For some, the dream job means sitting behind a desk in the biggest office in the building. For others it revolves around traveling abroad, working outdoors, helping the underserved public, or making policy in Washington. But there are a select few who would rather be pushing their bodies to the limit each and every day, and helping others to do the same. For this rare breed, a career as a personal trainer is ideal. It’s just that it can be a little hard to break into. So if you’re looking to aid others in reaching their personal fitness goals even as you inch closer to your own, here are a few ways that you can make your dream (and your clients’ desires) a reality.
In most states, this type of job requires certification of some sort, which generally means some amount of schooling, including both coursework and supervised practical application. But before you even get to that point, you need to think about whether or not this line of work is really what you want. If you’re going to offer your services as a personal trainer of merit, you not only need to be educated in how to help people safely and efficiently reach their fitness goals; you yourself must be a walking advertisement for your abilities as a trainer, which means you have to make your own health and fitness your first priority. If you are wishy-washy about this prospect in the least then this may not be the right career path.
That said, a strong devotion to the health and fitness of yourself and others is not enough to get you work in this competitive industry. So once you’re ready to move ahead it’s time to look into earning a degree (or at least getting certified). In addition to studying physical fitness, you may also want to gain some insight into related fields like kinesiology, nutrition, and even traditional Chinese medicine (TCM – which includes herbal supplements, acupuncture, massage, and so on). Having a well-rounded education will provide you with the marketable skills and knowledge needed to give yourself the best chance of success in your chosen profession. And while you can certainly attend a university that offers these courses, not everyone can afford a four-year program. In this case, you may want to look into accredited online schools or even certification programs that will prepare you for tests and offer you the training hours required for certification.
You don’t need an online masters of healthcare administration to become a personal trainer, but some type of schooling is necessary since you are taking on the weighty responsibility of a health care (or at least health care adjacent) profession. Once you’ve finished your schooling and obtained a certificate or degree to practice, it’s time to get a job. A good place to start is at a gym, since you can get the practice you need in a setting where you have backup (other trainers to confer with). When you are confident in your abilities, it’s time to think about starting your own business. You’ll likely have some clients on board and you can begin marketing to grow your business. With continued education and expansion you can hire other trainers, open your own training gym, and even create fitness videos to sell as downloads online. The sky is the limit as long as you take the right steps to ensure success.