How to become a Certified Personal Trainer in New Jersey
Are you passionate about health and fitness? Do you enjoy helping others push through their personal fitness plateaus? Maybe you have the special ability to keep others motivated when they’ve become discouraged. If so, you should consider becoming a personal trainer.
Personal trainers work primarily in fitness centers and gyms, helping clients to meet their health and fitness goals. This may involve creating training programs, giving clients education on food choices and exercises and keeping them excited and on track. This is a rewarding career for those who would like to support others as they make personal, life-changing transformations.
Requirements for Certified Personal Trainers in New Jersey
Certified personal trainers do not need to seek a New Jersey license; however, they will need to attain certification from an appropriate governing organization. There are several available, and each has its own prerequisites, along with ongoing continuing education recommendations. Often, the prerequisites include a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent, and Basic Life Support certifications from the American Heart Association. Each program has different types of certifications at varying levels. A few of the popular organizations that provide certification are:
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)
- World Instructor Training School (W.I.T.S.)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Certified Personal Trainer Programs in New Jersey
New Jersey colleges offer training programs at various levels, from certificate programs to post graduate programs for those interested in athletic careers. Some possible programs suitable for personal trainers include:
- Salem Community College in Carneys Point offers an Associate of Applied Science in Sports Management. Students will gain an education focused on both sports management principles and the basics of business, including communication skills. Options are available for transfer post-graduation.
- Camden County College in Blackwood offers a Certificate of Achievement for Personal Trainers. The program will prepare students to gain certifications through ACE, including providing them with hands-on experience, basic first aid and life-saving skills.
- Ocean County Vocational and Technical School in Toms River Center offers a certificate in Health and Fitness Technology. Students will learn the basics of personal training, nutrition and physical rehabilitative therapy.
New Jersey Salary and Job Growth Projection
2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show a mean hourly income in New Jersey of $26.06 for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, with an annual average of $54,200. However, those who possess certification in one or more specialties might be able to earn an even higher rate of pay.
New Jersey has a good projected growth rate for this field, at 21.2 percent between the years 2016 and 2026. This is more than double the national projected growth rate for fitness trainers, which is 10 percent. Statistics predict more than 2,000 job openings annually in New Jersey for trainers.
New Jersey Career Opportunities for Certified Personal Trainers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics website lists the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA areas as having the highest number of fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in a metropolitan area in the U.S. Nationwide, the largest employment industry for certified personal trainers is the fitness/recreation industry, but personal trainers are not limited in scope. They can be found in many industries including schools, private corporations, civic organizations and as self-employed agents. Along with a flexible work schedule, the potential for self-employment is probably among the most appealing aspects of this career choice.
In New Jersey, some possible employers include The Max Challenge, 24 Hour Fitness, Inc., EXOS, WTS International, Blink Fitness, Vail Resorts, The MENTOR Network, GYMGUYZ, Somerset County YMCA and Booz Allen Hamilton.