How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Arizona
Personal training is a great career if you enjoy fitness, working out and helping people. Getting in shape, losing weight and improving health are trends that are not going to slow down any time soon. There is big growth in the fitness industry and a demand everywhere, especially in Arizona, for qualified trainers to help clients meet their goals.
As a certified personal trainer you may work for a gym or as a freelancer. You’ll be responsible for bringing in clients, determining their goals, developing fitness programs and workout routines, and motivating clients to exercise and make healthy lifestyle choices. To become a trainer in Arizona, you’ll need to learn about exercise science and fitness.
Requirements for Being a Personal Trainer in Arizona
To start working as a trainer in Arizona you’ll need to have at least a high school diploma or GED, but most employers will also only hire you if you have some amount of post-secondary education as well as certification in CPR and First Aid. The state does not require trainers to be licensed or certified, but simply having a passion for fitness is not enough for most employers or clients to hire you. Consider completing a college program in exercise science or personal training and then seeking national certification to begin your career.
Programs for Personal Training in Arizona
Once you have completed high school, look for a personal training program in the state that will give you the skills you need to begin working and the knowledge to pass national certification exams. Your options include:
- Glendale Community College, Glendale. In the Phoenix suburb of Glendale you can complete the certificate program in personal training at this community college. The short certificate of completion program is enough to give you a foundation to begin training clients, but it will also transfer to the associate’s degree program in exercise science.
- Mesa Community College, Mesa. Also conveniently located in the suburbs of Phoenix, Mesa offers a personal training specialist certificate program. It includes 31 credits of courses in topics like exercise physiology, CPR and First Aid, nutrition, client assessment, and strength and conditioning. There is also an internship so you can get hands-on experience in training.
- Pima Community College, Tucson. For Tucson-area students, Pima offers a professional fitness certificate. You can use this program to begin working as a trainer and to achieve national certification, or you can transfer the credits to a degree program in exercises science or exercise and wellness at Arizona State University.
While national certification is not strictly required for becoming a personal trainer, certified personal trainers draw in more clients and are hired more often by gyms and other employers. In fact, many employers require that you are certified. There are several organizations recognized across Arizona and other states offering exams for certification: the National Federation of Professional Trainers, the National Council on Strength and Fitness, the American Council on Exercise, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and the International Sports Sciences Association.
Arizona Certified Personal Trainer Salaries and Career Growth
On average in Arizona, personal trainers earn $40,990 per year and $19.71 per hour. This rate is higher for certified personal trainers and for trainers with degrees and advanced educations. You can also earn specialty certifications in things like group fitness or nutrition for a higher salary.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that growth in training careers is strong across the country. Jobs available for qualified trainers are increasing at a rate of 10 percent. In Arizona, the growth is even greater, at nearly 20 percent. There is huge demand in the state for certified personal trainers, with more than 1,000 jobs expected to be available each year.
Finding a Job as a Certified Personal Trainer in Arizona
Most trainers work for gyms and other recreational fitness centers, such as at spas or resorts. Some work for government agencies or community groups, while about 11 percent of trainers choose to be self-employed and work out of their homes, their clients’ homes or rented spaces at gyms.
In Arizona, Phoenix and Tucson are great areas to start looking for employment. These are large population centers with a lot of gyms and job opportunities. Check with large gym chains, like Planet Fitness or Lifetime Fitness. Find out what their employment requirements are, as many gyms require that trainers have a degree and are nationally certified.