How Long Does It Take to Become a Personal Trainer?

personal trainer is showing how to lunge

Personal trainers are in great demand. People want to take the fullest advantage of workouts. We crave getting in shape as soon as possible. And a personal fitness trainer can help to lose weight and gain muscles properly.

Want to become a personal trainer? Here’s what you need to know. There are no strict regulations regarding fitness professionals. That means that everybody can call themselves a trainer and start their career. But if you want to become a trusted and well-experienced professional, you should work hard. Physically and mentally, of course. No reputable company will hire a questionable so-called “trainer”.

How Hard Is It to Become a Personal Trainer?

Like any other profession, you have to work on your skills and improve your knowledge. If you want to work for a gym, you need to get at least one personal training certification. People tend to trust certified trainers more. That means the person has accomplished some training certification program.

The average time spent on studying the course and passing the final test is around 3 to 6 months. Some organizations offer courses that last up to 12 months. At the end of the course, you have to pass the personal trainer certification exam and receive a certificate.

There many companies that provide studying courses for all levels. The popular ones in the United States are:

  • ACE – the American Council on Exercise;
  • NASM – the National Academy of Sports Medicine;
  • ISSA – the International Sports Sciences Association;
  • ACSM – the American College of Sports Medicine;
  • and NSCA – the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

The courses include all the necessary materials and case studies. So if you’re wondering “How long does it take to become a personal trainer?”, the answer is from a few days to a couple of months.

instructor is helping woman to do crunches

How to Become a Personal Trainer?

The fitness industry is at the top of the agenda now. Thus, it’s high time to become a certified personal trainer. Moreover, you can also consider a job as an online coach. Lots of people look for personal training programs on the Internet. As they spend much time at home or work. Some of them prefer to build a home gym and stay in to work out.

That’s why we prepared a detailed guide on how to become a certified personal trainer. Get the hang of certificate programs if you’re interested in becoming a professional fitness coach.

Is This Profession Right for You?

Before you sign up for training courses to get certified, weigh all the pros and cons. A new career in personal training is truly rewarding. And highly responsible as well. You take a huge responsibility for people’s lives. You constantly lead them and recommend a personal training program. Make sure you’re really interested in this occupation.

The best fitness instructor considers themselves a person who:

  • opts for a healthy lifestyle;
  • interested in health and fitness education;
  • enjoys working with other people;
  • wants to help other people and make their lives better;
  • encourages and energizes others.

Do you live up to these aspects? Do these points describe your personality? If yes, great start!

Perhaps, you may be feeling in two minds whether you’re ready or not. You may also feel uncertain if you fit this profession. Here’s another list of options that are NOT necessary to get started as a fitness trainer.

  • experience in the sports industry;
  • years of experience doing sports;
  • athletic body from a magazine cover;
  • high school diploma;
  • Bachelor’s degree.

Of course, all of these are a great plus when you start a fitness career. But you can become a personal or group instructor without such aspects. So what do you need to become a personal trainer?

training course with bicep curls phone app

Enroll at Personal Trainer Courses

You’re likely to have already obtained some fitness basics. And now you want to expand your horizons to get certified. Personal trainer courses are a good way to do that. There are classes suitable for people of all levels. So don’t be afraid of taking a shot even if you’re feeling rookie.

There are millions of courses available online and offline. The training programs are quite different. Here’s what to look for when choosing a fitness education course.

  • A certified program must have accreditation. That means it meets fitness certification standards. And the certificate you get here is acceptable for becoming a personal trainer. For instance, look for programs that are credited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). It ensures the course meets the fitness industry standards.
  • Search for programs that are endorsed by trusted fitness-related companies. They should be connected to well-known professional affiliations. That adds more credibility and trust points to the program.
  • Check all the info about the course before enrolling. Who founded it, how many years they have been working for, read real feedbacks, etc. Read more details about the program, its mission, and goals. What do you get at the end? Does it meet your needs?
  • Ask about the program itself. What are you about to study? What course materials are you using? How long does it take to end the course? What to do to pass the exam? What certificate are you getting?
  • Find out about extra features like marketing courses, business training, gym partnerships, workshops, and continuing education. That’s an excellent learning experience that may come in handy.

trainer is teaching other sportsmen

The Types of Fitness Certifications

Before you become a personal trainer, you should decide what exactly you want to do. There are dozens of sport disciplines you can be a professional at. Depending on your choice, you have to look for appropriate courses. These could be:

  • Personal fitness instructor
  • Group fitness instructor
  • Aquatic fitness instructor
  • Indoor cycling instructor
  • Kickboxing instructor
  • Pilates instructor
  • Yoga instructor
  • Pre and post natal specialist
  • Bodybuilding instructor
  • Therapy instructor
  • Corrective exercise instructor
  • Sports nutrition specialist
  • Kids fitness instructor
  • Seniors fitness instructor

There’s a myriad of certification programs. And each of them has a special curriculum to study. Read carefully about the programs and find your passion.

