At the time of this writing, there is no national standard for personal trainer certification. There could come a time when this happens, as there are some fly-by-night organizations selling certification via the internet that are completely worthless. There are good and bad points about government regulation of the industry, but we will just have to cross that bridge if, and more likely when, we get there.


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4 Responses to “Become a certified personal Trainer”

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