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Becoming a Personal Trainer in Texas

Through the fiscal year ending in 2022, the Texas Workforce Commission has estimated that on average, 460 new jobs for personal trainers will be created annually. At 22%, this is rate of growth is much higher than the average for all jobs statewide.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and when it comes to waistlines that is all too often true. As a personal trainer in Texas, it will fall on your shoulders to help develop and implement exercise programs that help keep Texans looking and feeling their best.

You will work with clients from all walks of life as a fitness trainer. Your clients wellbeing varying states of health, a wide age range, and they will have their individual fitness goals they look to you to help them achieve. You may be helping a young man rehab from a rodeo injury in the morning and later in the day your clients may be seniors looking for low stress exercise to help them maintain their mobility. In Texas, you will likely do a little bit of everything.

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When you begin seeking employment, you will most likely begin with health and fitness clubs as they are the biggest employers if personal trainers in Texas. If you would like an example of a somewhat typical Texas fitness club, The Larry North Fitness Clubs located in Fort Worth can provide you with some insight. They employ nine fulltime personal trainers that handle classes in Pilates, yoga and Zumba, just to name a few, as well as working with clients one-on-one. From core training to flexibility exercises, they have a team that can help each client reach their fitness goals.

If you have the proper credentials. You will find that Texas has a wealth of career opportunities for personal trainers.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Texas

The two most important qualifications you will need to meet when beginning your career as a personal trainer in Texas will be having a nationally recognized personal trainer certification and a relevant college degree.

A College Education in Personal Training

As you begin your job search, you will notice that most employers will express a preference for applicants that have a college degree that is related to being a personal trainer. Texas is the home to many colleges and universities, and most will offer a degree program relevant to the personal fitness industry. If being able to take some of your courses online is important for you, you will be glad to know most institutions can accommodate this.

Examples of related college majors and degree programs that are offered at locations throughout Texas include:

AS degree with a major in Health and Physical Education – this major contains classes such as:

  • Development of fitness habits for life

  • Body conditioning

  • Fitness class development and instruction

  • Weight training and aerobic activity

BS in Kinesiology with a major in Health Fitness – this major will introduce you to courses like:

  • Exercise leadership

  • Exercise testing and prescription

  • Intervention with therapeutic activity in aging

  • Executive management and development in fitness

  • Psychology of sports

BS degree in Kinesiology – this program incorporates classes like:

  • Sports nutrition

  • Motor development

  • Anatomical kinesiology and biomechanics

  • Learning and human motor control

  • Fitness testing and assessments

AAS Dietetic Technician degree, majoring as a Food and Nutrition Coach – this degree includes courses like:

  • Nutrition interviewing and charting

  • Nutrition counseling

  • Medical nutritional therapies

  • Nutrient absorption and digestion

Other relevant majors include Sports Medicine, Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology.

Nationally Recognized Personal Trainer Certifications

All of the best health and fitness clubs in Texas will require that applicants for personal trainer positions will be credentialed through a nationally recognized certifying body. Each has their own criteria and standards for certification eligibility, some requiring a college degree. Here we have included the most prominent of these certifying bodies:  

Some of the most prominent certification agencies are:

  • National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)

  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • International Fitness Association (IFA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • The Cooper Institute

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • Professional Personal Trainers Association (PROPTA)

  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

  • National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • Lifetime (LT) Academy

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)

Applying Your Education as a Personal Trainer in Texas

As you begin your career, it will become quickly apparent why a formal education in fields related to personal training are so important. For example, you may find that your expected duties include activities like:

  • Using your knowledge of dietetics to help a client prepare for the Metro PCS Dallas Marathon

  • Applying what you have learned about kinesiology to help someone improve their stamina in preparation for their first 10K.

  • Designing a workout program for a cyclist using the knowledge you accrued form your studies in assessment classes.

The best way to form an idea of what employers expect from applicants and what kinds of positions are open is to check the job vacancy postings. These job ads, used for illustrative purposes only, are from across Texas in April of 2015:

The City of Round Rock was advertising for a personal trainer who could also serve as a group exercise trainer. Candidates were required to have a professional certification from an organization such as ACE, Cooper Institute, ACSM, NSCA, AFAA, NASM, or ISSA.

The YMCA of Austin was looking for a personal trainer who had at minimum a certification from a nationally-recognized organization.

Equinox in Dallas was searching for a personal trainer with at least one certification from an approved agency.

Results Personal Training in Corpus Christi was advertising for a personal trainer who had knowledge of nutrition, fitness, and program design, as well as a foundation in sales.

Gold’s Gym in Plano was searching for a personal trainer who had the preferred qualification of a college degree in a fitness-related field.

24 Hour Fitness in Arlington was seeking a personal trainer who had either a college degree in Kinesiology, Exercise Fitness, a related field, or certification from an approved nationally-recognized organization.

Thinking about a fitness oriented career? Becoming a personal trainer in Texas is a great way to follow your dreams.

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