15% off Personal Trainer Courses for Washington DC Professionals - Click Here

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Washington, DC

As a personal trainer in Washington D.C., you will join a group of professionals that in 2014 helped the city achieve the American Fitness Index number one ranking of fittest cities in the United States. That is a ranking that takes into account levels of chronic disease, preventative health behaviors, policies that support physical activity among the citizenry and community resources. As a personal trainer, it doesn’t get much better than this if you are looking to start or continue your career.

As can be seen from the above praise for Washington D.C., almost everyone is doing what they can to stay fit. That means that as a personal trainer, you will work with a wide variety of people from athletes and professionals to seniors and young parents, who will all rely on your expertise to help stay healthy. Your challenge will be learning about your clients and helping them find a fitness program that fits their lifestyle and interests.

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

Washington D.C. personal trainers often find themselves leading CrossFit classes or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts which remain very popular in most gyms and studios.

According to the US BLS, personal trainers in Washington D.C. earn an average salary upwards of $43,000 annually. Self-employed trainers generally earn far more than that. Add to that working in friendly environments with goal oriented co-workers and clients, and you have a super working environment!

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Washington D.C.

Fitness is front and center in D.C., with champions such as FLOTUS Michelle Obama keeping health and fitness issues in the spotlight. This has helped keep the demand for personal trainers in the area high, which has in turn made job offerings for personal trainers very attractive. It goes without saying that the best positions go to those with a good education plus national certification from one or more agencies.

Personal Training Degree Program Options

The most in-demand personal trainers generally hold a two or four year degree in a field related to health and fitness. This helps ensure that applicant for positions have training in areas like designing workout programs, coaching and nutrition. Better programs will also pair students with certified personal trainers to get some relevant workplace experience in the field prior to graduation. This experience also looks great on a resume.

If you decide a career in personal training is right for you, the following degree programs are available to prepare you:

Two-year associate’s degree program in:

  • Exercise Science

  • Fitness and Health

  • Sports Studies

Four-year bachelor’s degree program in:

  • Biology (including courses in Structure and Function of the Human Body, Cell Biology and Developmental Biology)

  • Nutrition (including courses in Clinical Nutritional Care, Community Nutrition and Food Science)

  • Exercise Science (including courses in Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition and Exercise Psychology and Behavior Change)

  • Kinesiology

  • Sports Medicine

  • Physical Education/Coaching

  • Exercise Physiology

Although each has a unique focus, many of the above programs will incorporate coursework in the following areas:

  • Human anatomy

  • Nutrition for sports and fitness

  • Exercise theory

  • Health analysis

  • Weight management

  • Strength and conditioning

  • Biomechanics

As a result of completing one of the above courses of study, you will be prepared to work with everyone from young people to seniors with a wide degree of ability levels. You may be helping an athlete prepare to peak for a race, designing a nutrition plan for someone to lose weight or finding joint friendly exercises for a senior. Whatever is needed, you should have the skills to meet the challenge.

Another aspect of these programs is building communication and interpersonal skills. These are crucial to your career as a personal trainer as they will allow you to more effectively explain what clients need to do to follow programs you have designed for them and motivate them to reach goals. It also helps give clients the best all-around experience possible that keeps them coming back for more.

National Certification in Personal Training

Almost all employers will require that anyone applying for a position as a personal trainer will have a national certification. For most graduates, this is their top priority upon completing school. Some programs will require applicants have an undergraduate degree and even more will require CPR certification as well.

The following major personal training certification organizations have been recognized by the Livestrong Foundation for their accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and their widespread acceptance among employers:

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS) - requires a 4-year degree

  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) - must have at least two years of fitness experience

  • National Endurance and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

  • International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)

  • The Cooper Institute

  • The American Council on Exercise (ACE)

  • The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)

  • American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA)

Starting your Career as a Personal Trainer in Washington D.C.

Before beginning your career as a personal trainer in Washington D.C., you will want to get an idea of what kind of employment opportunities are available. These job postings from March of 2015 will help give you an idea of what is available and what employers are looking for.

Fitness Together in Central Georgetown was recently nominated as one of Washington D.C.’s Best Personal Trainers, and seeks trainers who hold or are working towards an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science or a related field. They also require at least one year of personal training experience and national certification. Their trainers enjoy competitive pay and the opportunity for advancement into ownership and management positions

Sport & Health Northwest prefers personal trainers who hold a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology or a related field, and who hold national certification. Their trainers are responsible for providing competent, professional fitness instruction and for building friendly relationships with members to create an enjoyable community environment

Personal trainers will often be tasked with performing a number of different duties from leading a class in yoga or tai chi to doing a one-on-one with a client that has special exercise requirements. You will want to know what kind of class rotation a gym or facility has in place before joining them to ensure that it is the right fit for you and your skills.

The following rotation of classes offered at Balance Gym off Thomas Circle in D.C. give you an idea of what classes you might be called on to teach:

  • Spin: a high-intensity interval workout on stationary bikes to boost heart rate and increase endurance

  • Vinyasa Flow Yoga: participants flow through a series of yoga poses to improve strength and flexibility, while awareness of breath improves relaxation

  • Pilates Mat: the classic bodyweight bearing mat workout that strengthens core and targets individual muscle groups

  • Balance BootCamp: interval training using a variety of functional and athletic drills designed to boost heart rates and improve agility, endurance and body composition

  • Zumba: the hugely popular dance workout set to Latin music

  • BarreFit: concentrated exercises using the ballet barre to develop core strength and tone hips, arms and lower body

  • CrossFit Workout of the Day: part of a six-week intensive program, daily workouts including a warm up, skill practice/strength workout and cool-down are offered for long-term participants

It falls on you to help design and help clients implement comprehensive nutrition and fitness plans in their lives while leading classes like these. With your education and training, you will play an important role in helping keep the people of Washington D.C. fit and healthy.

15% off Personal Trainer Courses for Washington DC Professionals - Click Here