Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in New Hampshire
If you enjoy exercise and want to help other people increase their fitness levels, then you should consider becoming a certified personal trainer. Personal trainers work one-on-one with clients or in small groups, and help them identify and reach their fitness goals. A certified personal trainer designs workout regimes, offers nutritional advice and keeps their clients motivated to achieve results.
Certified personal trainers in New Hampshire may assist their clients in losing weight, increasing their endurance or helping them achieve a specific fitness goal. New Hampshire is a popular destination for outdoor activities like skiing, canoeing and mountain biking. Certified personal trainers can help professional athletes and amateurs alike improve their performance and live a healthier lifestyle. They should have great communication skills and thrive on social interactions.
Requirements for Personal Trainers in New Hampshire
To start work as a personal trainer in New Hampshire, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old and have your high school diploma or GED. You’ll also need to obtain your first aid/CPR/AED certification through an organization like the American Red Cross.
New Hampshire doesn’t have any licensing or higher education requirements for personal trainers, but employers often prefer to hire candidates with a background in exercise science and technology. Obtaining your associate’s degree (AS) or bachelor’s degree (BS) in a relevant field may improve your chances of finding employment and will make it easier to become a certified personal trainer.
Certification Options for Personal Trainers
While you don’t have to be certified to work as a personal trainer, certified personal trainers usually earn a higher salary and have more options for employment. Their background in human physiology, nutrition and the psychology of exercise allows them to craft personalized training regimens that stretch their clients’ abilities while preventing injuries.
To acquire your certification, you’ll have to pass an examination given by a nationally recognized organization. Each organization has its own prerequisites for taking their exam, and you’ll have to do some research to find the best certification program for your needs. You may have better success if you take some courses at a local college or technical school prior to siting for the exam.
Consider these nationally-recognized organizations for certified personal trainers:
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)
- National Counsel on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
Educational Programs in New Hampshire
If you are planning on becoming a certified personal trainer, you should consider getting your AS or BS degree in exercise science or kinesiology prior to taking the certification exam. Alternatively, you could opt for a short online or certificate-only course to prepare specifically for the exam if you decide against a degree program.
Some programs to consider in New Hampshire include:
- Manchester Community College (MCC). MCC offers an AS degree in exercise science that is ideal for future certified personal trainers. You’ll develop skills in fostering positive relationships with your clients by building rapport and conducting physical assessments. You will also gain the knowledge to safely and effectively plan and implement health and exercise programs to meet a variety of wellness goals. Upon graduation, you’ll be ready to sit for the ACSM, ACE, NSCA or NASM national certification exam, or you may transfer your credits to a four-year program if you prefer to study for your BS degree. MCC also has a short certificate-only program to prepare students for taking the national exams if you choose not to pursue a degree.
- New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI). NHTI has an AS program in health science with a concentration in nutrition and wellness that is designed for entry-level health and fitness students. This broad program covers topics ranging from human anatomy and physiology to specialized nutrition and the psychology of sports and exercise. NHTI’s program is very diverse, and you’ll be able to choose electives that match your personal and professional interests. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to sit for the national examination to become a certified personal trainer or to transfer your credits and pursue your BS degree.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that there were 1,850 fitness and aerobics instructors in New Hampshire in 2016. This category includes personal trainers and certified personal trainers but doesn’t list their statistics separately.
According to Indeed.com, New Hampshire personal trainers reported a wide range of wages from $7.25 to $45.25 per hour in 2018, with a mean wage of $19.77 per hour. While this is lower than the national average, personal trainers who are certified can expect to command a higher initial wage and will likely earn more than uncertified personal trainers as they gain experience. The demand for personal trainers is expected to increase 11.3 percent by 2026, and there are approximately 410 openings each year in New Hampshire.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a good place to begin work as a personal trainer, and certified candidates may find many options for employment. You might work in a gym or fitness center, or with a wellness organization at a local health center. Certified personal trainers may also travel to their clients’ homes to work with them privately. Depending on your location, you may also look for work in the nearby states of Maine, Vermont or Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, the Boston/Cambridge/Nashua area has one of the highest employment levels for fitness and aerobics instructors in the nation, so your services should be in demand for years to come.