What Are Gym Trainer Certifications? A Primer

Gym trainers or fitness instructors work with clients looking to exercise and work out, may it be to lose weight, gain muscle, or just for better health and fitness.

Basically, gym trainers demonstrate different workouts and exercises to clients to ensure that they do things right for the best results. They also watch people as they work out to ensure that they aren’t making any mistakes. They do it for both individual and group sessions, depending on their certification.

So gym trainers know what they’re doing, and clients aren’t wasting their gym membership fees; most gyms require aspiring trainers to present minimum qualifications, mainly certifications and training. In this article, you can know about which certifications you need to be a gym trainer or which ones to look for when you apply for a gym membership, so you can be sure that your trainers will know what they are doing.

First things first

There are many disciplines to improve health and fitness, such as yoga and weightlifting. A gym trainer needs to have a certification to prove their expertise to work as a professional gym instructor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, gyms require different certifications, depending on the gym’s needs, specialty, and facility.

Furthermore, these certifications don’t require a college degree, and most of the time, it’s not a requirement that employers are looking for when they need a gym trainer. However, most gyms will require their gym trainers to train in other disciplines for them to have enough expertise and practical experience with different workouts to provide what the gym members need.

Gyms will also require gym trainers to be trained in CPR before they take and provide fitness classes.

Training programs

If you want to be a gym trainer, you have to be prepared to sacrifice a lot of your time and effort in attending training programs to gain your certifications. Sometimes, it can take a few weeks, but with difficult programs, it can even take hundreds of hours.

Even after hundreds of hours of training and practical experience, you will also have to take a written exam and a practical exam to pass the certification test. It’s why it’s not easy gaining gym trainer certifications, as you really need to understand things in perfect detail not only to get the certifications necessary but also to provide the best training and guidance you can for future clients.

With different specialties having different requirements in terms of lessons and hours, it can be a long but fulfilling process because you will get to know more about making the body fitter and healthier.

Also, when taking training, a gym instructor has to ensure that they are taking it in a credible and licensed organization. If you want a list of accredited organizations, you can get it from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

The online alternative

With most organizations, aspiring gym trainers have to attend classes and training. However, if a gym trainer prefers, some organizations offer personal trainer certifications to be taken online. Most of the time, these programs include lessons that you can try to practice. They typically end with written and practical tests.

If personal trainers get certification online, they need to maintain education credits if they want to maintain their certification, as most online certifications are only valid for a limited amount of time.

Different training, different results

Gym training certifications can vary depending on the specialty type and the organization where you get it. You can see this difference by looking at the salaries received by personal trainers with different certifications in the 2010 salary survey by the American Council on Exercise.

For example, gym trainers who provide group fitness instruction earn around $47,000 a year, while a personal trainer earns around $53,000 a year. With this around $6,000 difference, if you want to be a gym trainer, you need to know the difference certification can make for your career options.

That’s for basic certifications, but once a personal trainer gets an advanced certification, then they can start commanding a salary of about $55,000 a year.

Of course, the said survey covered only two programs, the Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist certification for aspiring trainers who want to train clients who aren’t of good physical health, and the Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant certification for those who want to work with clients who work out for weight-related reasons.

Career options

Gym trainers with professional health & fitness certifications have a variety of career options. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for fitness trainers and instructors have a predicted 15% job outlook from 2019 to 2029, which is a pretty good number.

It’s due to people’s realization of the importance of health and fitness. More and more older people are aspiring to maintain their physical health even with all their years, while younger people want to maximize their health by working out.

With people’s need for fitness, becoming a personal trainer is a very good career choice anyone with a passion for fitness can take.

In today’s connected world, there are readily available opportunities for everyone. For instance, check out the number one personal trainer in Carnegie – they definitely know how certifications can help their trainers provide their clients with their workout needs. If you want a fulfilling job that helps people stay healthy or if you want to verify if the gym you frequent is any good, knowing about the different certifications will surely help you.

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