Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in Alaska
If you enjoy exercising, teaching and helping others reach their goals, you may be able to combine all three into a career as a certified personal trainer. In this role, you’ll work with people in individual or group settings to help them get in shape and improve their health. This can include assistance in developing an exercise routine, completing exercises correctly and even providing advice on nutrition.
Being a certified personal trainer requires good communication skills, knowledge of the human body and exercise, and a positive attitude. Getting in shape can be difficult work, and by providing a motivating and inspiring presence, you can help your clients succeed.
Alaska Requirements for Personal Trainers
Aspiring personal trainers should be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Acquiring and maintaining CPR and AED certifications are also useful, and some employers may require these certifications. You can take CPR and AED classes at local hospitals, clinics and YMCAs, among other locations.
While no additional certification is required to be a personal trainer in Alaska, further education can help you find jobs and request a higher salary more easily. The following options may be helpful for certified personal trainers.
National Certification Options
You can obtain a certification in personal training through a recognized national organization and show potential employers that you have the knowledge necessary to be an effective trainer. Prerequisites for each organization vary, though most require students to pass a test demonstrating their abilities in order to receive their certificate. Popular programs include the National Academy of Sports Medicine, American College of Sports Medicine and American Council on Exercise.
Higher Education for Certified Personal Trainers
In addition to receiving a formal certification, many personal trainers choose to study fitness and related sciences through an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree program. While a degree is not necessary to begin working in Alaska, higher education can give you valuable information and skills that may make you a more attractive candidate when applying for jobs.
The following schools offer degrees in Alaska:
- University of Alaska at Anchorage. The University of Alaska at Anchorage offers a bachelor’s degree in physical education, which teaches scientific, psychological and cultural aspects of physical fitness. Students also learn testing and leadership development skills.
- Coastline Community College. The California-based Coastline Community College runs an online associate’s degree program in physical education and health. Students learn to apply major theories and concepts of health, nutrition, kinesiology and fitness to wellness and lifestyle choices.
Career and Salary Outlook in Alaska
Jobs for certified personal trainers are expected to increase by 10 percent nationwide in the 10 years to 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. In Alaska, job growth is expected to outpace the national average to reach 15.5 percent during the same time period.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fitness instructors, personal trainers and people in similar careers in Alaska are generally paid an average salary of $40,580 per year. Personal trainers who choose to work at an hourly rate average $19.51 per hour.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in Alaska
Certified personal trainers enjoy significant flexibility in their career choices. They may work in college gyms, fitness center chains and rehabilitation centers, or they can begin a freelance career by starting their own business. Jobs at established businesses are most readily available in larger cities, such as Juneau or Anchorage. Working as a personal trainer is a rewarding career, particularly for those who enjoy helping others reach their goals while working in a nontraditional setting.