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.

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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.

Educational Prerequisites

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.

Program Coursework

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
  • Anatomy
  • Resistance training
  • Wellness and nutrition
  • Kinesiology
  • Business management
  • Fitness assessment
  • Cardio-respiratory training

Employment Outlook

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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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
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    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
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    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
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    Online Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
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    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

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    School locations:
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    • Master
        • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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