How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Puerto Rico
Are you an enthusiastic and determined person? Are you passionate about fitness and enjoy working with people? If so, you would probably like working as a certified personal trainer. People are getting more concerned about their weight and maintaining healthy lifestyles, so this is a career that is high in demand.
As a certified personal trainer, you will create workout routines for your clients. You will also demonstrate the proper exercise techniques, teach fitness to individual clients or small groups and give nutritional advice. You will motivate your clients to reach their personal fitness goals, so motivational, communication and leadership skills are necessary for this occupation.
Certification and Requirements to Work as a Personal Trainer in Puerto Rico
There aren’t any specific certification or licensing requirements to work in Puerto Rico as a personal trainer. A minimum of a high school diploma or GED is usually required as well as certification in CPR and first aid. Other requirements are determined by the employer. However, most employers in Puerto Rico prefer to hire personal trainers who have a degree or diploma in personal training or kinesiology.
Many employers require that personal trainers be certified as well. Any certification you hold should be obtained through a program that has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), and it should be approved by your employer. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) are excellent programs.
Educational Programs in Puerto Rico
There are a few training programs for personal trainers in Puerto Rico. Here are a couple of your choices:
- Mayagüez University Campus University of Puerto Rico. The University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus has a Department of Kinesiology that offers several bachelor’s degree programs as well as a master’s degree in kinesiology. This department at UPR is the best for physical education and research in kinesiology on the island. The coursework includes a combination of general education and degree-specific courses, including 21 credits in physical education.
- Ana G. Méndez University. The Ponce campus at Ana G. Méndez University offers an associate’s degree program in personal training. This is a two-year program and consists of 60 credits. The courses will prepare students for the training process and good practices and behavior as a trainer. This program combines science theory and physical activity, and is designed to help students get their certification through such programs as the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the ACE.
Salary and Job Outlook in Puerto Rico
Currently, careers in fitness and aerobic instruction, which includes personal training, are growing at a rate of 10 percent. In 2016, there were 300 fitness instructors employed throughout Puerto Rico, and that number is predicted to be 330 by the year 2026.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average hourly salary for fitness instructors in Puerto Rico is $10.45 and the annual average wage is $21,730. However, actual wages for this profession may be lower than what the BLS reports, because Puerto Rico has been under austerity restrictions and wages are low across the island. The minimum wage in Puerto Rico is $7.25 per hour, and this is what most entry-level workers will receive.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in Puerto Rico
Personal trainers may work one-on-one with their clients or instruct small groups. They have a flexible schedule and may work full-time as a trainer or work their schedule around other job duties. Most personal trainers work in fitness centers and gyms or health and wellness centers. They might also work for educational and government agencies or spas. Some personal trainers work on their own as freelancers or open their own gyms.
The cities of Bayamon, Guaynabo and San Juan are good places to seek employment. HCOA Fitness and Town Sports International are popular employers of personal trainers in Puerto Rico. Although many jobs in Puerto Rico aren’t thriving right now, don’t let that discourage you from seeking a career as a certified personal trainer.