Apart from the main course, you may need to pass the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) certification programs. Some companies require their trainers to accomplish such courses. The CPR/AED certification is advantageous to get to know how to help people in case of emergency.

woman is looking at laptop on yoga mat

The Benefits of Personal Trainer Courses

A training program is an excellent way to start your career. It will teach you all the bare essentials. You’ll gain some theory and practice already to work with a client base. At the end of the course, you’ll know:

  • anatomy and physiology basis;
  • personal training and exercise science;
  • how to assess fitness needs of the clients;
  • how to create individual exercise programs;
  • how to create individual nutrition plans;
  • how to work with people of all ages and fitness levels;
  • how to land a job at a gym or fitness center;
  • how to start your personal trainer business.

Such courses are beneficial for getting the hang of training basics. You have to know how our body works and its anatomy. In case of emergency, you should know how to give Emergency Cardiac Care (CPR).

Get ready to adjust the exercise and diet plan all the time. Learn how to deal with stress and encourage people not to give up. Remember that people of different ages and fitness levels require various approaches.

five athletes are jumping on boxes

How to Become a CrossFit Trainer?

CrossFit is a relatively new kind of sport and it’s getting more popular. Millions of people worldwide are doing CrossFit training online and offline. If you’re the one who wants to partake in this sport as a trainer, you’ll need a CrossFit qualification.

The CrossFit brand offers a Level 1 Certificate Course. The training lasts for 2 days working from 9-5. In case of success, you’ll receive the certificate. It’s valid for 5 years, which is a plus. The cost is $1,000 to get the Level 1 Certificate. To become a professional certified trainer, you’ll need a little bit more.

Professional CrossFit Trainer Requirements

Many beginner trainers work as assistants first. That’s a great way to gain experience before becoming a personal instructor.

To become a professional certified trainer, you need to do the following:

  • pass the Level 1 certification;
  • pass the Level 2 certification;
  • Gain at least 750 hours of training experience;
  • pass the Level 3 certification.

woman is training man to push up

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Personal Trainer?

Attending learning courses requires a solid budget. If you decided to sign up for high-quality professional courses, they may cost you a fortune. But this is a one-time investment that will work for you for the rest of your career path. Thus, passing a certification exam is worth consideration.

How much does a trainer course cost? The average price range goes between $500 to $1000. The cost depends on many factors. They include the company, duration, extra lessons, and more. Expect extra fees for educational materials used. Plus, the certification exam is likely to be paid separately.

The price tag also depends on the discipline and level. Training certification for beginners costs around $400-$500. While expert certification may go up to $2,000 and even more. Specialist certification like senior or youth trainer is worth $400-$600. CPR certification costs around $75.

Many companies, especially online courses, provide their clients with monthly payments. This option may help you to manage your budget. At the end of the course, you decide whether you’re ready to pass the exam or not. If yes, there’s an extra fee for certification.

man is doing squats with ball

What is the Average Fitness Coach Salary?

After reading about the trainer certification cost, you may be curious how much you will get as a coach. No wonder you want to know whether your investments will pay for themselves. And the answer is yes! Getting a certification is a one-time contribution. You’ll get the necessary knowledge that will help you to attract new clients.

So how much do personal trainers make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for fitness trainers and instructors in 2019 is $40,390 per year. That’s $19.42 per hour.

The numbers depend on many factors. The average salary differs in various states. According to the ZipRecruiter, the highest paying states are Washington, Maryland, and Nebraska. The average payment there reaches $52,000+ yearly.

Group fitness trainers get less while personal coaches earn more. You could go up to $75,000 yearly with personal training. Your level of training experience is a crucial factor as well. Your personal traits of character are taken into account. On the like of friendliness, determination, and flexibility.

two man with barbell lying on mat

Find Your Path and Follow It

A personal coach is a profession in high demand. If you crave gaining knowledge and experience – get a certification. Look for trusted associations that provide long-term certificates.

There are lots of trainer courses to any taste. You can work with kids, adults, or seniors. Group session and individual lesson options are available.

People look for not only a good-looking athletic trainer but who has a great experience. Thus, you should learn lots of things. These are anatomy, first aid, marketing strategies, nutrition, physiology, etc. Besides, you must differentiate gym pieces of equipment and understand what they are good for. Once you get started, move forward only. We wish you pass your personal training certification with flying colors!