Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in Maine
Are you into fitness and nutrition? Do you like helping and working with others? Are you good at motivating others? Then you might enjoy a career as a certified personal trainer.
Certified personal trainers inspire and motivate others to reach their personal fitness goals. They will help them come up with a fitness and nutrition plan that meets their individual needs and then make sure they stay on track. They provide a lot of support to their clients. Personal trainers might work in fitness centers, or they may work as freelancers or open their own business. You should have excellent customer service and communication skills as well as motivational and problem-solving skills. As a certified personal trainer, you should also be in good physical shape yourself.
State Requirements and Certification for Personal Trainers in Maine
To become a certified personal trainer in Maine, you will need a high school diploma or the equivalent. Licensure is not required in the state. Most employers prefer to hire someone who has CPR and AED certification, because as a personal trainer you may have to administer first aid at some point.
National certification isn’t mandatory, either. However, if you work independently or are planning to open your own business, then certification is a good idea. If you don’t have certification or any educational experience, then you may have to work under an experienced trainer before you can train clients on your own.
If you become certified, you should seek out a program that has received accreditation through the National HYPERLINK "https://www.credentialingexcellence.org/page/ncca-mission-and-vision"Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Some good programs are those offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Programs for Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in Maine
Although postsecondary education isn’t necessary, you may wish to complete a certificate program in personal training or fitness instruction. Associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in exercise science and kinesiology are also available. Here are some of the programs you may be interested in within the state:
- International Sports & Fitness Trainers Association. International Sports & Fitness Trainers Association (ISFTA) offers several certifications and continuing education courses in Maine. Prices vary for each session. Availability and length of course also vary, so check on that before registering. Accreditations you can get include Personal Fitness Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Kettlebell Trainer and Stability Ball Trainer. You can also take the following credentialing courses at your own pace: Certified Personal Trainer, Stability & Balance Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Foam Roller Specialist, Functional Training Specialist, Kettlebell Training Specialist, Plyometric Training Specialist, Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist, Senior Fitness Specialist, Youth Performance Specialist and Aqua Fitness Specialist.
- University of New England. If you want to earn your bachelor’s degree, the University of New England offers a program in exercise science. This program combines kinesthetic learning, classroom theory and practical labs to prepare students for a career in this field. Students who complete this program should be able to pass the national certification exam. This is a four-year program.
- University of Southern Maine. The University of Southern Maine offers a Bachelor’s in Science degree in exercise science that is comprised of 120 credit hours and can be completed in four years. Coursework includes exercise, health and sports sciences required core courses, exercise science major required courses and exercise science approved electives. Minors that may be taken with this program include Biology, Business, Chemistry and Holistic and Integrative Health.
Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations
As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly income for fitness instructors in Maine was $23.86 in 2018. The annual average was $49,640 that same year.
In 2016, 1,000 fitness instructors were working in the state. That number is predicted to remain the same in 2026, with no growth over that time period. However, there will still be job openings as others retire or relocate. And the national predicted growth rate for this career is 10 percent, so it is a job field that is expanding.
Opportunities and Employment in Maine
Most certified personal trainers work in gyms and fitness centers. Other places a personal trainer might work include educational facilities, government organizations and health and wellness centers. You could also be self-employed and open your own center or meet with clients in your home or theirs. Potential employers in Maine are Anytime Fitness, Planet Fitness and the YMCA of Southern Maine. Cities where certified personal trainers are paid the most and find the most job opportunities in the state are Brunswick and Portland.