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Personal Trainer Careers in Fitness Nutrition

Personal trainers help clients by designing a fitness regimen for their individual needs and demonstrate how to perform these exercises correctly. They also provide nutrition information and conduct exercise classes.

The entry-level educational requirement to become a personal trainer is a high school diploma, but many professionals have an associate or a bachelor’s degree. If you earn a postsecondary degree you may need to take courses in nutrition, exercise science, kinesiology, and physical education. 

What steps should I take to become a Personal Trainer / Fitness Nutritionist?

Choosing a certification is the first step to becoming a personal trainer. If there is a particular club you would like to work at, it might be a good idea to find out what certifications they require before a trainer can work with clients. The National Academy of Sports Medicine points out many different certification options, including Weight Loss Specialist, MMA Conditioning Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Youth Exercise Specialist, and Group Personal Training Specialist.

Many different organizations offer you the opportunity to earn certification including the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, the National Council on Strength and Fitness, and the National Federation of Professional Trainers. For more information on credentialing organizations please visit the Institute of Credentialing Excellence’s website.

According to the BLS, you may also need to know how to perform CPR in some states, if applying for some certifications. Be sure to check with potential employers and state certification boards for exact requirements.

Licensing Requirements

According to the BLS There are no licensing requirements to become a personal trainer. However, some employers may require specific certifications.

Potential Growth for Personal Trainers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) reports that personal trainers are expected to experience an employment outlook as fast as average during the next decade, nationally. The number of available jobs may depend on what state you work in and what certifications you have earned.

CareerTotal EmploymentProjected Number of New JobsProjected Job Growth Rate
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors280,08029,3009.8
Source: 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2016-26 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

If you are worried about growth within the career you may need to earn a postsecondary degree. A bachelor’s or master’s degree, along with experience, may help you earn a management position in a fitness club. You may also learn the skills needed to open your own business.

Personal Trainer Salaries

According to the BLS, the current national median annual wage for personal trainers is below the national average wage for all occupations. Your pay may fluctuate depending on your geographic location as well as where you work and your job title. Below you may find on information on potential salaries. 

Source: 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2016-26 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Sources:
Get Credentialed, National Academy of Sports Medicine,
http://www.nasm.org/get-credentialed
Fitness Trainers and Instructors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm#tab-1

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