Students enrolled in fitness certificate programs are trained to design and manage fitness programs that incorporate a client's health, abilities and goals. Courses cover the fundamentals of anatomy, kinesiology, exercise and nutrition. Some programs also include an optional internship for hands-on practical experience creating programs and working with clientele. This type of program should prepare graduates to take a certification examination. To become certified, students must hold a high school diploma and CPR certification, as well as complete an exam.
Fitness Certificate Programs
A fitness certificate program's curriculum covers the science of exercise, including basic physiology, conditioning, strength and risk factors. The program teaches assessment techniques and motivational strategies in personal training. Leadership and business topics may also be discussed. Common courses found in the program include:
- Injury prevention
- Applied kinesiology
- Weight lifting techniques
- Exercise for special populations
Popular Career Options
A certificate program in fitness prepares graduates for careers as fitness workers, personal trainers, exercise instructors and fitness directors. Graduates may work with individual clients or groups. Fitness positions are available in fitness facilities, health clubs and recreational centers.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an 8% employment growth for fitness trainers and instructors from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the median annual wage for these professionals was $36,160.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information
Graduates of a fitness certificate program are typically prepared for professional certification in the field. Certification exams can be found through the American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise and IDEA Health and Fitness Association. Certification credentials typically require renewal every few years. In addition to certification, students may also choose to further their education in the field of fitness through an associate or bachelor's degree program in health or fitness.
In fitness certificate programs, students learn about an array of relevant topics, including exercise techniques, injury prevention and program creation, to prepare for careers as fitness trainers or instructors as well as professional certification.