Personal Trainer Certification Requirements
Becoming a personal trainer is one of the most exciting and self fulfilling professions in America today. Why is it so appealing? Many men and women of all ages become trainers because of their passion for helping others achieve success. It is not a profession for the young or the old, but rather is open to anyone who aspires to help others reach their greatness as each client defines it.
Success comes in many forms which makes it both challenging and rewarding as you find new ways and new solutions for helping people. It can be success with weight loss, sports performance, recover from an injury, prevent or manage disease or strive to live a daily healthy life of health, wellness and general fitness.
As you get started on this path to become a personal trainer, there will be a handful of requirements you will want to meet. Here is an outline for what you will need to accomplish.
Must be 18
While many people do not figure out what they want to do until they begin to mature, some young people may already know at an early age. The minimum age requirement to offer advice and education on personal training is 18. While this requirement is not likely to affect too many future personal trainers, it may affect a few.
Should be CPR Certified
Unfortunately, there is not an official standard in the personal training industry to meet this requirement. Some gyms will be very specific in requiring that you become CPR certified and others will not. This should be specified by the facility management or your personal training certification company. They will let you know about this specific requirement. However, it is always a good idea to have this knowledge when training clients especially if you are working with the elderly. It may also come in handy if you plan on conducting large group sessions in the event of an emergency.
If you choose to get certified, then the best place to start is with a company like the National CPR Association. They offer online CPR, First Aid and AED certifications that are easy and straightforward. When you go to their website, you can also choose CPR alone or combine this class with AED and First Aid as well.
Have a GED or High School Diploma
Along with being at or older than 18, it is important to have a GED or high school diploma. Since most people are able to finish high school or at least complete the necessary requirements to achieve a GED (high school equivalency), this is not stringent requirement to begin a career as a personal trainer.
Receive a Certification from a Respectable Company
Once you meet the basic requirements of being 18 and having your high school diploma, you are free to choose a certification company and get started. The beauty of this profession is that you do not have to have specific experience or a college education in order to get certified. The only requirement is that you pass a standard test that challenges your knowledge on how to use training to keep people safe while progressing with their goals.
There are a number of organizations which you can find online which offer nationally certified personal training courses. Make sure to choose one that offers a wide variety of courses, has a good reputation and allows you to test online, if convenience is important to you.
Show a Photo ID or other Relevant Confirmation
As with many other certification style organizations, it is important to be able to prove you are who you say you are. This is another basic requirement for taking tests with some organizations as well as getting certified. You will need to present some form of confirmation with a government issued identification. This can be a drivers license, a military ID or passport. Check with the individual organization to know for sure what they require.
Pass a Certifying Exam
Once you have found the perfect personal training certification for you, you will need to pay a fee and get the study materials. Some materials will need to be sent to you and others can be downloaded immediately for your review. Some people can get through material very quickly depending on their personal schedule while others will need more time as they juggle other responsibilities. It could take anywhere from hours to weeks to months.
You will also need to factor in the testing process. Some organizations will require your physical presence while other organizations will allow you to take the exam online and get your results. There can be a big difference in time to get certified depending on the organization's testing process and whether you need to schedule a time and date in advance or simply take the test over an hour and get your results.
In any case, once you take the test you will get results and be certified immediately from this date.
It is typically not a requirement that you have a college or advanced degree to become a personal trainer. Many colleges offer degrees in Exercise Science or Kinesiology. While these are not necessary, they can be preferred by some facilities. In almost all cases, a national personal training certification can be substituted.
As you can see, the requirements for becoming a personal trainer are open to a wide variety of people of all ages, levels of education and experience. The barriers to entry are easy enough for most people to get started on a new career even if they started life in a completely different direction.
Whether you are 24 or 64, a champion bodybuilder who wants to teach how to get lean or a senior who wants to promote the principles of a healthy lifestyle for longevity, the field is wide open for promising new personal trainers.