How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Missouri
Becoming a certified personal trainer in Missouri does not require an extensive education or a four-year degree. With a certificate or diploma, you can be ready to become certified and begin working in the fitness industry. The job of a trainer includes:
- Recruiting new clients
- Helping clients identify their fitness goals
- Developing programs for workouts to meet those goals
- Evaluating client progress and changing programs as needed
- Leading individual clients or groups through workout routines
If you love fitness, enjoy being active and want to help people get healthier and fitter, this is a great career. Demand in Missouri and throughout the country is high for qualified, dedicated personal trainers.
What Do You Need to Work as a Personal Trainer in Missouri?
There are no specific requirements set by the state for working as a trainer. Many employers, including gyms, and clients looking for trainers will only hire or work with certified personal trainers. To achieve certification, you will need to have completed high school or earned a GED, be trained in CPR and First Aid, and earn a certificate, degree or diploma in personal training, kinesiology or exercise science.
Personal Training Programs in Missouri
While not specifically required, completing a post-secondary program in personal training is the best way to be prepared to earn certification and land a position working in the fitness industry. You have a few options in Missouri for programs that will prepare you for this career:
- St. Louis Community College, St. Louis. This short program is designed like a test prep course. It will prepare you to take and pass the American Council of Exercise (ACE) certification exam. The courses follow the Integrated Fitness Model, a way of designing training programs for clients based on their individual needs.
- St. Charles Community College, Cottleville. The kinesiology department at St. Charles offers this certificate program in personal fitness training. It is nine weeks long and includes classroom time, hands-on practical work and a 30-hour internship.
- Bryan University, Springfield. You can earn the diploma in personal training at Bryan either on campus in Springfield or online. The school partners with ACE to create this program that prepares graduates to begin working as trainers and to pass the ACE exam for certification.
National Certification for Personal Trainers
Many employers require that their trainers are certified. Completing any program at a university or community college should provide you with all the knowledge and experience needed to pass any one of the nationally-recognized certification exams. Organizations that offer these exams include 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).
Career Outlook and Salaries for Trainers in Missouri
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that careers in training are growing at a faster rate than average job growth around the country. In Missouri, that growth is 7.7 percent, which translates to about 650 new positions for qualified trainers each year.
Salaries are reported for fitness trainers, which is not the same as certified personal trainers. In May of 2018, fitness trainers in Missouri made $36,220 per year on average. Certified trainers are more qualified, educated and experienced, so you can expect to earn more than this.
Finding Work as a Certified Personal Trainer in Missouri
Most certified personal trainers are employed by gyms, but you have other options as well. Community groups and government agencies may hire trainers. You can also start your own personal training business or work as a freelancer, training clients as a second job in their homes or in gyms if you rent space. You’ll find the greatest number of jobs available and clients looking for trainers in Missouri’s bigger cities-Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Columbia-but you should also be able to find work in more rural areas.