Physical Training Schools, Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Physical training programs prepare students for jobs as personal or strength trainers. Although physical training degree programs do not exist, students can pursue related degrees or certificates in exercise science, physical education or personal training.

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How to Select a Physical Training School

Physical training refers to personal or strength training. Students in personal, strength or physical training degree programs learn how to help a client reach athletic goals. Personal trainers lead group or individual lessons, demonstrate exercises, provide motivation and plan an activity schedule.

Many employers prefer to hire certified personal trainers. Students interested earning certification should find out the requirements from their preferred certification organization, which may include the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). They should then find out if a program has courses that will prepare them for the certification exam.

Many schools offer a combination of class work and hands-on training. Coursework for a personal training program typically covers both fitness, nutrition and motivation techniques. Hands-on experience may be supervised by a certified personal trainer. Graduates who have received hands-on training may be more competitive when searching for jobs or clients.

Many personal trainers earn certificates or associate's degrees in personal training. Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in physical education or exercise science may decide to work as personal trainers. Certification organizations do not require a minimum level of education, but some employers may prefer to hire trainers with degrees.

Largest Schools Offering Associate's Degrees by Student Enrollment

College/University Student population Institution Type
Ohio State University - Main Campus 53,715 4-year, Public
University of Florida 51,474 4-year, Public
The University of Texas at Austin 49,984 4-year, Public
Michigan State University 46,510 4-year, Public
University of South Florida 46,189 4-year, Public
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign 43,246 4-year, Public
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 41,028 4-year, Public
Florida International University 38,759 4-year, Public
Florida State University 38,682 4-year, Public
Riverside Community College 36,146 2-year, Public
Brigham Young University 34,244 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Liberty University 33,604 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Boston University 31,766 4-year, Private not-for-profit
George Mason University 30,613 4-year, Public
Mt. San Antonio College 30,026 2-year, Public
University of Kansas 29,365 4-year, Public
University of Iowa 29,152 4-year, Public
Texas State University - San Marcos 29,105 4-year, Public
University of Nevada - Las Vegas 28,600 4-year, Public
Texas Tech University 28,422 4-year, Public
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