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Becoming a Personal Trainer in North Carolina

North Carolina is as famous for its food as it is stock car racing and college sports. The only thing many Carolinian’s look forward to more than the start of the NFL season is the Lexington BBQ Festival in which over 100,000 hungry people show up to sample some of the best food you’ll find on the eastern seaboard. While a lot of Carolinians go overboard on that one day, the rest of the year they are hitting the gym with the assistance of their personal trainers.

If you choose to work as a fitness trainer in North Carolina, you will be in good company. According to the BLS, the western central portion of the state has more personal trainers than any other rural area in the US. Furthermore, on a statewide level, the people of North Carolina take staying fit seriously and personal trainers are in high demand all year.

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North Carolina has an extremely eclectic population, and you will find that as a personal trainer you will work with people from all walks of life. You may be training an athlete preparing for an open tryout with the Panthers, twenty somethings that want a beach body to hit Wilmington in the summer, or middle aged clients just trying to keep weight from piling on.

You will find that year ‘round, there are events spread across North Carolina that people are always looking to personal trainers for assistance to get prepared to take them on. A few of the favorites among these activities include:

  • Raleigh Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon

  • Dixie Divas Triathlon near Greensboro in Gibsonville

  • Ski races at Cataloochee Ski Area

  • French Board Classique canoe race near Asheville

Whether you want to work in a gym along the coastline in Wilmington or head over to Boone where the skiing is among the best you’ll find in the area, with the proper skills and qualifications, there are plenty of opportunities to find the work environment you are looking for. You will find that a college degree and professional certification will go a long way to making your employment dreams a reality.

Personal Trainer Qualifications in North Carolina

You will be hard pressed to find any North Carolina employers of personal trainers that are not looking for candidates that have both a degree and national certification. In some cases, you will find that they are also looking for candidates with specialty certifications as well.

Traditional Higher Education for Personal Trainers

North Carolina has a number of outstanding colleges and universities that offer degree programs in fields that are related to the personal fitness industry. It is becoming more common among some of these institutions that online classes are being offered to help students with special scheduling needs be able to get their education without sacrificing their employment.

Some of the relevant degree programs offered in North Carolina include:

Degree in Dietetics – the curriculum for this program will involve taking classes like:

  • Intermediate and advanced nutrition

  • Biochemistry of nutrition

  • Community nutrition

  • Fitness development

Degree in Exercise Science – classes that are part of this degree include:

  • Foundation and theory of exercise physiology

  • Exercise testing

  • Biomechanics

  • Lifetime weight management

  • Pharmacology for the physically active

BS in Kinesiology, with a concentration in subjects like:

  • Sports medicine

  • Fitness

  • Physical and health education

For a BS in Kinesiology with a concentration in fitness you will take courses like:

  • Motor skill development

  • Clinical human anatomy

  • Analysis and observation of movement

  • Prevention and care of injuries

  • Fitness leadership

Nationally Recognized Personal Trainer Certifications

A traditional college education is not the only thing most employers will look for in a job candidate. A nationally recognized professional certification is also considered mandatory by many employers.  Before enrolling in a program, however, you will want to ensure you have chosen one that your potential employer accepts. The list of personal trainer certifications includes those sponsored by the following organizations:

  • Lifetime (LT) Academy

  • The Cooper Institute

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)

  • National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)

  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)

  • International Fitness Association (IFA)

  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • Professional Personal Trainers Association (PROPTA)

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

Each certification has its own requirements. To be eligible for some you must already have completed a degree in a field related to personal training.

Starting a Career as a Personal Trainer in North Carolina

There are a number of different work environments you can choose from as a personal trainer in North Carolina. Larger fitness centers and health clubs are the most common employers, however you will also find plenty of smaller gyms and even opportunities working outdoors or as a personal trainer plying your trade at clients houses or community centers.

Retro Fitness in Raleigh is an example of a typical large fitness center in North Carolina. At Retro you will work in a supportive environment leading classes in Pilates, yoga, spinning and Zumba to help your clients achieve their fitness goals.

Some examples of open positions and job requirements for personal trainer positions in North Carolina taken in April of 2015 can be seen here:

  • A Life Time Fitness branch in Cary was advertising for a personal trainer who had a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, Sports Medicine, or another related field, plus at least one nationally-recognized professional certification.

  • Effective Fitness Training in Durham was searching for a qualified personal trainer who had a nationally-recognized certification as well as CPR and AED certification.

  • CaroMont Health and Fitness in Gastonia was looking for a personal trainer who had a college degree in an exercise-related field and/or a professional certification issued by an organization such as ACE, NSCA, ACSM, or NASM.

  • Healthtrax Fitness and Wellness in Raleigh was searching for a personal trainer with a professional certification, preferable from the ACSM, NASM, or NSCA.

As a skilled and qualified professional in your field you are not strictly confined to fitness centers. Many personal trainers work one-on-one with their clients participating in activities like:

  • Cycling in the Pisgah National Forest

  • Hiking along the Appalachian Trail

  • Kayaking in the surf along Emerald Isle Beach

  • Snowshoeing on Sugar Mountain

  • Cross country skiing around Blowing Rock

Sound fun? A personal training career in North Carolina could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

15% off Personal Trainer Courses for North Carolina Professionals - Click Here