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Becoming a Personal Trainer in Pennsylvania

You will find the fifth highest concentration of personal trainers in the US in Philadelphia urban area according to a survey conducted by the US Department of Labor. As a whole, Pennsylvania is an excellent state for a personal trainer to begin or continue their career.

As a personal trainer in Pennsylvania, it is likely that a health club like the Daily Grind in Philadelphia will make an appearance on your resume at some point in your career. Fitness clubs like this offer small group training instruction to focus on the specific shared needs of the clientele. Another option is building up your own client list to work as an independent freelance personal trainer providing specialized routines to complement favorite weekend activities like:

  • Cycling along the Allegheny bike trails

  • Trekking along the 1,000 Steps Hiking Trail

  • Cross-country skiing in Bald Eagle State Park

  • Canoeing on the Kittatinny River

  • Mountain biking at Raystown Lake’s Allegrippis Trails

  • Hiking the Arrowhead Trail near McMurray

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Versatility is a quality you will need as a personal trainer in Pennsylvania. You will work with clients from all walks of life, having different activity levels, fitness goals and being of different ages ranging from teens to seniors. You may times where you spend half of your week leading spin classes, and the rest of it working with people of all ages preparing for the Yuengling Oktoberfest 5k run/walk, or offering dietary advice to a client trying to fit back into last year’s skinny jeans.

An 11% growth rate for personal trainers in Pennsylvania was forecast by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry projects for the year ending 2022. There are plenty of jobs for personal trainers in Pennsylvania, but to land the best ones you will need the proper skills and certifications.

Becoming a Qualified Personal Trainer in Pennsylvania

In order to prepare for your career as a personal trainer, you are going to want to pursue the two main qualifications most employers are looking for. A college degree is generally the main qualification potential employers expect applicants meet, and the other is a nationally recognized professional certification. In many cases, employers will require both.

Earning a Degree

For most of the highly in demand jobs for personal trainers in Pennsylvania, a college degree will be a prerequisite. A degree will also be required by some of the more prestigious professional certification agencies as well.

In Pennsylvania, you will find that most colleges and universities offer degree programs relevant to a career as a personal trainer. As many students these days have very busy schedules and often cannot change their work schedule to allow them to attend many classes in person at one time, online courses are offered by many institutions to help their students better pursue their educational goals. Examples of relevant degree options include:

AS degree in Dietetics – includes courses such as:

  • Organic and biological chemistry

  • Community nutrition

  • Fundamentals of nutrition

  • Medical nutritional therapy

AS degree in Exercise Science – with classes including:

  • Community and personal health

  • Exercise prescription and evaluation

  • Methods of personal training instruction

  • Exercise psychology

  • Physical education

BS in Kinesiology and Exercise Science – this degree incorporates classes like:

  • Socio-cultural dynamics of kinesiology

  • Muscle training techniques and programs

  • Principles of nutrition

  • Motor control and its neuro-biology

  • Physical activity and its psycho-social dimensions

BS in Sport, Physical Education, and Exercise Science – including courses such as:

  • Exercise anatomy and physiology

  • Aging and exercise prescription

  • Strength practicum

  • Aerobic leadership

  • Personal training

Professional Certification Agencies

Having a nationally recognized certification as a personal trainer is also a requirement of many employers. Some employers have a preference regarding certifications, and likewise some certifying organizations have specific requirements of their applicants. Some of the more commonly recognized trainer certification organizations in Pennsylvania include:

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)

  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • International Fitness Association (IFA)

  • The Cooper Institute

  • Professional Personal Trainers Association (PROPTA)

  • National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)

  • Lifetime (LT) Academy

Each agency has its own eligibility requirements you must meet to qualify for certification.

What You Can Expect as a Personal Trainer in Pennsylvania

Working as a personal trainer in Pennsylvania, you will find that many of the skills that you acquired via your certification training and in college will be used on a daily basis. For example;

You may take knowledge learned earning your dietetics degree to help develop a solid diet for a client preparing for their first triathlon.

Your degree in exercise science would give you the skills to help prepare a workout program for a client preparing for the Pittsburgh marathon.

One of the best ways to ensure you are prepared to offer potential employers what they are looking for when beginning your career as a personal trainer, is to check job vacancies. This sampling of job openings from March of 2015 gives you an idea of what to expect when you start your Pennsylvania job search:

ACAC in Exton was looking to hire a personal trainer who at minimum had a professional certification. Preferred qualifications included a bachelor’s degree, prior related work experience, and prior sales experience.

A Maxx Fitness Clubzz in Allentown was advertising for a personal trainer with the preferred qualifications of a college degree in Human Performance or Exercise Science, as well as a certification from ACE, NASM, AFAA, or ISSA.

A local university in East Stroudsburg was hiring a personal trainer for its recreation center who was able to conduct fitness assessments, flexibility training, medicine ball training, equipment orientations, and body composition assessments.

Another local university in Philadelphia was searching for a personal trainer to work in its health sciences center. Candidate requirements included a nationally-recognized personal trainer certification or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Bedford Springs Resort and Spa was searching for a personal trainer to conduct one-on-one services as well as to teach group exercise classes. Candidates were required to have a certification through ACE as well as at least two years of related experience.

Don’t miss out on the perfect career. Look into becoming a personal fitness trainer in Pennsylvania today!

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