How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Indiana
To work as a certified personal trainer means helping people change their lives for the better. As a trainer in Indiana you can help people set and meet their fitness and health goals. Working with clients in small groups or one-on-one, you’ll make a real, noticeable difference with the work you do.
Becoming a certified trainer in Indiana doesn’t require a lot of extra schooling. Choose from certificate or two-year associate degree programs in personal training, exercise science or related fields. You can also earn a four-year degree in kinesiology or exercise science to advance your career, but this isn’t required for most personal training jobs.
What is Required to Work as a Personal Trainer in Indiana?
The state of Indiana has no official requirements for working as a trainer in the state. At a minimum, before you start seeking clients or a job with a gym or other employer, you should:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be certified in CPR and First Aid
These are the bare minimum requirements, and even with a passion for fitness and years of personal experience with athletics and working out, you should also have some education or training. A certificate or associate’s degree program from a community college is a good way to get started.
Academic Programs for Personal Training
Indiana has a few options for learning to become a personal trainer. Most will prepare you to work in the industry, take on clients and pass exams for national certifications.
- Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington, Lake County and Sellersburg. Ivy Tech provides you with three campuses. At any of these locations, you can enroll in and complete a program to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in kinesiology and exercise science. You will take 60 credits of courses and be ready to pass a national exam for becoming a certified personal trainer.
- Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis. This combined, urban campus of two of the state’s best universities offers students several options for learning to be a personal trainer. The shortest option is a certificate in personal training and kinesiology. You can also minor in coaching or wellness coaching or earn a certificate in nutrition.
- Indiana Institute of Technology, Fort Wayne. If you are interested in a four-year degree, Indiana Tech offers a bachelor of science degree in exercise science. A few employers of personal trainers require that you hold a four-year degree like this one. As a graduate, you will be prepared to become a certified personal trainer, but you could also pursue a career in physical therapy, nursing or athletic coaching.
Becoming a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer
Personal trainers do not necessarily have to be certified, but without this step you may eliminate a lot of job options. Many clients as well as employers will only work with certified trainers. There are several organizations that are nationally recognized and offer exams for certification: the American Council of Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the International Sports Science Association (ISSA), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT).
Indiana Personal Trainer Career Outlook and Salaries
The career outlook right now for certified personal trainers is positive. You can expect to land a job or to be able to attract independent clients fairly easily in Indiana. Qualified trainers are in demand, and growth in the industry is expected to continue at a strong rate of 7.3 percent.
Salaries as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are for fitness trainers and instructors, a level below certified personal trainers. Fitness trainers made an average of $32,990 per year in Indiana in May 2018, but as a certified trainer you can expect to earn significantly more than that.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in Indiana
Indiana has strong growth in the personal fitness industry, and you can expect there to be nearly 800 new positions in the state each year. Most of these will be concentrated in the larger cities and college towns, including Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend, Bloomington, West Lafayette and Muncie.
Most trainers find work in gyms, which are plentiful across the state, but you also have the opportunity to work as a freelancer or to start your own business. Some trainers work independently, either taking on clients full-time or using it as a second, part-time career. As a certified personal trainer, you will have the flexibility to choose the kind of career you want.