Technically, you do not need a college degree to become a successful personal trainer. All you need to start your new life as a personal trainer is personal trainer certification. Most personal trainer certification courses do require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent.
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Even though you do not technically need a college degree to become a well-respected personal trainer, attaining one does give you more credibility in the industry. A bachelor’s degree in exercise science or another health and wellness-focused degree will start you off on the right foot in your new career as a personal trainer.
How do I choose the best personal trainer certification course?
There are many nationally recognized and trusted personal trainer certification courses. When choosing one of these certification courses the most important thing for you to do is to make sure that the course is accredited. There are numerous courses on the Internet that claim to be legitimate, but unless they are accredited they cannot be trusted.
After you have a list of accredited personal trainer certification courses the next thing to consider is how well that course fits your budget and your life needs. Some courses offer the option of studying at home while others require you to attend classes on location. Each personal trainer certification course has different pre-requisites and degree requirements.
What are some of the top personal trainer certification course options?
Three of the top personal trainer certification courses that are most recognized and accepted at gyms and health clubs are the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
The American College of Sports Medicine offers two different personal trainer certifications. The first is the Certified Personal Trainer course. The Certified Personal Trainer course does not require a college degree. The Certified Personal Trainer course is a computer-based program that requires you to go to a proctored testing center for the exams to be administered.
The second course that the American College of Sports Medicine offers is the Health and Fitness Instructor course. The Health and Fitness Instructor course is also computer based and requires you to go to a testing center. Unlike the Certified Personal Trainer course the Health and Fitness Instructor course does require a college degree.
The Health and Fitness Instructor course requires either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in a health related major. These majors include physical therapy, nursing, physician assistant, occupational therapy, physical education, health care administration, kinesiology, exercise science, kinesiotherapy, physiology, biology, sports management, nutrition, health science, human performance, and exercise physiology.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association also offers the Certified Personal Trainer course. The second course the NSCA offers is the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist course. The Certified Personal Trainer course does not require a college degree while the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist course requires a college degree in any field. While the National Strength and Conditioning Association does offer some online-based programs it does require exams to be taken at colleges and universities spread throughout the United States.
The National Academy of Sports medicine also offers a Certified Personal Trainer course. Just as with the other organizations this Certified Personal Trainer course does not require a college degree. This program is based online with the final exam held in a testing center.
Should I continue my personal trainer education after I become certified?
Even after you become a certified personal trainer your education should not end there. The health related community is constantly making new discoveries that affect the nutrition and fitness industries. To continue to be relevant and successful in the personal trainer field you must continue to educate yourself on these advancements.
If you choose a certification course that does not require a college degree it is still a good idea to take a few college courses. Some of the courses that would be most useful to your future as a personal trainer are nutrition, biology, exercise physiology, anatomy, and other health related courses.
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