How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Michigan
If you have a passion for fitness and sports, enjoy working with people and have a desire to make a difference with your career, consider becoming a personal trainer or fitness trainer. Michigan, like most states, has a demand for qualified trainers as more people are interested in healthy lifestyle choices, weight loss and exercise.
As a certified personal trainer you will be responsible for developing workout routines for clients, guiding them through exercises and using equipment with proper form, teaching group fitness classes, and helping people reach their fitness and weight goals. This is a people-oriented career. You must be comfortable working with people in a hands-on way, guiding and motivating them to complete workouts and training sessions.
What You Need to Work as a Personal Trainer in Michigan
The state of Michigan has not set any specific requirements for personal trainers. There is no state-level licensing and no required degrees. However, to work as a trainer you need to be at least 18 years old, have completed high school or earned your GED and be certified in First Aid and CPR. Most clients and employers will not hire you unless you have completed some type of related academic program or have a nationally-recognized certification in personal training.
Academic Programs in Michigan
A good way to get started out as a personal trainer is to earn a degree or complete a certificate program at a community college or university in Michigan. Choose a program in exercise science, personal training or kinesiology. There are several options in the state:
- Macomb Community College, Warren. In the Detroit area you can complete MCC’s continuing education program designed to help you become a certified personal trainer. The non-degree program includes courses in fitness training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, equipment use and other relevant topics. You’ll get certified in CPR and First Aid and be prepared to pass certification exams.
- Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City. Northwestern partners with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) to offer this personal training program. It includes classroom learning as well as hands-on work in a gym. This is not a degree program, but it will prepare you to pass the ACE certification exam and provide you with CPR certification.
- Lansing Community College, Lansing. For a degree and certificate options, consider LCC for personal training. Here you can earn a certificate in group fitness instruction or an associate’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science or professional fitness leader. The latter degree can be completed in just two semesters and is designed to get you working in the fitness industry immediately.
National Certification for Personal Trainers
You do not have to be certified to begin working as a trainer, but many employers as well as clients will only hire certified trainers. There are several options for certification, but the organization you choose should be accredited by an agency like the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Some examples of nationally-recognized certifying organizations include: the American Council on Exercise, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the International Sports Sciences Association, the National Federation of Professional Trainers, and the National Council on Strength and Fitness.
Salary and Job Outlook for Personal Trainers in Michigan
Fitness is a growing industry across the U.S. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that careers in fitness training and instructing are growing at 10 percent, which is faster than average. In Michigan the growth is a little slower, at 7.5 percent, but is still impressive. There should be over 1,000 new positions available for qualified trainers each year in the state.
Salaries for trainers can vary widely, depending on where you work, how busy you are and your level of experience and expertise. The average salary for fitness trainers in Michigan is $37,690 per year. Those who make the most are trainers earning over $76,000 per year.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in Michigan
The best way to land a job as a trainer is to be certified. Gyms and fitness centers throughout the state are interested in hiring certified personal trainers to take on one-on-one clients and to teach fitness classes. Most trainers work in gyms, but you may also be hired by community organizations, educational and government agencies, and spas and health clubs. You can also work as a self-employed trainer, taking on clients in your home gym, outdoors at parks or in rented space at larger gyms.
You’ll find the most opportunities for work in larger population centers, especially in the Detroit metropolitan area. Other cities, like Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Traverse City, should also provide a number of job opportunities for qualified trainers.