Physical Trainer Certification and Certificate Program Information
Physical trainers work with clients to promote healthier lifestyles, teach workout techniques and develop exercise programs. Certificate programs in personal training are available to prepare students for physical training certification.
Personal Trainer Certificate Programs
A personal trainer certificate program trains students to determine safe and effective physical activities for clients. Students also learn to communicate and motivate clients to reach physical fitness goals. The certificate program is offered at many types of postsecondary schools including vocational schools, universities and community colleges.
A high school diploma or its equivalent is required for admission into some personal trainer certificate programs while others have no prerequisites. Having certain safety and first-aid certifications is also required by some.
After taking personal training coursework, students are knowledgeable about human anatomy, physiology and human movement. They learn how to evaluate fitness levels, create fitness plans and perform various exercises properly. Some common classes include:
- Exercise physiology
- Exercise science
- Resistance training
- Wellness and nutrition
- Business management
- Fitness assessment
- Cardio-respiratory training
Physical trainers find employment in various fitness establishments and some are self-employed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the fitness field is projected to increase 29% between 2008-2018. Motivating this increase is the recent greater health interest many people have had and their willingness to spend more money on it. In May 2010, personal trainers earned an annual mean salary of $35,920.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education
Graduates of a personal trainer certificate program are prepared to sit for a certification exam. The BLS reported that numerous agencies offer personal trainer certifications, and those that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies are the most respectable. Each certification agency sets its own eligibility requirements for receiving certification, but all applicants must pass an examination. Continuing education is usually necessary to keep the certification valid.
Students can pursue their studies in personal training further by enrolling in an associate's or bachelor's degree program. Relevant programs at the master's and doctoral levels are also available such as, athletic training, kinesiology or exercise science.
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