How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in Utah
Do you have a talent for motivating people and enjoy working out? Then you might consider a career as a certified personal trainer. Certified personal trainers have the knowledge and skills to evaluate a client’s physical condition and craft a personalized training regimen to help them achieve their fitness goals. You may assist your clients in losing weight, increasing muscle mass and stamina, and help them develop healthy habits.
Certified personal trainers in Utah are in high demand. While the population of Utah is healthier than average due to their low rates of alcohol consumption and smoking, 41.7 percent of the population is considered overweight. As a personal trainer, you’ll work as a combination athletic-and-lifestyle coach for individual clients or small groups. Certified personal trainers should have great communication skills and a positive attitude, and should thrive on working closely with their clients.
Requirements for Personal Trainers in Utah
Utah has no specific requirements for personal trainers. To start working as a trainer, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old and have your high school diploma or GED. You’ll also need your first aid and CPR/AED certification through an organization such as the American Red Cross.
While personal trainers can find employment without acquiring an associate’s degree (AS) or bachelor’s degree (BS) in a relevant field, you will have an easier time securing employment and advancing your career if you do pursue higher education. If you plan on becoming a certified personal trainer, you’ll need to take some courses in human physiology, exercise science and exercise technology to meet the requirements for certification.
Certification Options for Personal Trainers
Certified personal trainers have a higher income potential, and employers often prefer candidates with certification from a nationally-recognized organization. Each organization has its own requirements, and you’ll have to pay for and pass their exam to get your certification. The most common certification organizations include:
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)
- National Counsel on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
Educational Programs in Utah
Higher education in kinesiology, exercise science and technology, or related subjects like physical education, biology and human physiology will help you as you advance your career as a personal trainer. Further education is highly recommended if you plan to become a certified personal trainer. Some education options in Utah include:
- Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). SLCC offers a great program for future certified personal trainers. Their two-year AS degree fitness technician program will give you a concrete background in nutrition, behavior modification, fitness assessment, exercise physiology and the principles of weight training, flexibility and cardio fitness. As part of the program, you will complete a 120-hour internship and have the opportunity to take the ACSM-CPT exam as a midterm. When you complete the program, you will have your AS degree and may have your certification as a personal trainer if you have passed the ACSM-CPT. You will be ready to begin working as a personal trainer or may transfer your credit to a four-year program to obtain your BS degree.
- University of Utah (UOU). UOU offers both a bachelor’s and a master’s (MS) degree in kinesiology. According to the American Kinesiology Association (AKA), kinesiology involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life. This is the ideal discipline for personal trainers who plan to pursue specialized training or go into health-related fields such as rehabilitation or physical therapy. Upon completion of the BS program, you will be ready to sit for your exam to become a certified personal trainer and may begin your career, or you may continue on to a MS program.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there were approximately 3,150 fitness and aerobics instructors in Utah in 2016. This broad field includes personal trainers and certified personal trainers, as well as other fitness instructors. They report a mean hourly wage of $19.99, although information from Indeed.com indicates that salaries in this broad field in Utah range widely from $7.25 to $43.90 per hour.
The demand for fitness and aerobics instructors in Utah is expected to increase 34.9 percent by 2026, and there are approximately 900 job openings each year in this category. As a personal trainer or certified personal trainer, you should find many job openings across the state, especially in the dense urban areas where the majority of the population resides. Certified personal trainers can expect to start at a higher salary than those without certification, and will likely advance faster in position and pay than uncertified personal trainers.
Working as a Certified Personal Trainer in Utah
Certified personal trainers in Utah often work for local gyms, fitness centers and healthcare centers. There are many nationally recognized brands, such as 24 Hour Fitness, that have a strong presence in the state and prefer to hire certified personal trainers. While you may find more job opportunities in the urban areas around Salt Lake City, increasing interest in physical fitness has driven a small demand for personal trainers in the rural areas as well. Utah is as ideal place to work as a personal trainer, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery while hiking, camping and skiing in your off-time.