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How to Become a Personal Trainer

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Do you find it difficult to resist the urge to give people free fitness tips? If yes, you should probably think about pursuing a career in personal fitness training. Let's look at the job description and requirements to enter this industry.
Obesity is a deep-rooted malaise of modern day society. The good news is that, an increasing number of people are becoming conscious about this issue and taking steps to control it. With an increased awareness about fitness among the masses, the fitness industry is booming like never before.
Obviously, there is an increased demand for expert fitness trainers. However, like any other profession, it demands you to possess certain skills and qualifications, before you are eligible for a job. Apart from this, you also need to possess certain traits and qualities, that will enable you to become a good personal trainer.

Job Description

If you wish to join a fitness club, you would be required to complete certain fitness certifications. Apart from that, you need to pass a fitness examination by the concerned organization that qualifies you as a personal trainer. 
Besides, you should have excellent communication skills, tremendous patience, ability to listen to others, and most importantly, the ability to motivate.
You are likely to come across many individuals who would start a fitness regimen with great enthusiasm but eventually get disheartened, if they do not achieve the desired results quickly.
During such times, the personal trainer's job is to motivate the person to keep at it. Since, this job directly deals with the health of the clients, he or she must be an expert in his or her field so that the clients get accurate advice and correct guidance.


Ideally, you should acquire a bachelor's degree in exercise science, exercise physiology, or a related field and then you can pursue a master's degree if you have set higher goals. However, there are some quick options to get accredited.
You can obtain a certificate from several institutes that impart education in fitness training. Apart from theory classes, you will also get practical experience through such courses. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has accredited seven such institutes, which are as follows.
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
  • National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)
Other than these, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) is another reputed institute that offers quality education in fitness and personal training.

Job Opportunities

Upon the successful completion of the course, you may apply to any of the fitness clubs. This can be done online or by personally dropping your resume at the club.
If you have preferences for a certain club, then you should know the required qualifications and skills for that specific club. This will enable you to prepare for your job interview beforehand.
Many celebrities also require their own personal trainers, therefore, you can always look out for such a vacancy. Alternatively, you may also start your own fitness business. However, it is recommended that you gain some experience in this field and understand the nuances of the business, before venturing into it.