How to Become a Personal Trainer
Job Duties of Personal Trainers
Skills and Qualities Needed to Become a Personal Trainer
Personal Trainer Salary
Influential Professional Personal Trainers
Leading Organizations for Personal Trainers
Top Cities for Personal Trainer Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Certification programs require that the prospective personal trainer have a high school diploma and can give cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the prospective personal trainer must pass a written exam to demonstrate mastery of the program. The examination covers human physiology, exercise techniques, fitness level assessments and the development of exercise regimens. Some certification programs may include an observational component as well. In an observational exam, an expert in the program observes how well the prospective trainer actually trains.
Personal trainers must renew their certifications every two years and in order for this to happen, they must present documentation of continuing education or contributions to the field through the following activities: 1) attending continuing fitness education classes, 2) attending fitness conferences, 3) presenting fitness information orally and 4) presenting fitness information in the form of written material.
Personal trainers assess individual fitness levels, set individual fitness goals and devise an exercise program to reach those goals. Their work may involve keeping records of their client's goals. Personal trainers may advise on nutritional issues outside the exercise regimen as part of their overall fitness program.
In smaller fitness facilities, the personal trainer will perform many tasks in addition to the prime role. The trainer may also sell memberships, make protein drinks, give tours to potential customers, ensure that only members or guests enter the fitness facility and monitor the weight and cardiovascular areas. The personal trainer in a small facility may fulfill the role of not just personal trainer, but also group fitness instructor and fitness director. In larger facilities, a personal trainer may be required to sell his or her services to clients by the hour.
Personal trainers will generally have to adapt their schedule to that of their clients. In practice this means frequent night and weekend work. Some personal trainers work at multiple gyms and must travel between them and they can have a great deal of autonomy. As personal trainers have these extremely odd and flexible schedules, some students and young actors find it to be an ideal temporary job, while going to college or getting that acting break.
As no facility pays for travel time between facilities, personal trainers need to schedule their hours in way that minimizes unpaid travel time. In short, they need to have excellent planning skills.
In 2008, the middle 50% of annual salaries for all full-time personal trainers ranged from $37,087.to $63,125. Data was not available for the median salary at the level of personal trainers. These figures show a full-time salary, but many personal trainers work part-time and are self-employed, resulting in wide variations in salaries. In addition, part-time workers are not eligible for benefits, such as vacations, sick leave, retirement, health and or dental insurance.
Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko currently serves on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Science Board. He heads the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His field of interest concerns how physical activity affects wellness and quality of life among the aging. He has served on the World Health Organization, Scientific Advisory Committee. He now serves on the Board of The American Council on Exercise, as Vice-Chair.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (www.nasm.org) offers a personal trainer certification, which is preferred by some of the largest fitness chains, Ballys, Golds and 24-hour fitness. This organization also offers advanced specialization certifications, such as the 'Performance Enhancement Specialist', designed to increase performance and the 'Corrective Exercise Specialist', designed to work with people with musculoskeletal impairments or rehabilitation concerns.
Job growth for personal trainers is expected to be good, with employment rising much faster than the average. As schools have cut back on physical education, some higher income parents have begun to hire personal trainers for their children. Participation in health clubs has increased both among younger and older adults, driven largely by concerns about fitness and looking attractive.
The three cities with the largest number of jobs for personal trainers were Los Angeles, tied with New York, followed by Chicago.
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