Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Mississippi
If it’s your mission to help people become healthier versions of themselves, a career as a certified personal trainer could be for you. Personal trainers instruct, coach and motivate individual clients or small groups in fitness settings like gyms and fitness centers. Sometimes, they also perform their services privately at clients’ homes.
The responsibilities of certified personal trainers vary depending on their work location and type of services they offer. Often, personal trainers are expected to attract new customers, assess and measure the fitness levels of clients, motivate clients to achieve their goals and offer nutritional advice. To be successful at this job, you should have good customer service, motivational and teaching skills. It’s also important to always present your best self in order to set an example of self-discipline.
Steps to Become a Personal Trainer
Before you can get a job as a personal trainer, you need to be 18 and have a high school diploma or GED. Usually, CPR, AED and first aid certification or training is required, too. Personal trainer certification isn’t required in this field, but employers prefer to hire those who are certified with a major exercise organization. Becoming certified will require you to complete a personal training course or degree in kinesiology, physical education or exercise science. Therefore, you should plan to complete a training program in preparation for certification and to increase your chances of employment.
Study Options in Exercise
Mississippi offers lots of two-year study options for those who want to become certified personal trainers. There are shorter and longer degree options available depending on your career goals, but here are some examples of community colleges in Mississippi with two-year degrees:
- Coahoma Community College. This Clarksdale college offers a two-year Exercise Science Kinesiotherapy degree or Health and Kinesiology degree. The programs each last two years and include First Aid and CPR training.
- Pearl River Community College. At this Poplarville school, students take a two-year course of study that’s individually designed for their career goals. The college’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department offers majors in Exercise Science, Kinesiology and Physical Education.
- Mississippi Delta Community College. Based out of Moorhead with three campuses, this school offers a Health, Physical Education and Recreation Associate of Arts degree. The two-year program focuses on health, nutrition and exercise.
Making the decision to become certified will increase your employability and potential income. When it’s time to apply for certification, you’ll take an exam with a reputable organization. There are many to choose from, but the most widely recognized and respected certifications come from organizations accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
A Growing Need
Employment in the future for Mississippi certified personal trainers looks promising. In 2016, the Projections Managing Partnership reported that 1,270 fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, including personal trainers, were employed in the state. That number is expected to increase 7.9 percent by 2026-a very steady growth rate. Compensation for certified personal trainers is generally higher than that of other fitness workers, who earned a median income of $14.08 per hour in Mississippi in 2018.
Getting Started in Mississippi
Certified personal trainers are generally found in higher-populated areas. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that the highest number of personal trainers and other fitness professionals were employed in the Jackson area. However, the highest paid were in the Gulfport area, where they earned a median income of $19.34 per hour. Regardless of where you choose to begin your career, the need for certified personal trainers is everywhere. As the population continues to focus on health and fitness, this career will continue to be in demand.