Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in Arkansas
You can turn a love of working out and physical fitness into a career that helps other people become stronger and happier. As a certified personal trainer, you’ll work with people one-on-one or in small groups to help them develop workout routines, eat healthier and learn how to safely do various exercises.
Certified personal trainers need to know more than just how the body works. They’ll also have to be good communicators, patient teachers and motivating cheerleaders for their clients. When the workout gets tough or the results are slow to arrive, a positive attitude can go a long way.
Prerequisites for Working in Arkansas
Before beginning work as a certified personal trainer in Arkansas, you should be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Some employers may require you to obtain CPR and AED certification, which you can receive through the American Red Cross.
Additional certification isn’t necessary, though receiving some formal recognition of your expertise can help you get a better job. Receiving at least a certification qualifies you for higher paying work, as many employers appreciate knowing that you have specialized knowledge of exercise science or fitness technology.
Available Certifications for Personal Trainers
Several national organizations offer certifications for personal trainers. Obtaining one of these certifications can make you a more competitive applicant and help you advance your career. Each organization has its own program structure and prerequisites, so take some time to discern which one might be best for you. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Council on Exercise (ACE) offer popular programs.
Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Arkansas
Certified personal trainers may consider obtaining a degree in physical education, fitness technology or a related field to further their careers. The following schools in Arkansas offer relevant programs:
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. This school offers several physical fitness programs, including a bachelor’s degree program in physical education, health and wellness geared toward personal trainers. Core courses include coaching theory, kinesiology and exercise assessment, with optional courses in leadership training and program planning, among others.
- University of Central Arkansas. Students in the University of Central Arkansas’ Physical Education Teacher Education program can earn a degree in kinesiology and physical education, which prepares them to coach athletics programs and work as physical education teachers from grades K through 12. These teaching skills can directly translate to developing and leading personal training programs for adults as well.
Career and Salary Expectations in Arkansas
According to the Projections Managing Partnership, jobs for fitness instructors and related professions, including certified personal trainers, are expected to grow at a rate of 9.7 percent in the 10 years to 2026. This is in line with the national average growth rate of 10 percent during the same time period.
People in this field can expect an average annual salary of $38,820 or an average hourly salary of $18.66, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in Arkansas
As a certified personal trainer, you have several options for beginning your career. People in this field work in rehabilitation centers, gyms and fitness centers or in their own businesses. For those who would prefer to work in an already-established organization, larger cities like Little Rock will have the most job options. Personal training is a rewarding career for people who enjoy teaching, exercise and the idea of a nontraditional career, making it ideal for former athletes looking for a new path.