Certified Personal Trainer Programs in Tennessee
Do you love everything about fitness and want to help people reach their fitness goals? If so, becoming a certified personal trainer could be the perfect career choice. Personal trainers assess, support and instruct clients to help them meet fitness goals. They usually work in gym or health club settings, but sometimes visit the homes of clients, too.
To get started, you should be physically fit yourself so you can serve as an inspirational example to clients. When you encounter new clients, you’ll assess their fitness level, help them set fitness goals and guide them to those goals through exercise, nutritional support and motivational conversations. Some personal trainers must attract new clients and sell services provided by their employing gym. Other duties of personal trainers are to handle day-to-day issues in a gym or fitness center, administer first aid and demonstrate proper gym equipment use.
How to Get Started as a Personal Trainer
Before you become a certified personal trainer, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Personal trainers must generally also hold CPR and AED certification before they begin. Certification isn’t required, but it’s highly demanded by employers. Before becoming certified, you’ll want to study in a college program to learn about kinesiology, physical education or exercise science.
Choosing a Course of Study
The length of programs that lead to certified personal trainer careers vary depending on how much you want to learn. Some programs are as short as a few weeks, while other degree programs require two to four years. These are some choices available to Tennessee residents:
- Austin Peay State University. This school’sPersonal Trainer Certification Program is available online to Tennessee students. Online lessons are self-paced by each student, and they have the option to attend live lab practical sessions at the Foy Fitness & Recreation Center in Clarksville. This program is available in the summer from July to August or as a six-week course.
- Volunteer State Community College. Located in Gallatin, this course runs from the end of March to the end of May, so it’s about two months long. This is an employer-driven school with plenty of work opportunities lined up for graduates. Classes meet on Saturdays, and students at this school complete program internships, which help kick-start their careers.
Does Certification Matter?
Becoming certified will add to your career possibilities. Certified personal trainers are highly sought after because they’ve trained and studied about exercise, safety and health. Employers feel more comfortable hiring certified professionals because the certification proves they know what they’re doing.
When you’re ready to start the certification process, you’ll take an exam issued by one of the major agencies that award personal trainer certification. Ideal certifications are offered by agencies accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Strong Career Statistics
Certified personal trainers in Tennessee are on the rise, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. Employment for Tennessee fitness trainers, aerobics instructors and others in this field is expected to grow 11.7 percent by 2026. They’re paid well in Tennessee, too. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated a median income of $19.39 per hour for those in the fitness field. That’s slightly higher than that of fitness professionals across the country, who had a median income of $19.15 per hour that year.
The Best Place to Work
Nashville looks to be the best place in Tennessee to begin your career as a certified personal trainer. In 2018, the BLS reported that almost 2,000 fitness trainers and aerobics instructors were employed in this city-the highest number employed in the state. Fitness professionals in the city of Nashville were also paid the highest in the state that year, earning a median wage of $21.22 per hour.
However, other areas of Tennessee provide great opportunities for personal trainers as well. Regardless of where you work, your experience level and certification will play a large part in your employability and income.