How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Alabama

Personal training provides leadership and motivation to individuals and groups in exercise and to help them achieve their personal fitness goals. There are opportunities today to get started in a great new career with personal trainer certification in Alabama.

Personal trainers may help with cardio exercises, stretching, strength training or a combination of all three. If they work one-on-one with a client, personal trainers will create a personal fitness training program that meets their client’s needs based on the fitness level they are on, their own goals and their level of skill. They will demonstrate the exercises and then observe clients to make sure their technique is right.

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Some will specialize in specific groups of the population such as older adults or prenatal women, or in specific types of training. If necessary, they will provide other activities based on the client’s individual needs. Personal trainers also advise clients on weight management and nutritional choices. They should also be prepared to administer first aid.

Skills needed to work as a personal trainer include customer service skills, communication skills, listening skills, motivational skills and problem-solving skills. Personal trainers should also be physically in shape themselves. Requirements to work as a personal trainer may vary by state, so keep reading to learn what it takes to become a certified personal trainer in Alabama.

Alabama personal trainer helping woman at the gym

Requirements to Become a Personal Trainer in Alabama

Alabama does not have any specific educational or certification guidelines for working in personal training. These will be left up to the employer. However, if you are interested in becoming a personal trainer, you should be at least 18 and a high school graduate or have a GED.

Most employers are going to want to hire someone certified in CPR and AED. Some employers like to hire individuals who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in exercise science, kinesiology or a similar field. National certification is not mandatory, but it is very likely to be preferred by some employers.

If you are planning to work independently and even possibly open your own gym one day, it would be wise to get certified. If you do, make sure that the agency you get your certification through has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

For trainers who aren’t certified and don’t have any educational experience, some employers may require them to train under experienced professional trainers before they take on any clients of their own.

Educational Options for Personal Trainers in Alabama

While completing a college degree isn’t necessary to become a fitness professional, it may increase your chances of getting hired or gaining new clients. And if you plan to get certified, these programs will prepare you for certification. Here are a few of the programs to choose from in Alabama:

Lawson State Community College. Lawson State Community College has two campuses, in Bessemer and Birmingham. This school offers a certified personal training course, which prepares students to work as a personal trainer and to receive their national certification.

The course is eight weeks long, and coursework includes biomechanics, exercise physiology, fitness testing, health assessment and more. The course consists of 20 hours of instructor-led online classes, 20 hours of hands-on lab training and a 30-hour internship. Students can take the certification exam on the last day of their practical labs. Students must have CPR/AED certification to take the national exam, and they must have certification to complete their internship.

Lawson State Community College certified personal training course.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). At UAB, students can earn a Bachelor’s in Science in Kinesiology. This degree has four concentrations: exercise science, exercise bioenergetics, fitness leadership and physical education teacher certification.

The focuses that are most suitable for personal trainers would be the fitness leadership concentration or the exercise bioenergetics concentration. These are four-year programs. Students interested in graduate programs can also earn a Master’s in Science with a concentration in Exercise Physiology. Founded in 1831 as the state’s flagship university, The University of Alabama has always focused on being the best available.

UAB Bachelor's in Science in Kinesiology

University of South Alabama (USA). At USA in Mobile, you can get a Bachelor’s in Science in Exercise Science with a Health and Fitness concentration.

This degree program takes four years to complete. You will focus on general education courses for the first two years while adding in core courses. In your junior year, you will take elective courses along with core classes including basic motor learning, sport and human behavior, sport and fitness conditioning and physiology of exercise. During your senior year, you will focus on sports conditioning, sports nutrition and complete an internship. You will be eligible for graduation after you have completed your internship.

University of South Alabama (USA) Bachelor's in Science in Exercise Science with a Health and Fitness concentration

Personal Trainer Certification in Alabama

Personal trainer checklist

Becoming certified as a personal trainer in Alabama will likely give you more job options. If you are working on your own, and not at a gym, you will probably attract more clients if you are certified.

There are various types of certifications available for those providing personal training services, but make sure before you take the personal trainer exam that the program is NCCA-accredited ( National Commission for Certifying Agencies).

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Logo

The top certification agencies for personal trainers are the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Endurance and Sports Training Association (NESTA), the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT), the International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA), The Cooper Institute, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

You can get more information on widely recognized certifications and other sports trainers association memberships here.

Career Opportunities for Personal Trainers in Alabama

The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) reports that the job outlook for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors will be stable over the next few years. Those involved in the personal training industry are included in this category.

This job field is expected to grow in Alabama by 14 percent and by 39 percent nationally in the period between 2018 and 2028. In Alabama, the job field is predicted to increase by only 6.8 percent, but it is still growing. There were approximately 2,800 individuals employed in this job field in Alabama in 2018.

BLS

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in the state of Alabama made an average hourly salary of $13.33 in 2020, and an average annual salary of $27,720 that same year. However, the top 10 percent earned more than $76,550 and personal trainers tend to be among the higher earners.

As such, your involvement in the health and fitness industry and, specifically, personal training services, is a great business to be in right now.

Where to Work as a Certified Personal Trainer in Alabama

Certified personal trainers may work full-time as a trainer, or they may have another full-time job and work as a personal trainer on the side. Most of them work in fitness clubs or gyms, but some work independently and give private sessions in their home or their clients’ homes.

