Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in Idaho
Certified personal trainers use their athleticism and knowledge of fitness to help people achieve their own fitness goals. They lead small groups or work one-on-one with clients in a variety of settings, from gyms to rehabilitation centers, and often combine nutrition with their physical fitness routines.
It’s also important for certified personal trainers to be good communicators, motivators and supports for their clients. Whether they’re describing how to safely do an exercise or providing encouragement, strong people skills are essential for personal trainers.
Prerequisites for Certified Personal Trainers
Personal trainers should be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Some employers my require CPR or AED certification, and classes for each can be taken through the Red Cross. No other formal certificates are required to work as a personal trainer; however, to become a certified personal trainer, you’ll need to take a national exam. Certified personal trainers typically enjoy higher salaries and more job opportunities.
National Certification Programs
Receiving your certification in personal training demonstrates to potential employers that you have specialized knowledge and abilities, helping you stand out in job applications. Popular nationwide certification options are offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Council on Exercise (ACE). Each of these programs has different prerequisites, formats and test styles, so be sure to review them all before making a selection.
Degree Programs for Idaho Trainers
While an associate’s or bachelor’s degree isn’t required to become a certified personal trainer, obtaining one in physical education, health sciences or a related area can help you expand your training offerings and advance your career. The following programs are offered in Idaho:
- University of Idaho. The University of Idaho’s Exercise, Sport and Health Sciences degree teaches principles of health through nutrition, exercise and psychosocial health behaviors. The program offers students field experience abroad and through local internships.
- Idaho State University. Students at Idaho State University can major in Physical Education with an emphasis in Exercise Science, which includes courses that develop foundational knowledge in the field, specialized knowledge in movement and the ability to analyze movement.
- College of Western Idaho. The Exercise Science associate’s degree at the College of Western Idaho prepares students for careers or transfers to four-year programs, with studies in anatomy, physiology, biology, human health and performance training.
Salary and Career Outlook
Certified personal trainers, fitness instructors and related roles make an average annual salary of $34,040 in Idaho, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who charge hourly make an average of $16.36 per hour.
Jobs for people in these careers are expected to increase at a national average rate of 10 percent during the 10 years to 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. In Idaho, growth is expected to reach 16.3 percent during the same time period.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in Idaho
Certified personal trainers can work in schools, gyms, fitness centers, rehabilitation centers and more. Larger cities such as Boise typically offer the highest concentration of jobs. Many certified personal trainers choose to start their own companies and work with their own community, wherever they might live. Whether as part of an established organization or a one-person company, working as a certified personal trainer is a rewarding career that combines a love of fitness with a passion for helping others achieve their goals.