Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in North Dakota
Certified personal trainers use their love of athletics and their knowledge of nutrition and the human body to develop training programs for their clients. They also use their communication and motivational abilities to encourage clients as they work toward their goals.
As a certified personal trainer, you can work in a wide variety of settings and teach small group classes or train people on an individual basis. No matter your choice, a strong commitment to helping others achieve their goals and understanding of how nutrition, fitness and health relate to each other are essential.
Required Certifications to Begin Work
To become a certified personal trainer, you should be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Some employers may require you to obtain your CPR and AED certifications as well. These are generally available through local American Red Cross classes.
No additional certifications are necessary to work as a personal trainer. However, to become a certified personal trainer, you will need to pass a national exam. This certification can improve your chances of qualifying for higher-paying jobs and give you additional job opportunities.
National Certification Options for Personal Training
Receiving your national certification in personal training shows employers and clients that you have advanced knowledge in the field and take your career seriously, potentially improving your chances of getting the ideal job for you.
Passing a national certification exam shows potential employers that you have the skills necessary to be an effective personal trainer. This can help you obtain higher-paying jobs and advance your career. Several programs offer certifications, including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Council on Exercise (ACE). These programs each have their own prerequisites, structure and exam, so be sure to carefully consider the benefits of each one before enrolling.
Available Degree Programs in North Dakota
Some certified personal trainers choose to continue their education by pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in physical education teaching, kinesiology or a related field. While this is not necessary to begin work, holding a degree can distinguish you from other candidates and improve your knowledge of personal training methods. The following schools offer relevant programs in North Dakota:
- Valley City State University. Valley City offers a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and sports management, in which students can select a concentration in applied kinesiology, exercise physiology, or strength and conditioning. Each concentration offers a multi-disciplinary and hands-on approach to the selected field.
- University of North Dakota. The University of North Dakota’s kinesiology degree is a four-year program that includes a 10-credit internship and the opportunity to use the school’s state-of-the-art labs to advance their education. With one extra year of study, students can obtain both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in kinesiology.
- North Dakota State University. North Dakota State offers a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, which is designed to prepare students for careers in a variety of allied health disciplines. Students can choose a specialization and participate in internships and capstone projects to enrich their studies.
Salary and Career Growth Estimates
According to the Projections Managing Partnership, jobs for certified personal trainers and related professionals are expected to increase nationwide by 10 percent in the 10 years to 2026. In North Dakota, jobs are expected to grow by 9.5 percent during the same time period.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average annual salary of a certified personal trainer in North Dakota at $31,730 per year. Trainers charging on an hourly basis typically make $15.25 per hour.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in North Dakota
As a certified personal trainer, you may be able to find a job at a fitness center, school, gym or rehabilitation center, among other facilities. You also have the option of starting your own business and offering classes or private training. Jobs and demand will typically be highest in larger cities, such as Fargo or Bismarck, where higher salaries account for the increased cost of living in an urban area. No matter where you choose to work, though, personal training is an ideal career for people who want to turn their fitness hobby into a career and help others meet their own fitness and health goals in the process.