To start as a personal trainer, first become certified by a program that suits your needs, and then choose a specialty. Find a job with a gym, hospital, workplace wellness department or university, or start your own business. Certification takes between a few days and three years, depending on the type.
- Become a certified personal trainer
Some certification programs are for one specific exercise, such as indoor cycling, and can be obtained with just a few days of instruction. Certification programs that cover a broad range of exercises generally take one year of full-time study to complete. Extensive certification programs such as through the American College of Sports Medicine take up to three years. It is important to choose a certification program that is accredited by a third-party, independent organization such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Many employers require a certification that is accredited.
- Choose a specialty
Areas to specialize in include weight loss, sports conditioning, instructing senior adults or youths.
- Find a job or start a business
Whether your work for a fitness organization or for yourself, it is critical to market yourself. Networking, social media campaigns, newsletters and business cards are all effective tools to get started. Referrals and word of mouth can be the most effective method of increasing the client base of experienced personal trainers.