How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Montana
If you possess a wealth of knowledge on health and fitness, and good interpersonal skills, you might enjoy a career as a certified personal trainer. Personal trainers work with clients to help them design and implement training programs to meet their physical fitness goals. Job duties include motivating and encouraging clients, designing exercise and nutrition programs and teaching proper fitness techniques. Personal trainers enjoy a flexible work schedule and have the ability to work independently, become self-employed or even open their own fitness centers.
Requirements Certified Personal Trainers in Montana
In Montana, licensure is not a requirement to work as a certified personal trainer; however, those wishing to pursue additional education and career advancement might look to become athletic trainers, which does require a license to practice.
Personal trainers gain their certifications through one of many accrediting organizations, each with their own prerequisites, such as having a high school diploma or GED, or certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) through the American Red Cross. Some popular certification programs include American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT) and World Instructor Training School (W.I.T.S.). Most of these programs have multiple certifications with differing subjects and levels of education. Continuing education may also be required to keep credentials current.
Programs in Montana for Certified Personal Trainers
Montana has many programs for those interested in a career in athletics, including programs for personal trainers, as well as higher levels of education for those looking to pursue a bachelor’s degree. A few programs in Montana are listed below:
- Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell offers a Personal Trainer Certificate of Applied Science. Students will train to work with clients safely and effectively to help them improve strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health and to meet nutritional goals. Its location in Northwest Montana is ideal for skiing, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking and other activities that require regular fitness training, opening an abundance of opportunities for graduates.
- Stone Child College in Box Elder offers an Associate of Arts degree in Health and Physical education. With its focus on physical education, this program is more geared toward students interested in a career teaching fitness in an academic setting.
- Rocky Mountain College in Billings offers a Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance (Physical Education). The program offers concentrations in exercise science, sports management or K-12 education, with minors available in athletic training, coaching and exercise science. Students will enjoy close mentoring relationships with faculty, which extend beyond graduation and into employment.
Salary Projections and Job Growth Outlook
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the mean hourly income for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors as $16.39, with a mean annual income of $34,090.
In 2016, 1,340 fitness and aerobics instructors were employed in Montana, with 1,460 projected to be employed throughout the state in 2026, for a 9 percent projected growth rate within the time period. There are an estimated 240 new job openings in the state annually for fitness instructors and personal trainers.
Montana Career Opportunities
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, at 59 percent, find employment with fitness and recreational centers. An additional 11 percent are employed in civic and social organizations, with another 11 percent self-employed. The rest, five percent and four percent, respectively, are employed in educational organizations and governmental organizations.
Potential employers in the state of Montana include Montana State University, Anytime Fitness, Kalispell Regional Healthcare and the State of Montana.