Gold's Gym Birmingham AL

Some places you might expect to work as a certified personal trainer in the state of Alabama include the major fitness center chains such as Anytime Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Iron Tribe Fitness (who started out in Birmingham, AL and offer their clients semi-private personal training) and Planet Fitness. Birmingham employs the most personal trainers in Alabama, and the cities of Decatur, Huntsville and Montgomery are the highest paying in the state. The best personal trainers will usually work independently, building their own list of provide clients in the wealthier neighborhoods.

You can find personal trainer jobs by searching on the most popular job search sites, or by approaching fitness centers directly. Our top tip for getting a job, is preparing yourself by completing a NCCA-accredited program.

FAQs

What are the best certified personal trainer programs in Birmingham, AL?

The best personal trainer certification programs in Birmingham, AL are those that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. NCCA accreditation is the gold standard in the health and fitness industry, and it ensures that the program has been thoroughly vetted and meets rigorous quality standards. Some of the best-known personal trainer certification programs that meet NCCA standards include ACE (the American Council on Exercise), NASM (the National Academy of Sports Medicine), ACSM (the American College of Sports Medicine), and AFAA (the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America). All of these programs offer excellent training, and they are backed by respected organizations with a long history of excellence in the health and fitness industry.

How much can a certified personal trainer earn in Alabama?

A certified personal trainer in Alabama can earn a yearly salary of $38,000. However, with experience and a successful client base, it is possible to earn more. Personal trainers typically charge an hourly rate of around $50.00. The job outlook for personal trainers is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of personal trainer positions will grow nationally by 39 percent from 2018 to 2028. This growth is attributed to the increasing popularity of health and fitness among Americans.

How are gyms and fitness centers regulated in Alabama?

The Alabama Department of Public Health is responsible for the licensure and regulation of all health clubs, including gyms and fitness centers, in the state. To be licensed, these facilities must meet certain requirements regarding safety and sanitation. In addition to licensing, the ADPH also monitors health clubs for compliance with regulations through routine inspections. If any issues are found during an inspection, the club is given a chance to correct them; if they cannot or do not comply, the ADPH may take enforcement action. The license application requires the submission of a floor plan, proof of insurance, list of employees, and other information. In addition, all staff at gyms and fitness centers in Alabama must have completed a certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first-aid. Finally, gyms and fitness centers are subject to routine inspections by the State Department of Health.

How fast is demand for personal training growing in Alabama?

The personal training industry is growing quickly in Alabama! In fact, according to the Alabama Commission on Exercise, the industry has seen a growth rate of over 10% in just the past few years. There are a number of reasons for this growth, including the increasing popularity of health and fitness, the growing awareness of the importance of good nutrition, and the increased availability of personal trainers. If you're interested in getting into personal training, there are a number of great schools in Alabama that can help get you started. And if you're already a personal trainer, there are plenty of opportunities for you to grow your business in this rapidly expanding market!

How does a fitness trainer assess a client's personal fitness goals?

A fitness trainer will typically begin by discussing the client's current fitness level, weight, and health goals. They will also ask about any previous injuries or health conditions that the client may have. This information will help the trainer to create a customized program that is tailored to the client's specific needs and goals. The trainer will also perform a physical assessment in order to determine the client's strength, endurance, and flexibility levels. Based on this information, they will be able to create a program that is both challenging and achievable for the client. Finally, the trainer will also discuss proper nutrition and dietary habits with the client in order to support their fitness goals.

How much studying is required for the NASM certification exam?

The NASM certification exam is not easy. It is a rigorous two-hour test with 125 questions. However, if you have a strong understanding of the material and put in the necessary preparation, you can pass it. The best way to prepare for the exam is to study the NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training manual and complete the corresponding quiz questions. Additionally, studying practice exams will help you become familiar with the types of questions that are asked on the test. And finally, be sure to attend a live workshop or review course so that you can ask any last-minute questions and get help from an expert instructor.

What types of fitness program are on offer in Alabama?

There are a variety of fitness programs available in Alabama, depending on your interests and your location. You can find everything from bootcamps to CrossFit to Pilates classes. If you're looking for a comprehensive program that will help you stay fit and healthy, I would recommend checking out a local CrossFit gym. CrossFit is a high-intensity workout program that combines cardio and strength training exercises. It's an effective way to get in shape quickly and has been shown to improve overall fitness levels.

What is the best personal trainer certification to have?

The best personal trainer certification to have is the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) personal training certification. NASM is one of the most highly recognized and respected personal training certifications in the world. It is an evidence-based certification that covers a wide range of topics related to personal training, including anatomy, biomechanics, movement assessment, nutrition, program design, and more. NASM also offers a variety of specialty certifications, such as Pilates instructor certification, corrective exercise specialist certification, and youth fitness specialist certification.

Do you have to be certified to be a personal trainer in Alabama?

You don't have to be certified to be a personal trainer in Alabama, but it is certainly recommended. There are a few different organizations that offer personal training certifications, and most gyms or fitness clubs will only hire personal trainers who are certified. The main certification organizations are the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), International Fitness Professionals Association, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). They all offer different levels of certification, from basic to advanced. So if you're interested in becoming a personal trainer, it's a good idea to do some research and find out which organization offers the certification that would best suit your needs.

How much does a personal trainer cost in Alabama?

Prices for personal training varies depending on the region of the country, but on average, they cost between $50 and $100 per hour. Some trainers may offer package deals or discounts for signing up for multiple sessions at a time. However, as a general rule, personal trainers in Alabama typically charge around $50 per hour.

How do I find a personal trainer in Alabama ?

  • Your local gym or sports center can connect you with a personal trainer
  • Search on job boards such as craigslist or Thumbtack.com

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