A Snapshot of Certified Personal Trainer Programs in South Dakota
If you have the desire to help people and you’re into health and fitness, you might consider becoming a certified personal trainer. These are the professionals who help individuals and small groups meet fitness goals through exercise, training and nutrition. Personal trainers are often employed by gyms and fitness centers, but some are self-employed and may visit the homes of clients. They spend their hours recruiting new clients, assessing the fitness levels of new and current clients and instructing them in exercise techniques. Certified personal trainers can design fitness programs for those who suffer minor health conditions. They also may offer nutritional advice to complement fitness programs.
Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer
To become a certified personal trainer, you need to at least be 18 years old and have graduated high school or earned a GED. Then, it’s best to enroll in a college exercise science or kinesiology program so you can learn how exercise benefits the human body. A college program (whether it’s two years or four years) will give you the necessary skills to become certified. Once you’ve completed your degree, you’ll be ready to test for your certification as a personal trainer.
Getting an Exercise Science Degree
Most schools with exercise science and kinesiology programs in South Dakota offer four-year bachelor’s degrees. Here are a couple schools you might consider when it’s time to apply:
- University of South Dakota. Located in Vermillion, this school offers a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Sport Management Degree with a specialization in exercise science. Many graduates of this program go on to become personal trainers. The course of study covers exercise physiology, biomechanics, sport psychology and more. There’s also an internship during the final semester of the program. The major totals 120 credits.
- South Dakota State University (SDSU). In Brookings, SDSU offersanExercise Science bachelor’s degree. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). It enables students to assess fitness levels, design and implement exercise programs for individuals and groups of varying health backgrounds. Graduates of this program are prepared to take the exam for and become certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Should You Get Certified?
Most gyms will require you to hold certification before they’ll hire you, so it’s best practice for personal trainers to gain certification. Why go without and limit your career opportunities? When you’ve completed studies and you’re ready to be certified, you should test with an agency that’s accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Some of the most widely recognized certifying agencies include the American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
South Dakota Statistics
As society focuses more on health and fitness, the demand for personal trainers will grow as well. In South Dakota, the Projections Managing Partnership predicts a 5.1 percent increase in employment for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors by 2026, which is a steady rate of growth. On average, there are 210 job openings in the fitness field per year in South Dakota.
South Dakota fitness professionals, including personal trainers, earned a median income of $14.15 per hour in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Choosing Where to Begin
If you’re looking for the best area to get started in your career in South Dakota, try Sioux Falls. This area employed the highest number of fitness professionals in the state in 2018, and Sioux Falls also had the highest employment density for athletic trainers and instructors across the state.
Throughout South Dakota in 2018, the highest median incomes were earned in Rapid City and Sioux Falls at $16.02 and $15.09 per hour, respectively. While the best opportunities seem to be in Sioux Falls, there is definitely a need for personal trainers all around the state. Surely with the growth of public attention to the fitness, certified personal trainers will be in demand indefinitely.