How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in New York State
Are you interested in health and fitness? Do you enjoy spending time in the gym? Are you enthusiastic in your support of others? Have you considered a career as a certified personal trainer?
Certified personal trainers work with those wishing to improve their health and fitness, helping them with the design and implementation of a plan to reach their goals. Strong interpersonal skills, patience and an ability to motivate people are important for those interested in this career path.
New York Requirements for Personal Trainers
Certified personal trainers are required to have a high school diploma at minimum. Although certified personal trainers do not require professional licensing in New York, those interested in pursuing education and subsequent employment as an athletic trainer will need to acquire a license and work under a licensed physician.
There are many certifying organizations for personal trainers. Some popular choices include the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Federation of Personal Trainers. Many of these offer additional certifications with varying levels and specialties.
Suitable Training Programs for Personal Trainers in New York
There are many suitable training programs located throughout New York State for those interested in a career as a certified personal trainer. A small sampling of the possibilities include:
- Marist College in Poughkeepsie offers a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education and will provide students with the education needed to become certified athletic trainers. Students may choose to pursue a master’s degree at Marist upon completion of their bachelor degree.
- Adelphi University in Garden City offers a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. Probably the most specific for personal training, the Exercise Science Track prepares students for careers in strength, conditioning and exercise leadership.
New York Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fitness trainers and aerobics instructors made a mean annual income of $59,520, with an average hourly wage of $28.62.
In 2016, a total of 22,460 fitness trainers and aerobics instructors were employed throughout New York, with an expected 26,730 to be employed in 2026 for a 19 percent job growth projection. This compares favorably to the national job growth projection of 10 percent for fitness trainers in the same period. New York is also listed as one of the highest paid states for this occupation.
Opportunities for Personal Trainers in New York
Certified personal trainers are an important part of any fitness or health center; however, there is also a great potential to work independently as a freelancer or business owner, for those wishing to have a greater sense of independence. Trainers should be available to work odd hours, including early mornings and late evenings, when most people are either getting ready for or leaving work.
In New York, the highest concentration of personal trainers are employed in metropolitan areas with the New York City/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area listed as having the highest concentration of workers in this profession nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Amusement and recreation industries are listed as the largest employer for this career at 15.8 percent, with civic and social industries next at 9.5 percent.
Potential employers in New York include Blink Fitness, ESOS, 24 Hour Fitness, Inc., Northwell Health, Syracuse University, CUNY, UFC Gym, The Max Challenge, Rochester Institute of Technology, GymGuyz, Trustmark Companies Health Fitness and the Schenectady Jewish Community Center.