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Becoming a Fitness Trainer in Illinois

The second highest concentration of personal trainers in the United States can be found in Illinois. Not only that, Illinois is the home to more personal trainers than anywhere else in the nation. As a personal trainer in Illinois, you will be one of many highly trained and motivated professionals keeping residents of the state healthy and happy.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, just 44% of Illinois’ adults participate in moderate physical activity. Only 35% have a healthy weight level. As a personal trainer in Illinois, you will play a central role in helping improve upon both of those figures. Whether you accomplish that by leading Tai Chi classes, taking seniors for a kayaking workout, or improving the cardiovascular health of weekend backpackers, what you do will help improve the overall health of each of your clients.

Penn Foster Career School's Online Personal Trainer Programs

Take the first step towards preparing for your career in the fields of personal fitness and nutrition through Penn Foster Career School's online programs:

Personal Trainer Career Diploma

As a personal trainer in Illinois, you can look forward to a long, stable career, promoting health and wellness. By 2022, it is expected that the overall number of personal trainers in the state will increase by approximately 1,000. The Illinois Department of Employment and Security estimates nothing but positive growth for the industry.

The competition to land to jobs as a personal trainer is stiff. The best way to stand out is to get pursue a strong educational background in fields related to personal fitness and wellness. With the proper educational background, you will also satisfy the prerequisite for most national accreditation agencies.

Steps to Become a Personal Trainer in Illinois

In Illinois, you will find numerous opportunities to pursue an education and certification program that will allow you the best opportunities for employment.

Personal Trainer Schools in Illinois

Acquiring a relevant education at an in-depth level is one of the best ways to begin a career as a personal trainer. With this baseline of knowledge, you lay the foundation for the tools you will need to work with your clients on a daily basis.

Illinois colleges and universities offer two and four-year degree programs with associated courses in topics like:

  • Kinesiology

  • Anatomy and physiology

  • Biomechanics

  • Kinesiology and health

  • Exercise Science

  • Physics for life sciences

  • Physiology of exercise

  • Physical fitness and education

  • Physical Education

  • Fitness testing and health assessment

  • Physical fitness and conditioning

  • Epidemiology and physical activity

  • Nutrition and Dietetics

  • Personal and consumer health

  • Nutrition for population segments: youth, adult, elderly, and pregnancy

  • Nutrition and diet as therapeutic treatments

As many of the people pursuing a career as a personal trainer live and work on a tight schedule, they often take advantage of online courses offered as a part of many degree programs. You should be aware that most certifying agencies will require a 2 or 4 degree in a related field of study.

Options for Personal Trainer Certification

As a personal trainer in Illinois, you will find that you have quite a few certification options. There are also numerous national agencies offering certification as well. Check with your potential employers to see what their preference is regarding certification.

These are some of the organizations you can choose from to earn a personal trainer certification:

  • The Cooper Institute

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)

  • International Fitness Association (IFA)

  • National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

Most fitness and health clubs also require their personal trainers to have CPR, first aid, and AED certification.

Fitness Center and Health Club Requirements in Illinois

As you peruse your employment options, you will discover that each club has their own preferences regarding what they expect from their applicants for positions as a personal trainer. In order to give yourself the best odds of landing the job you want, we have included a few samples of job vacancies from March of 2015 to help you see what is available.

YMCA of Metro Chicago was searching for a personal trainer with strong communication skills, while candidates who possessed a national certification would receive preferential consideration.

Charter Fitness was recently looking to hire personal trainers for its locations in Park Ridge and Beverly. These professionals would also serve as a group fitness instructors. Requirements for these positions included certification from a nationally-recognized personal trainer organization or a related college degree, plus CPR and AED certification.

Health Bridge Fitness, with two locations in Illinois, was seeking a personal trainer who had the minimum qualifications of a bachelor’s degree in a fitness-related field, plus personal trainer certification issued by ACSM, NASM, ACE, or NSCA.

Life Time Training – currently with 111 locations throughout the nation including 9 in Chicago – was recently searching for a personal trainer who had at least one professional certification, with candidates who possessed a four-year college degree in a related field preferred.

Cadence Fitness and Health Center in Geneva was advertising for a personal trainer who could meet all of these qualifications: a Bachelor’s degree in a health or exercise-related field, current approved personal trainer certification, CPR, AED, and first aid certifications, and prior related work experience.

Health and fitness clubs account for the majority of the jobs held by personal trainers in Illinois. For many people, this is a fun environment that is comfortable to work in. Centegra Health Bridge Fitness center has two locations in Illinois is a perfect example of a typical Illinois fitness center. Here you can see a sampling of their specialties, such as:

  • Aquatics training including Hydro-Pilates

  • Muscle activation techniques

  • Youth fitness

  • Nutrition

  • Ai Chi and Tai Chi

  • Barre Method

  • TRN

  • CardioBlast

  • GRIT

  • Zumba

  • Pilates

  • Cycling

If working in a gym isn’t your cup of tea, Illinois offers quite a few opportunities to work outdoors. With your help, you can help get the residents of Illinois healthy and fit in beautiful surroundings enjoying activities such as:

  • Swim training at Montrose Beach or Lane Beach Park in Chicago

  • Hiking in the Shawnee National Forest near Harrisburg

  • Biking along the Tunnel Hill State Trail

  • Kayaking down the Illinois River

  • Canoeing in the Cache River State Natural Area

  • Mountain biking in the Little Grand Canyon near Murphysboro

Being a personal trainer in Illinois can offer a lifetime of enjoyment in a career you can be proud of.

15% off Personal Trainer Courses for Illinois Professionals - Click Here