Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in Minnesota
Do you enjoy exercise and have a passion for helping others? If so, you might consider becoming a certified personal trainer. As a certified personal trainer, you’ll use your knowledge and skills to help people achieve their fitness goals. You’ll create personalized training regimens, offer nutritional advice and help motivate your clients to reach their maximum potential.
Certified personal trainers usually work with individuals or in small groups, and develop personal relationships with their clients. Their background in human physiology, exercise science and nutrition helps their clients reach their goals safely and without injury. A personal trainer should also have a positive attitude and be able to encourage their clients to keep stretching their physical limits.
Requirements for Personal Trainers in Minnesota
To begin work as a personal trainer, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old and have your high school diploma or GED. Personal trainers in Minnesota do not require any licensing but must maintain current certification in CPR/AED through an organization such as the Red Cross.
While you don’t have to get an associate’s degree (AS) or bachelor’s degree (BS) to work as a personal trainer, most employers prefer to hire trainers with an educational background in exercise science or a related field. Higher education is also desirable if you plan to become a certified personal trainer.
Certification Options for Personal Trainers
Certified personal trainers have a higher earning potential and wider skill set than personal trainers who don’t have certification. To get certified, you’ll have to meet the prerequisites for that organization, pay the appropriate fees and pass their examination. Some students sit for the certification exam after completing their AS or BS degree, while others opt to take a short course to prepare for the test.
There are several national organizations that have certification exams for personal trainers, and many also offer advanced certification courses for experienced trainers to expand their credentials. Some of the more popular certification options include:
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
Educational Programs in Minnesota
While higher education is not required to become a certified personal trainer in Minnesota, you’ll have an easier time finding employment and passing the certification exam if you take some courses in exercise technology, fitness and nutrition. Some suitable programs in Minnesota for personal trainers include:
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). Located in the Twin Cities, MCTC offers a short, 8-credit course aimed at preparing you for taking the ACE certification exam. This program covers first aid and CPR, weight or fitness intensity training, wellness leadership, and personal and group fitness training. When you finish the course you will be ready to sit for the ACE-CPT exam, and may transfer your credits to an AS or BS program if you choose to pursue a degree.
- North Hennepin Community College (NHCC). NHCC also offers a short certificate course for personal trainers. Here, you’ll learn how to develop individualized exercise programs and coach your clients on weight loss, weight gain, muscle strengthening and flexibility. Their program includes an on-campus internship where you can practice your new skills with other students and faculty. This course prepares you to sit for the NASM-CPT exam, or you may transfer into a degree program and continue your education.
- Dakota County Technical College (DCCC). Located in Rosemount, DCCC offers an AS degree in exercise and sports science, as well as having a short certificate-only program for personal trainers. The certificate program is perfect for people studying to sit for the ACE-CPT exam. In the AS program, you’ll earn general education credits as well as getting specialized training in anatomy, physiology and exercise science. Once you graduate you may transfer to a BS program or take the certification exam and begin work as a certified personal trainer.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state of Minnesota indicate that there were 6,170 fitness and aerobics instructors employed throughout the state in 2018. This category includes personal trainers and certified personal trainers. They earned between $15.90 and $26.96 per hour, with a median reported income of $19.58.
It is hard to gauge exactly how many job openings per year there are for personal trainers and certified personal trainers. There are over 1,000 openings a year for fitness and aerobics instructors, and the state is expected to see an increase of 5.7 percent in this field in the next seven years. Overall, the outlook for certified personal trainers is great in Minnesota. You have a good chance at securing employment and should be able to increase your wages as you gain in experience.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in Minnesota
Certified personal trainers work in gyms, fitness centers and may even travel to their clients’ homes to coach them one-on-one. The majority of certified personal trainers are employed in the hospitality and leisure industries, while others may work in public health at rehabilitation or wellness centers. While the majority of certified personal trainers in Minnesota are found in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, there are employment opportunities found throughout the state. The Midwest is a growing region for fitness instruction, so certified personal trainers should be in high demand for years to come.