Physical Trainer: Job Description and Requirements for a Career in Physical Training
A Physical Trainer helps people of all ages and fitness levels to safely improve their physical condition through exercise and proper diet. Becoming a Physical Trainer is fairly easy to do and the requirements vary, but always include the completion of a Physical Training program from an accredited organization.
Career Definition: Physical Trainer
These days a successful Physical Trainer is expected to do more than simply shout directions at his or her willing victim inside a sweaty gym. Today's Physical Trainers are required to be knowledgeable in the areas of nutrition, weight loss, physical rehabilitation, stress management and sports medicine just to name a few. Education for a Physical Trainer takes from three months to four or more years and includes certification from an accredited institution.
How to Become a Physical Trainer
Required Education for a Career in Physical Training
There are two main paths to a career in Physical Training: academic with certification or certification only, but be aware that more and more employers are requiring the completion of both academic and certification programs. The academic/certification path will require a 2- or 4-year degree in a field such as sports medicine or physical education plus the completion of an accredited certification program. Certification courses may take from 3-12 months and can be done through home-study. In both cases, coursework will include topics such as nutrition, business management, sports medicine and physiology. Currently, there are few regulations guiding the industry of Physical Training and standards are largely set by employers so it is important to decide what environment you would like to work in and make sure your education meets the general guidelines for that workplace.
Required Skills for a Career as a Physical Trainer
Those aspiring to a career as a Physical Trainer must be energetic, enthusiastic and enjoy helping others reach their goals. Also, in order to relate successfully with clients a Physical Trainer must be as interested in listening as they are in teaching. Depending on the work environment they choose, a Physical Trainer may need to be skilled at self-promotion and experienced in the basics of running a small business.
Career and Economic Outlook for Physical Training
With a continued growing interest in physical fitness, the number of places a Physical Trainer may find employment also continues to grow. Along with working at a fitness club or as a private Physical Trainer, spas, resorts, hotels, cruise ships, country clubs, rehabilitation clinics, hospitals and businesses with on-site gyms also provide opportunities to launch a successful career in Physical Training. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field of fitness training is growing much faster than average when compared to other occupations and that the median annual income for a trainer was $25,910 in 2006.
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