How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer in California

If you have a passion for helping others achieve their health and fitness dreams, then becoming a personal trainer could be the right career for you.

These individuals instruct and motivate individuals or groups of people in different types of exercises.

Programs that personal trainers may lead can include strength training, aerobic exercises, or stretching routines.

Education & Training

Consider a program that will prep you for the NASM CPT certification exam.

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Get information on Certified Personal Trainer programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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How Much Does It Cost?

The online programs above cost approximately $1200.  For a bachelors degree, the price can vary, with some four-year colleges costing upwards of $20k.

How Long Does It Take?

6 months, maybe less depending on how much time you commit to the classes. Compare to those who attend a four-year college or university that will spend several years learning and studying in a classroom.

What Will You learn?

The online course contains sections covering human movement science, nutrition, assessments, and program design, all tailored to equip you with the skills needed to excel. You will learn to master the NASM OPT model, ensuring client success in reaching their fitness goals safely and effectively.


You will be ready to take the exam for Certified Personal Trainer administered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 6 months, and enjoy the convenience of online learning.

California Personal Trainer Requirements

Those interested in becoming a personal trainer in California will need to obtain their high school diploma or GED as well as get additional education.

While you don’t need a license or formal degree to be a personal trainer, getting at least one certification will be mandatory for getting a job in the field.

Sometimes, an employer will require both.

Personal Trainer Salaries in CA

Below are average annual salaries and hourly wages for cities and areas of the state.

Area Hourly wage Annual wage
Bakersfield $28.41 $59,090.00
Chico $22.26 $46,310.00
Fresno $27.77 $57,770.00
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim $27.83 $57,890.00
Madera $21.61 $44,950.00
Merced $25.23 $52,490.00
Modesto $30.25 $62,920.00
Napa $31.39 $65,300.00
North Coast Region $26.89 $55,920.00
North Valley-Northern Mountains Region $27.20 $56,570.00
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura $26.57 $55,260.00
Redding $25.81 $53,680.00
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario $27.34 $56,860.00
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade $29.76 $61,890.00
Salinas $30.62 $63,690.00
San Diego-Carlsbad $28.58 $59,440.00
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward $37.30 $77,590.00
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara $34.35 $71,450.00
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande $27.80 $57,820.00
Santa Cruz-Watsonville $28.97 $60,270.00
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara $27.91 $58,060.00
Santa Rosa $29.95 $62,290.00
Stockton-Lodi $28.48 $59,240.00
Vallejo-Fairfield $29.63 $61,620.00
Yuba City $24.38 $50,710.00

source: data.bls.gov
Occupation:Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors(SOC Code399031)

Job Description

Personal trainers help other achieve their fitness goals by directing them in different types of physical exercises. These individuals can coach a client using a combination of weight lifting, aerobic, and stretching routines depending on the client’s personal goals and fitness level.

What Do They Do?

Some tasks that a personal trainer may be responsible for on a given day are:

  • Demonstrate and/or explain different exercises
  • Observe the client to ensure proper workout technique
  • Offer substitute workouts or advice for beginner clients
  • Monitor client progress
  • Provide the client with information and research on health and fitness
  • Give emergency first aid if necessary
  • Lead individual or group workout
  • Promote a gym package if a paid employee of a gym
  • Design a personal workout program for a client
  • Evaluate a client’s fitness level and/or health condition

Other Skills Needed

If you want a thrive and be an effective personal trainer, you will likely need to have certain skills and traits that complement the role. Perhaps the most important skill a personal trainer can possess is the ability communicate effectively. Trainers will need to explain complicated physical and nutrition principles as well as how to correctly perform a variety of exercises to different clients.

Additional Skills

Some other skills that help to make a good personal trainer are:

  • Technical knowledge of nutrition, anatomy, and stretching
  • Knowledge of different types of fitness equipment
  • First-aid training
  • Customer service
  • Organization
  • Research

Career Outlook

Those looking to gain employment as a personal trainer should know that jobs are expected to increase over the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that personal trainer jobs should be on the rise by nineteen percent from 2021-2031. This will likely mean an additional 65,000 job openings per year across the country, as well as thousands job personal trainer jobs in California.

New personal trainer jobs will be available for a variety of reasons. As more people continue to want to get healthy and live a better lifestyle, more personal trainers will be needed to instruct eager individuals. Additionally, older workers will likely retire, leaving empty roles for new hires to fill. Some individuals will also leave the field altogether, which will mean an increase in job openings.

Search Certified Personal Trainer Programs

Get information on Certified Personal Trainer programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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