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Becoming a Personal Trainer in Oklahoma

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Census, there is a total of about 1,760 personal trainers scattered throughout the state of Oklahoma. That is approximately one trainer for every 1,642 adults in the state. As a personal trainer in Oklahoma, you will play an important role in helping those adults get, and stay, fit.

In the decade ending in 2022, the demand for personal trainers in Oklahoma is expected to show a 10% growth rate. Given the statistics showing that Oklahomans are currently growing their waistlines at a similar rate while enjoying events like Broken Arrow’s Taste of Summer and A Taste of Edmond, the need for personal trainers is quite evident.

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On a daily basis, you will help clients of varying fitness levels, athletic abilities and ages develop a sound fitness plan and then motivate them to achieve their goals. While many Oklahomans are going to request your assistance in just trying to stay fit, some will have loftier goals such as completing the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon which attracts upward of 25,000 entrants annually.

Not everyone will have an athletic goal as their motivation for seeking you out as a personal trainer. Oklahoma’s residents have many interests and activities they pursue outside of sports. You may work with a young thespian that is trying to maintain a specific body type. You may have some clients that just want to squeeze back into their jeans from two or three years ago. In some cases, your clients are just going to want you to help them look and feel better about their body.

Before you can do any of this, you need the proper knowledge. In order to have a long and successful career as a personal trainer in Oklahoma, you have to lay a foundation that is comprised of the right education to earn the credentials to be a certified personal trainer.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Oklahoma

In order to become a competitive personal trainer in Oklahoma, you will first need the proper education and credentials to be employable.

Higher Education for Personal Trainers in Oklahoma

You can find degree programs at most of the colleges and universities in Oklahoma that will be relevant to your pursuit of a career as a personal trainer. For students that have trouble attending classes in person for employment or other reasons, a number of institutions offer at least some of their classes online to help accommodate them.

Some of the degree programs that will help best prepare you for a career as a personal trainer include, but are not limited to, the following:

Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science, which will include courses like:

  • Introductory nutrition and personal health

  • Prevention and care of athletic injuries

  • Lifestyle intervention and weight management

  • Wellness and health coaching

  • Principles of personal training

Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise and Fitness Management, with courses such as:

  • Health and aging

  • Pharmacology for the health and fitness professional

  • Fitness assessment and exercise prescription

  • Motor development and learning

  • Psychology of sport

Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Sciences with a major in Nutritional Sciences, with classes such as:

  • Nutrition and evidence-based practices

  • Science of nutrition and food preparation

  • Food and the human environment

  • Pathophysiology of chronic diseases as it relates to nutrition

Personal Trainer Certification Options

In Oklahoma, personal trainers are generally required by most employers to have a national certification. Each sponsoring agency has its own criteria and standards for certifying applicants, and some employers prefer certain agencies over others. With this in mind, before you begin the certification process with an agency, make sure it is acceptable to your employer and fits your individual and professional needs as well.

Some of the most prominent organizations that sponsor personal trainer certification programs are:

  • Lifetime (LT) Academy

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)

  • The Cooper Institute

  • National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • International Fitness Association (IFA)

  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)

  • Professional Personal Trainers Association (PROPTA)

Oklahoma’s Working Environment for Personal Trainers

Regardless of the backgrounds, fitness level or general diversity of your clientele, the knowledge that you acquired in college and/or your certification program will be used on a daily basis in scenarios that may include:

  • Helping a family to practice the proper rowing technique for a canoe outing in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area

  • Giving jogging posture technique pointers to a client who was preparing to complete the Oklahoma Run to Defeat Diabetes in Norman

  • Advising a young woman basketball player on exercises she could do to develop strength in a targeted area

  • Giving a middle-aged client tips on ways to develop endurance for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

The best way to get a firm idea of what employers are looking for is to check the job postings for your field. Here we have compiled a few demonstrating the wants and needs of employers. These were collected from a March of 2015 survey conducted across the state of Oklahoma:

The Centers for Families and Children in Oklahoma City was seeking a personal trainer to work in its ease@work program that provides individualized and group sessions for employees and their family members of contracting organizations. To qualify for this position, you would need to have a bachelor’s degree and related personal trainer experience, plus a professional certification.

Gold’s Gym in Tulsa was looking to hire a personal trainer who had the preferred qualification of a college degree in a related field. Nationally-recognized personal trainer certification was a requirement for this position.

Provant Health Solutions was hiring for a personal trainer position in Oklahoma City. To qualify you would need to have either a degree in Exercise Science/Kinesiology or a personal trainer certification.

The Oklahoma Heart Hospital was looking to hire a personal trainer to work in its new Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Center. The preferred qualifications for this position were:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science or a related field

  • Nationally-recognized personal trainer certification

  • At least one year of related experience

There are nearly endless possibilities for someone who wants to become a personal trainer in Oklahoma. Start your new career and find out how rewarding life can be.


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