How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Maryland
Have you ever considered becoming a certified personal trainer?
Certified personal trainers work primarily in gyms and fitness center helping clients reach their fitness and health goals. Those considering this career should have a love of fitness, good interpersonal skills and an abundance of patience. When working with clients, personal trainers will need to develop and implement appropriate training programs and ensure they are followed. This can often mean motivating someone who is discouraged or frustrated to keep going and assessing when changes need to be made to overcome a fitness plateau. One of the more rewarding aspects of this career is being able to guide someone through a life-changing personal transformation.
Certified Personal Trainer Requirements in Maryland
A license is not needed in Maryland to become a certified personal trainer, but an applicant should have certification through an appropriate accrediting organization. Prerequisites usually include a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent and Basic Life Support certification from the American Heart Association.
Some organizations through which candidates seek certification include American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT) and World Instructor Training School (W.I.T.S.). Some organizations also offer other certifications including group fitness instruction, nutrition coach and special population instruction. Once a certification is completed, ongoing continuing education will be required to stay current with trends and techniques in the constantly evolving field of fitness.
Programs for Certified Personal Trainers in Maryland
- Cecil College in North East offers a Personal Trainer/Fitness Manager certificate as well as an Associate of Science degree in Exercise Science. The certificate program prepares students for immediate entry into the workforce or transfer to the associate’s degree program. The Associate in Science focuses on the exercise and rehabilitation fields and gives students the ability to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program, if desired.
- Frederick Community College(FCC) in Frederick offers a Fitness/Personal Trainer certificate with certification through the NASM. The NASM curriculum requires both an internship and the ability to pass a certification exam. The program can be used to meet the general elective requirements for an Associate of Arts in General Studies at FCC.
- Garrett College in McHenry offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Sport Management. This program is appropriate for students wishing to enter the workforce immediately, as well as those wanting to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree.
Salary and Job Growth Predictions
Projected job growth between the years 2016 and 2026 is positive for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in Maryland, with a growth of 8.1 percent, only slightly below the national growth rate of 10 percent for these types of jobs.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a mean annual income in 2018 for fitness trainers of $46,270. According to Career One Stop, income can range widely, from $19,760 to $77,820 per year, in Maryland. It is possible this range reflects the difference in hours worked, since personal trainers enjoy some freedom in scheduling.
Career Opportunities for Certified Personal Trainers in Maryland
Even though the majority of certified personal trainers work in fitness centers, there is good potential in this career for self-employment. Those with business confidence might be interested in opening their own fitness center, while those who crave independence might pursue freelance work. Other places personal trainers might be employed include civic organizations, corporate industries and government organizations.
In Maryland, Potential employers include Life Time Fitness, Inc., Trustmark Companies, LifeBridge Health, Gold’s Gym, the Jewish Community Center, Commander, Navy Installations, Defense Health Agency, ICF consulting Group, GYM GUYZ and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.