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Becoming a Personal Trainer in New Mexico

In the decade ending in 2022, it is estimated that the demand for personal trainers in New Mexico will increase by 21%. As fitness oriented as the people of New Mexico are known to be, this is really no surprise.  New Mexico regularly ranks among the lowest 25% of states for adult obesity in the nation.

As would be expected of a state that is renowned for a tremendous variety of outdoor activities ranging from snowboarding and wind surfing to rock climbing and whitewater rafting, the demand for personal trainers is constant. The people of New Mexico enjoy taking advantage of all that their state has to offer, ad personal trainers play an important role in helping them do that.

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

Becoming a Personal Trainer in New Mexico

As you undertake your career as a personal trainer in New Mexico, imparting your knowledge and experience about effective and safe exercise techniques will be something you do daily. The best way to obtain that knowledge, for most personal trainers, is by obtaining a college degree in a field of study related to personal training such as:

  • Exercise science

  • Sports medicine

  • Kinesiology

  • Physical education

  • Exercise physiology

  • Health and physical fitness

Most of these degrees are offered at either the Associate’s or Bachelor’s level. Completing any of these courses of study will help provide you with an understanding of human movement, kinesiology, health behavioral changes and health promotion. This is all designed to ensure that students understand the body and how it works. Some institutions (mainly community and technical colleges) offer certificates of completion (CCL) in personal training, which take about one year to complete.

When you pursue an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree rather than a certificate program. You will often gain knowledge related to management and business which can be highly valuable to you as your career as a personal trainer evolves.

Typical coursework in a personal training-related major often includes:

  • Anatomy and physiology

  • Exercise physiology

  • Kinesiology

  • Exercise science

  • Exercise assessment and prescription

  • First aid/CPR/AED

  • Strength fitness

  • Cardiovascular fitness

  • Human nutrition

Most but not all study programs will offer an internship in which you get the opportunity to practically apply knowledge from the classroom in a work setting under the guidance and supervision of a trained professional.  

Professional Certification Programs for Personal Trainers

Obtaining certification as a personal trainer is wholly optional, but you will find that many potential employers and clients will require that you have some form of professional accreditation. Generally, certification consists of a study program followed by an exam.

You will need to consider what professional designation best fits your needs when choosing a certifying agency as there is significant variance in this from agency to agency. The professional certification you choose will likely depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • Accreditation through a national accrediting agency like the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)

  • Recognition among local employers and professional trainers

  • Your personal training specialty

You will find that obtaining a general certification as a personal trainer is quite commonplace, but those who stand out from the pack also have specialty certifications in fields such as yoga, Pilates or weight training just to name a few.  

A few of the national organizations offering professional certification in personal training include:

  • The Cooper Institute

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)

  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

  • National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • Academy of Applied Personal Training Education (AAPTE)

Professional Certification Program Design and Features

The delivery method and design of personal training certification programs in New Mexico can vary quite a bit from one organization to the next. You may find these programs differ based on:

  • Cost: Some programs cost less than $300, while others can reach $800.

  • Examination Cost: Some programs include the examination in the cost of the program, while others have a separate examination fee.

  • Delivery Method: Some programs are offered online, some are offered on-site, and others are offered as a hybrid of the two. Coursework in a distance program may be delivered via streaming lectures, DVDs, and online textbooks, just to name a few.

  • Structure: Personal training certification programs may be designed as a two-day intensive workshop, while others programs allow students to complete study at home and on their own schedule.

  • Examination: Examinations may be completed online for some programs, while others require students to take the examination either a national testing center or upon completion of the on-site program.

All programs have a few requirements in common, which generally include being at least 18 years old and recertifying every 2 to 3 years.

What to Expect from a Career in Personal Training

When you are first beginning your career as a personal trainer, one of the best ways to learn the ropes is to work at one of the larger fitness centers or gyms. This will help introduce you to not only a wide range or training techniques, but clients with a great variety of training and fitness needs and goals. Just a few of the personal training establishments located throughout New Mexico include:

  • Training Innovations, Albuquerque

  • Upward Motion Personal Training, Albuquerque

  • Defined Fitness, Albuquerque

  • KRockett Fitness, Artesia

  • Fort Marcy Recreation Complex, Santa Fe

  • Fitness Plus, Santa Fe

  • Special K Fitness, Farmington

These job postings for personal trainers in New Mexico from April of 2015 demonstrate some of the qualifications employers are looking for:

A job posting for personal trainers for an athletic club and spa, which has five locations throughout New Mexico, requires eligible candidates to possess professional certification through an NCCA-accredited personal training program, at least six months of personal training experience, and CPR and First Aid certification. A bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology or a related area is a plus.

A job posting for a personal fitness instructor in Silver City requires candidates to possess:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a field of exercise science, movement science, exercise physiology, health sciences or a related field (preferred); OR

  • Professional certification from an organization specializing in personal training

  • CPR/AED certification within 90 days of hire

  • A general knowledge of anatomy and physiology

  • Experience working with the public

A job posting for a personal trainer manager in Albuquerque requires candidates to possess a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, kinesiology, physical education, or a related area; at least two years of experience as a manager in a fitness or health facility; and at least three years of experience as a personal trainer.

There are plenty of jobs in New Mexico – and it’s a dry heat, after all. Why not take advantage of a new career in a growing market?

15% off Personal Trainer Courses for New Mexico Professionals - Click Here