How to Become a Personal Trainer

The fitness industry is one of the most popular forms of trade in the world right now. Between supplement brands, gym clothing companies, and fitness influencers, small athletics brands are becoming prevalent in modern society. One of the most popular careers in the fitness industry is the personal trainer. If you want to start down this career path, a few things are required first. 

1. Earn Your High School Diploma or GED

Unlike many other jobs that require a college degree, the certification to become a personal trainer only needs the equivalent of a high school diploma. Instead of dealing with student loans or work scholarships, you can begin getting your personal trainer certification directly out of high school. This will save you money through adulthood and help prevent debt as you start your adult life. 

2. Complete a CPR and AED Certification

One of the prerequisites to becoming a personal trainer is CPR and AED training. Because you’ll be working with clients with preexisting health conditions, you need first aid training. These courses are easily available and fairly cheap, with certification only costing about $50. As you reach this step in your preparation process, google CPR classes in your area. Chances are a local hospital or fire department will be offering one for you to attend. 

3. Find Your Fitness Niche

As you’re learning more about the personal training field, you also need to choose a fitness specialty to practice. Whether you’re helping MMA fighters perfect their fighting styles before their next bout or helping college athletes reach peak performance, having a set specialty will help define your goals. The specialty you choose should be something you’re both interested in and somewhat skilled in. While you’ll have the opportunity to improve your skills during training, it’s important to have baseline knowledge to start your career.

4. Get Certified by The NCCA

Perhaps the most important step to becoming a personal trainer is your certification. The National Center for Certifying Agencies, or NCCA, is the main provider of personal training certifications. Several other agencies operate under their umbrella, providing more specialized diplomas. Once you choose your niche, it’s time to prepare for your certification test. There are plenty of online resources to help you prepare, some giving practice exams or mockup situations for you to work through. As you’re getting ready to take your test, it would be wise for you to take advantage of these prep courses. Even if you feel completely ready, the more knowledge and preparation you have going into the test, the better. Once you feel confident in your knowledge, register online for your exam. More than likely, the exam will be done online, so you won’t have to find a testing site near you. If you pass, congratulations! You are now a certified personal trainer! 

5. Find The Right Job

Once you pass your certification, it’s time to find a job that suits your needs. Depending on where you live, there could be multiple openings with clients near you. While you’re building experience, it may benefit you to start working at a local gym. Getting some experience under your belt at an entry-level position will not only help you meet people but also help you learn your way around the fitness industry. Once you have some experience, you can begin to apply for other personal trainer positions in your area. You could end up working with individual clients or in a blanket position where you work in an overall athletics position. No matter what your eventual career plans are once you have your certification, you can find a job that suits you. 

Overall, becoming a personal trainer is a rewarding career option for those interested in the fitness industry. If you’re wanting to get your certification, get started today! 


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