If you are interested in becoming a personal trainer, then yes, you will want to consider getting more than one certification as part of your training.
To begin with, you will want to ensure that your main certification comes from an NCCA accredited program. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies is the most recognized certifying agency in the US for personal trainers.
While you can save money by completing a non-NCAA accredited program, you will not be eligible to receive the kind of pay or benefits that those who take accredited courses receive.
In 2002, a study of personal trainers in the US, conducted by Dr. MH Malek, found that personal trainers that graduated from an NCCA accredited program were more apt to understand and apply the best methods of fitness and diet for their clients.
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What Kind of Personal Trainer Certifications Are There?
The first thing that you need to understand is that you only need one general certification. What we are talking about in this article are certifications in specialized areas of personal fitness. For example, at the National Academy of Sports Medicine offers certifications in:
- Personal Fitness
- Sports Performance
- Corrective Exercise
- Power Plate
- Performance Enhancement Specialist
There are also personal trainers for specific sports such as football or basketball; field specialists such as Olympics or national sport and so on. There are even personal trainers who specialize in sports like hockey or ice skating.
There aren’t necessarily certifications for these specialized areas, although there are many different training programs available for people who want to focus on a specific type of sport. Often times personal trainers who specialize in a sport do so because they played that sport for a number of years and have inside knowledge of what it takes to compete in that sport.
If you are considering working for a gym or private club, you need to check with them to see if they require any specific certifications or if they have any additional training that they want you to participate in.
Most will require an NCCA certified school as your basis but, instead of a personal trainer certification, they may request an aerobics and fitness certification.
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What Additional Training Might I Need to Become a Personal Trainer?
One requirement that you will need for any certification is to be certified in first aid and CPR.
Some schools will provide you with this certification prior to you starting your personal training courses for an additional fee.
In addition, you will want to consider additional medical training.
You don’t have to go for a medical degree, but a year or two of training as a nurse will go a long way towards making you more appealing to potential employers, or to clients if you plan on going solo.
Any type of training that could be associated with a personal trainer, you should consider trying.
For example, you might not think that becoming a yoga specialist would serve you as a personal trainer, but you might be surprised to learn that many people work with personal trainers and ask for yoga workouts as well.
Granted, it’s going to get very expensive very fast if you try for every course, training, workshop, or certification that is available, so start with a general education and build your portfolio from there.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Personal Trainer?
If you take a general personal trainer course, you should be able to complete it in about a month to a month and a half.
However, the courses can take shorter amounts of time depending on whether or not you have any previous training or longer amounts of time if you decide to break up your classes over a longer period of time.
Once you have taken the appropriate classes and have received your certification, it’s time for you to either get a job or start your business. If you are planning on starting your own business, you should get all of the paperwork and licensing done while you are taking your courses so that you can get started right away. The bottom line is that becoming a personal trainer won’t take a lot of time in terms of your certification. There is some hard work to be done and you also have to ensure that you are in good physical shape.
If you choose to go to a tech school or a college for a degree, then you can expect your training to take two to four years. The good news is that these schools are covered by grants and student loans. In addition, all of the extra certifications should be covered in these courses.
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