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Becoming a Personal Trainer in Ohio

As a part of the personal fitness industry in Ohio, you will find yourself assisting clients reach their health and fitness goals is both challenging and rewarding. Whether you are helping an athlete prepare for an open tryout with the Bengals, or a more senior client prepare for the Cincinnati Heart Mini Marathon, your clients will be looking to you for guidance.

Ohio is the home to over 8,200 personal trainers. With 490 personal trainers serving Ohio’s rural areas, third highest in the nation for all non-metropolitan areas in the US, 7,740 personal trainers work in the rest of the state. By looking at these statistics, it is plain to see that the demand for personal trainers is high and there is no decline in that need forecasted for the future.

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Despite having employment numbers for personal trainers that ranks among the highest in the nation, competition for jobs is very tough. As such, the best candidates for openings often have an education that is relevant to the health and fitness industry and a national certification as a personal trainer.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Ohio

To become a personal trainer in Ohio, you will want to consider two main qualifications that will make you as employable as possible. The first is a traditional college education which culminates in earning an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree with a major that is considered relevant to the field. A certification as a personal trainer from a nationally recognized certification agency is the other option. While each is distinct, you will discover that many employers seek candidates with both qualifications and some even require both.

Traditional Personal Trainer College Education

The most preferred qualification for most employers is still a relevant college education. This preference is mainly based on the fact that it demonstrates possessing a solid foundation in the area of fitness and health promotion. In addition, the theoretical knowledge obtained through this type of educations is viewed as being invaluable by some employers.

Throughout Ohio, you will find colleges and universities that offer programs of study directly related to the field of personal training. In many cases, online classes are available to help students with more rigid schedules pursue their educational needs.

Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Human Performance and Fitness Promotion – for this major you will take classes that include:

  • Exercise evaluation and testing

  • Health, aging, and exercise

  • Cardiopulmonary pathophysiology

  • Exercise and sports pharmacology

  • Principles of endurance training

Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree in Kinesiology with a major as a Physical Activity Specialist – as part of this program you will study courses such as:

  • Promotion of behavior change leisure, sport, and exercise

  • Applied exercise physiology

  • Musculoskeletal system and its mechanics

  • Human body composition

  • Anaerobic power testing and muscular strength

Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics – this course of study will cover subjects that include:

  • Food, culture, and global nutrition

  • Nutrition for the human lifespan

  • Metabolism of micro and macro-nutrients

  • Medical nutritional therapy

  • Nutritional assessments

Professional Personal Trainer Certifications

Most employers will demand that applicants have at least one professional certification as a personal trainer from a nationally recognized agency. Some of the organizations that sponsor popular personal trainer certifications:

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)

  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • International Fitness Association (IFA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • Lifetime (LT) Academy

  • Professional Personal Trainers Association (PROPTA)

  • The Cooper Institute

  • National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)

As you research these organizations you will discover that each has its own standards and requirements. In some cases, a college degree will be required as well as CPR certification.

Working as a Personal Trainer in Ohio

As soon as you take on your first client, all of the theoretical knowledge that you obtained in college will be put to practical use. As a personal trainer, you may find that your day is very similar to one that involves the following:

Counseling a middle aged executive who is overweight on how to properly use a behavior modification program to lose weight, using knowledge you acquired in classes related to exercise science.

You may use the knowledge you obtained studying kinesiology to help an elderly gentleman prepare to attempt his first 5-K by helping him improve his running posture.

You may use your knowledge from studying dietetics ad human nutrition to help a young runner who is borderline anemic prepare to tackle the Flying Pig Marathon in a safe and healthy way.

You may choose to work outdoors or in a fitness club as a personal trainer in Ohio. As more and more clients find they enjoy the variety and scenery that can only be found outdoors, you may find yourself leading quite a few classes outside in activities like:

  • Canoeing around South Bass Island State Park

  • Cycling along the Emerald Necklace Trail near Cleveland

  • Participating in the Hocking Hills Winter Hike, part of the beautiful Allegheny Plateau

  • Cross-country skiing at Paint Creek State Park

  • Teaching Pilates classes in Toledo’s Detwiler Park

What Ohio’s Employers are Looking For

As you begin your search for jobs in Ohio as a personal trainer, the classified ads will often give you an easy reference for what is available and what kind of skills employers expect their applicants to have. A search of job openings from March of 2015 uncovered these examples:

The YMCA of Greater Cleveland was advertising for a personal trainer who at minimum had a nationally recognized certification, with a preference for applicants with a college degree.

Gold’s Gym in Akron was looking for a personal trainer who had a professional certification or could obtain one within 90 days of being hired. Candidates with a college degree in a field related to personal fitness would be shown preference.

Life Time Fitness in the Columbus metro area (Dublin) was looking for a personal trainer who at minimum had a nationally-recognized certification. Having a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, Sports Medicine, or any other related field was a preferred qualification.

Centers in Cleveland was searching for a personal trainer who had a certification issued by any of the following organizations: ACE, ACSM, NASM, or NSCA.

TriHealth in Cincinnati was looking to fill a Personal Trainer II position with a candidate who could meet these qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a health or fitness field

  • Professional certification from a nationally-recognized organization

  • At least six months of professional experience

Ohio is a great state for personal trainers. Look into a brand new career today!

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