Personal Trainer Career Overview
Personal training careers are available to individuals who have an understanding of exercise science and who are adept at teaching and spreading knowledge about fitness to others. Although personal training certification isn't technically required, it could be helpful in obtaining a consistent client base because it demonstrates your knowledge of training techniques. Certification can't be obtained online, though there are free, online resources available to help you to prepare for this career field. Check out the table below for basic facts about personal training.
|Required Skills||Knowledge of the human body and fitness, basic teaching skills|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||13% (all fitness trainers and aerobics instructors)|
|Median Salary (2018)||$39,820 (all fitness trainers and aerobics instructors)|
Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer Using Free Online Resources
Although some aspiring personal trainers may lean towards certification courses offered by professional organizations, there is a wide array of resources online that can give you similar knowledge without having to pay expensive course fees. These free, online options can help prepare you to develop workout routines as well as to sit for certification exams, which must be completed in person.
Step 1: Research Personal Training Career Options Online
When beginning your journey into the vast world of personal training, you will have to decide which aspect of the human body interests you the most. Some personal trainers focus on cardiovascular exercise or building muscle. Others specialize in using specific techniques, such as Pilates, to develop their clients' fitness. To decide which field interests you, watch online videos on fitness and go to online forums to talk with personal trainers in these roles and find out what their routines and fitness classes are like. Professional training organizations like the National Federation of Professional Trainers also offer free, online guides to help walk you through your career options.
Step 2: Learn Personal Training Techniques Using Online Resources
Whether you decide on a specific subfield of fitness training or just general personal training, you should be able to find free, online programs that can teach you the information you will need to start your career. Online resources can teach you physical education principles, provide tips on how to put together a workout routine, and even focus on particular exercise methods, such as plyometrics and strength training. Sample workout routines are also available.
Step 3: Obtain Certification
With the research that you have conducted and the training resources you have obtained, you will be almost ready to start putting together your own personal training program to teach to future athletes. This information can also help you work towards gaining personal trainer certification.
Several organizations offer professional credentials to personal trainers who can pass written and, in some cases, practical exams demonstrating their knowledge of physiology and exercise techniques. Certification could be needed if you are working out of a gym. You will not be required to earn certification if you are working independently.
The certification process must be completed in person. However, there are some organizations that offer free, online sample tests to help you prepare for the real thing.