How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Georgia
If you are goal-oriented, enjoy working with people and love fitness, then you might enjoy working as a certified personal trainer. With more people getting interested in losing weight and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, there is a high demand for personal trainers in most states, including Georgia.
Your responsibilities as a personal trainer will include creating workout routines for your clients, helping them with exercises by demonstrating proper techniques, teaching fitness classes to groups and giving advice on nutrition. You will help your clients achieve their personal fitness and weight goals. Personal trainers often have a flexible schedule and may work at fitness centers or independently.
Requirements to Work as a Personal Trainer in Georgia
There are no statewide licensing or certification requirements to work as a personal trainer in the state of Georgia. There aren’t any educational requirements either; however, most employers do prefer someone who has graduated from high school or has a GED and is at least 18 years old. CPR and first aid certification are also required by most employers in this job field. Completing a post-secondary program isn’t necessary, but it could provide you with the background knowledge needed to work in this field and enable you to start working sooner. Personal trainers who don’t have any certifications or educational experience may be required to train with a more experienced trainer before working solo.
Educational Programs in Georgia
There are various training programs for personal trainers available in Georgia, ranging from certificate programs to bachelor’s degree programs. Here is an overview of some of your choices:
- University of Georgia- Griffin Campus. The Griffin campus of the University of Georgia offers a continued education program in personal training. The school has teamed up with World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) to present this program at UGA. This is an eight-week course that is held on Saturdays. Students may take the national certification exam on the ninth week. The course consists of 62 credit hours made up of 16 lecture hours, 16 practical training hours and a 30-hour internship. Coursework includes biomechanics, equipment usage, exercise physiology, fitness testing and health assessment.
- Gwinnett College. At the Lilburn campus of Gwinnett College, students can earn a certificate in personal training. This is a 300-hour program that is 60 percent classroom lecture and 40 percent hands-on. The 180 classroom lecture hours are spread out over 12 weeks and include the following classes: Fundamentals of Human Movement Science, Assessments, Training Concepts, and Program Design, Nutrition and Supplements and Client Interaction and Professional Development. For the remaining 120 hours of the program, students will work hands-on training gym members. They will devise and document fitness and nutrition programs for clients and then track the clients progress. Students will be able to keep this information in a portfolio to use for future employers.
- Georgia Southern University. For students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree, Georgia Southern offers an exercise science major program. This program offers a concentration in fitness and wellness management. Students will learn how to work with individuals and groups to meet their fitness goals, provide fitness testing and behavior modification. This program consists of 125 credit hours and is designed to be completed in four years. Graduates will be eligible to sit for a national certification exam to become a certified personal trainer.
Personal Trainer Certification
Certification is not required by most employers, but it is preferred by some. If you are planning on working independently or opening your own gym or fitness center, you should plan on becoming certified. You have several options if you want to become a certified personal trainer. Just be sure that the agency you receive your certification from has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Some of the most popular certification agencies that are accredited include the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
Salary and Job Outlook in Georgia
Careers in fitness instruction, which include personal trainers, are experiencing a national growth rate of 10 percent. The growth rate for this career in the state of Georgia is 14 percent. Approximately 880 new positions are expected to open in the state by the year 2026.
The average hourly wage for fitness instructors in Georgia is $21.90, and the average annual salary is $45,540. This is significantly higher than the national average of $39,820 for this field.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in Georgia
As a personal trainer you might work one-on-one with clients or teach small groups. Most trainers are employed by fitness centers, gyms and health and wellness centers. However, you may also find employment through educational and government agencies or spas, or you may work on your own.
In Georgia, work shouldn’t be hard to find with the high growth rate for the profession. But larger cities like Alpharetta, Atlanta and Marietta are a good place to start. Common employers for personal trainers in the state include 9Round, LA Fitness and Workout Anytime. The highest paying area in the state for certified personal trainers is the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta region.