How to Become a Personal Trainer in South Carolina
Are you passionate about health and fitness and want to help others plan and maintain healthy lifestyle goals? Do you have good interpersonal skills and a talent for motivating others? Have you considered a career as a certified personal trainer?
Certified personal trainers work with those who wish to improve their health and achieve a higher level of fitness. They require good sales skills and the ability to work with those who might need a lot of encouragement, as well as an expertise in health and fitness. Those who choose this field will often be employed by a fitness center or training program, but they also might pursue self-employment.
Requirements for Personal Trainers in South Carolina
Certified personal trainers usually possess at least a high school diploma, but many have also completed college-level training in a sports and fitness-related field. Although personal trainers are not licensed in the state (with the exception of certain martial arts professionals), certification is the accepted standard practice. Acquiring certification often comes with prerequisites, including various levels of education and experience as well as the ability to pass an exam. There are several organizations that offer certification of different types and levels for personal trainers. These include but are not limited to the following:
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offers certifications as a Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Exercise Physiologist or Clinical Exercise Physiologist.
- American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers certification as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach and Medical Expertise Specialist.
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) offers certification as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator or Certified Special Population Specialist.
Educational Programs for Personal Trainers in South Carolina
Those wishing to pursue education above a high school diploma (and qualify for additional certifications) have several options for training in South Carolina including the following universities:
- Bob Jones University (BJU) in Greenville offers an Associate of Science in Health and Fitness Training. As a Christian college, BJU will explore the concepts of health and wellness through a biblical worldview.
- Anderson University in Anderson offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology-Athletic Training. Students will build on a base of biology, trigonometry and chemistry, with the specialized courses and skills needed to become an athletic trainer.
- College of Charleston in Charleston offers a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Training. The program gives students a broad background in exercise science, with many opportunities for hands-on field experience. Graduates have been known to pursue careers in medicine, dentistry, massage therapy, nursing, and equipment and pharmaceutical sales.
Salary Expectations and Job Growth Outlook
In South Carolina, fitness trainers and aerobics instructors are expected to experience 9.3 percent job growth between 2016 and 2016. Salary ranged from $33,670 to $34,170 for fitness and aerobics instructors annually in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those who pursue higher education and employment as an exercise physiologist, the mean annual income in South Carolina is higher at $45,610 per year.
Opportunities in South Carolina for Personal Trainers
Certified personal trainers are primarily employed in fitness centers, gyms and health clubs; however, this career has potential for self-employment for those interested in owning and running a business. Trainers in the industry will work in a variety of situations including working one-on-one with clients, teaching group fitness classes or working as specialized instructors or fitness directors.
Potential employers in South Carolina include: StrongBody Fitness, Top Shape of Greenville, ISI Elite Training, T Squad Studio, Ultra Fit, Gold’s Gym and Anytime Fitness.