The personal training occupation, similar to others, is what you make of it. What makes the profession somewhat distinct from others, is that personal trainers (PTs) must be self motivators and lifelong learners. Regardless of whether Its work in a public gym or as a sole proprietor, this job is an earned investment.
Personal Trainer versus Certified Personal Trainer
When deciding to become a PT, you can become certified or not. If you choose to not follow the path of certification, your employment options will be limited as will your client base. By-law or company policy, most gyms require PTs to have active national certifications. If you choose to work at a private gym or independent, you will require PT insurance, which also requires an active national certification.
While there are various certification options, including NCSF and NASM, they all have a similar concept – trainers must recertify every couple of years. As part of recertification, trainers must earn and complete continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain their certification. A CEU in the world of training includes an active CPR/AED certification, time spent on the job, and various training options. The biggest investment for PTs is in the training options because these investments help shape the clients for the PT. For example, PTs can become certified in:
- Strength Coach
- Periodization Training for Sports
- Functional Fitness for Older Adults
- Bosu Strength and Athletic Conditioning for Personal Trainers
- Pre/Postnatal Performance Training Specialist
- Women’s Fitness Specialization
Money and Time
Many people become PTs because they “love working out, so why not get paid for it” – but they fail to realize the investment they are making. While many courses and CEU options are not very expensive, you need to plan for and set aside time to earn them. If you want to become a successful PT, then certification is the route to take to make sure you can work anywhere. The investment you make in the ongoing certification ultimately makes you a well rounded investment to clients that pay for you to help them.
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