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Becoming a Personal Trainer in Virginia

Working as a personal trainer in Virginia, you will find that every day on the job will present you with challenges. You may spend your morning helping some young ladies get beach body ready and your afternoons helping diplomats keep active. You may even find yourself leading spin classes in one of Norfolk’s hottest and most popular fitness clubs.

The job outlook for personal trainers in Virginia through 2022 is excellent. Job growth is estimated at about 16%, which means that with the proper qualifications and credentials, it is a perfect time to break into the industry.

Penn Foster Career School's Online Personal Trainer Programs

Take the first step towards preparing for your career in the fields of personal fitness and nutrition through Penn Foster Career School's online programs:

Personal Trainer Career Diploma

Virginia is rich with opportunities for personal trainers of all disciplines. Whether you focus on strength training, aerobics, Pilates, or a do a little bit of everything, there will be an employer looking for your expertise. Prior to that happening, you have to first obtain the proper credentials to get your foot in the door for an interview.

Qualifying to Become a Personal Trainer in Virginia

In Virginia, like the rest of the nation, you need to have credentials which establish your reputation and prove that you have the knowledge to work as a personal trainer. One of the ways to achieve this is with a college degree in a relevant field of study.

Degree Options Related to Personal Training

While it is not usually a requirement, post-secondary degrees are becoming more common among personal trainers in Virginia. The most commonly held degrees are in areas such as kinesiology, health and wellness, exercise physiology, and exercise science. By completing a degree program in any of these majors, you will have developed a strong base of knowledge with which to better serve your clients.

Typical degree programs include:

  • Associate Degree in Exercise Science

  • Associate Degree in Advanced Personal Training

  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

Having obtained a relevant degree, you will be prepared to help your clients in a number of ways. For instance, you will be able to assess their needs, develop a plan that addresses those needs, and then administer it and evaluate and adjust it as needed while you help your client work toward his or her fitness goals.

The curriculum of this type of program includes:

  • Anatomy and physiology

  • Nutrition

  • Exercise physiology

  • Programming and prescription

  • Kinesiology

  • General psychology

In order to complete your degree program, some schools will require that you have also completed an internship. They like to see that you can take the knowledge with which they have provided to you and apply it in a practical, hands on setting, under the guidance of a credentialed professional.

Professional Certification Options in Personal Training

Obtaining your professional certification is one of the ways that you can demonstrate to employers and clients that you have the necessary knowledge to work as a personal trainer and have made a commitment to being in the field. Most employers in Virginia require personal trainers to possess a professional certification.

When it is time to obtain your professional certification, you will have a wide variety of options to choose from. Keep in mind that each agency has their own criteria and be sure that who you choose meets your professional and personal needs. You will also want to ensure your choice is accredited by a recognized entity like the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Personal trainer certification programs may be conducted in person, online or a combination of both. It is up to you to choose which option best meets your needs.

The most reputable professional certification organizations include:

  • The Cooper Institute

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)

  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)

  • National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT)

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • Academy of Applied Personal Training Education (AAPTE)

Working as a Personal Trainer in Virginia

The best way to appreciate and understand what skills and requirements employers of personal trainers expect applicants to have, we have included a sampling of real job postings from Virginia for illustrative purposes:

An Alexandria fitness center is seeking a personal trainer who can build relationships, give great workouts, and deliver results. The desired requirements include a four-year degree in exercise science or kinesiology or professional accreditation.

A personal trainer job posting in Fairfax seeks a personal trainer who can demonstrate the value of personal training by creating an outstanding personal training experience. To qualify for this job, applicants must possess a degree in kinesiology, exercise science, or a related field or an approved personal training certification.

A Fredericksburg fitness center is seeking a personal trainer who possesses:

  • Excellent communication and customer service skills

  • Experience in designing and implementing fitness regimens

  • Current CPR/AED certification

  • A college degree in a fitness-related field

Just a small sampling of the many fitness centers, personal training studios, and gyms throughout Virginia where you could begin your career include:

  • Jim White Fitness, Virginia Beach

  • USA Elite Trainers, Virginia Beach

  • Battle Fitness, Fairfax

  • Lisa Reed Fitness, Arlington

  • Every Body’s Personal Trainer, Centreville

  • Body Transformation Studio, Fairfax

  • Foundation Fitness, Fairfax

Virginia is a great place to pursue your dreams. Follow your instincts and seek out more information about becoming a personal trainer in Virginia today.

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