What Training Is Needed To Become A Personal Trainer – If you are passionate about fitness and have a knack for teaching, you can make a great personal trainer. The process to become a personal trainer is not as long or expensive as many other health professions, including my own physical therapy.
In this article, I’ll explain the basics of personal training and how it differs from my PT experience, as well as guide you to the resources you need to become a personal trainer.
What Training Is Needed To Become A Personal Trainer
I’m a PT, but it’s not the same as a personal trainer. The two professions of physical therapy and personal training differ in size, pay, education, clientele, and environment.
The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Personal Trainer
In fact, many places use the term fitness trainer to better separate the two. Alternatively, you can refer to the trainer as a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) if they have that credential.
A certified personal trainer helps individuals or groups of clients achieve improved levels of fitness, flexibility or health through workout design and coaching. In contrast, a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) uses exercises and other techniques to help patients recover from injury, restore movement, or relieve pain.
Both CPTs and DPTs provide their expertise by demonstrating and supervising exercises, scaling movements to be safe and effective for each client, and creating a long-term plan according to each client’s goals.
Like physical therapists, personal trainers help people improve their quality of life through targeted exercise. But CPT costs a fraction of the cost of training in time and money, and is compensated less than half as much as a physical therapist.
Become A Personal Trainer
We’ll go over the steps to becoming a personal trainer, but there’s an initial decision that will determine some of the details of your journey.
After your certification, the letters after your name and your credentials indicate what training you have received. Each certification requires its own exam and reflects the expertise of its certifying agency.
The gold standard for personal training accreditation is the NCCA, or National Commission for Accrediting Agencies. There are currently at least 16 accrediting agencies that issue NCCA-approved personal training certifications.
This is optional, but shading is the most important step in this list. This will help you decide if a career in personal training is right for you and if it proves to be, save you time and money.
How To Become A Personal Trainer In 10 Steps
In addition to offering a trial option, regularly shadowing personal trainers (yes, more than one!) can help you choose your certification and major. Plus, you’ll gain experience from day one—an invaluable asset when building your resume and landing a job.
To sit for the exam, you need more than willpower to succeed. Most certification exams require you to:
Most importantly, you can be CPR/AED certified. Currently, it is easy to fulfill this requirement online; Agencies like ISSA or NASM offer online CPR certification for $50.
But before signing up for a simplified course, make sure it meets CPT certification standards, such as a specific skills test or first aid component.
Personal Training, Semi Private Training, Group Exercise Classes
Virtually every certification body offers an exam preparation course that will help you learn all the information you need to pass the exam. In some cases, you can preview the exam material to make sure you cover all the basics.
Many preparatory courses are available online, are taken on a rolling basis, and require 50-100 hours of study over the course of weeks or months. Along with CPR certification and exam registration fees, most courses cost between $200-$1,400 depending on the level of support and amount of training materials purchased.
Simple, right? Just take the exam! Although easier said than done, passing the certification exam is not a one-time deal. In most cases, you can retake the exam for a small fee.
Prices and duration of physical trainer exams range widely. But on average, the exam takes about 2 hours to complete and costs $300 if you haven’t purchased a prep course registration.
Is It Worth Hiring A Personal Trainer — Fortius
You will not necessarily complete your shadow once you are certified. Once you’ve learned the material, passed the exam, and gained a new perspective on personal training, you can have another round of shadowing. Some gyms and health clubs offer personal trainer internships, allowing you to regularly shadow trainers and gain valuable experience.
This combination of current certification and experience will give your resume a one-two punch and help you land the job you want.
All certificates have an expiration date. Every two or three years, you will need to periodically renew your certification to continue practicing as a CPT (or other fitness trainer).
Renewal requirements vary from certification body to certification body. Typically, you pay a renewal fee ($30 to $130), complete continuing education activities or courses (20 to 60 hours), and renew your CPR/AED certification.
How To Become A Part Time Personal Trainer In 2022
As a physical therapist, I must take continuing education as part of my regular license renewal. I have tried various CEU providers (Continuing Education Units) both in person and online. While cheap CEUs are attractive, I think you should find a CEU provider that offers high-quality content on a user-friendly platform. Affordable, annual price.
Many certification bodies combine continuing education courses with preparation courses and exam registration, saving you money and reducing the difficulty of finding a good CEU provider.
You can find countless resources online to compare and contrast each CPT certification, but below is a summary of their key features.
Apart from regularly taking courses that spark interest and expand your knowledge, you can enhance your professional career by obtaining specialty certificates.
Tips On Becoming A Personal Trainer
Professional certification will diversify your experience and make you more marketable as a personal trainer. In addition, if you have a certificate in several specialties, you can earn a higher salary.
No matter what certification you have, job prospects in personal training are great. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 39% increase in private tutoring jobs by 2030.
Personal trainers are very different from physical therapists. But what we have in common – helping people achieve better, healthier quality of life – provides job satisfaction in all areas.
Finally, if you want a career in exercise but don’t want to get a doctorate, consider becoming a physical therapist assistant or athletic trainer.
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Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and Founder. He enjoys teaching PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Subscribe to her on YouTube for weekly videos on how to improve your financial health.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you decide to make a purchase through my links, I may earn a commission at no cost to you. Read my disclosure for more information.
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Personal Trainers Need Cpr Training
Before we discuss the requirements to become a certified personal trainer, let’s take a look at the role.
A PT’s primary role is to create and deliver personalized training programs to help clients achieve their fitness goals. Learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a personal trainer here.
A personal trainer’s schedule varies greatly. They often work mornings, evenings and weekends to meet customer demand.
According to Glassdoor, you can earn between £16,000 and £55,000 when you become a personal trainer (UK). The average salary for a personal trainer is £29,200.
How Hard It Is To Become A Personal Trainer?
How much you actually earn depends on factors such as your location, experience, and hours worked. For example, if you work in London or have more experience, you will earn more.
The quickest and most affordable way to gain the qualification is a private training diploma which combines the two qualifications listed above.
Your qualifications must be regulated by an Ofqual-approved awarding body such as FOCUS Awards or ACTIVE IQ and accredited by CIMSPA.
Ofqual is the government body responsible for regulating vocational qualifications in England. This rule ensures that a Level 3 personal trainer course provides the same level of training regardless of the training provider you choose.
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CIMSPA is a professional development organization that works with course providers and awarding bodies to ensure that fitness professionals meet the highest standards of education.
This entry-level course qualifies you to work as a fitness instructor. You must complete this qualification during your training to become a certified personal trainer before progressing to the Level 3 training course.
After completing the Level 3 course, you will be a fully qualified personal trainer with the necessary knowledge and training to plan and deliver training programmes.
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