How to Become a Personal Trainer in Illinois
Whether you want to work at your local gym or provide effective health and fitness advice to athletes in your community, a personal trainer job in Illinois is an excellent way to turn your passion for fitness into a rewarding career.
An upbeat attitude, friendly disposition, and a thorough understanding of physical fitness and exercise science are essential for those hoping to become personal trainers in IL.
Education & Training
Schools Near You
Wondering how to become a personal trainer in Illinois? You’ll need to start by receiving the proper education and training to prepare you for the job. Personal trainers need extensive knowledge about different body types, muscle groups, and exercises in order to craft effective health and fitness programs.
Many Illinois trade schools and community college courses teach trainers about:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Exercise Science and Physiology
- Biology and Body Mechanics
- Exercise Evaluation and Testing
- Fitness Program Design
Also, while personal trainers in IL can make suggestions about healthy eating habits, they’ll need specialized nutritionist training and certification before they can prescribe any diets to their clients.
Fitness trainers also need to understand how to render aid if clients become injured during workouts. Many personal trainer educational courses include CPR, first aid, and basic physical therapy training so students can learn how to keep clients safe when completing exercises.
Basic Life Support Credentials
If your chosen personal trainer school doesn’t offer this training, you can obtain a Basic Life Support (BLS) credential through:
How Long is Personal Trainer School in IL?
Most personal trainers in IL complete their certificate programs in about three months. Some accelerated training courses only take about a month or so to finish. If you’re planning to work with a professional or college athletics team, you typically need to complete a four-year degree program.
Depending on where they enroll, personal trainers in IL might pay between $400 and $600 to complete their educational programs.
Those who take advanced classes to receive a specialized certificate might pay closer to $2,000. Meanwhile, an exercise science or kinesiology degree can cost upwards of $30,000 to $40,000 at some schools.
Illinois Personal Trainer Requirements
While you can become a personal trainer in Illinois without an official license, most gyms and fitness centers prefer to hire certified personal trainers (CPTs) for insurance purposes.
Having this credential can prove your skill level to potential employers and show them that you know the proper safety measures to use to prevent and address accidents and injuries.
Several fitness certification agencies offer courses and exams to license aspiring personal trainers in IL and throughout the United States. Depending on your preferences, you might choose to earn your personal trainer certification through one of the following:
- The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- The National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
- The American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Special Trainer Credentials
While a versatile personal trainer certification can qualify you for a broader range of personal trainer jobs in Illinois, some trainers prefer to work with clients with more specific fitness goals.
You might need to obtain a specialized degree or credential if you want to create fitness plans based on the following areas of the fitness industry:
- Youth, senior, or group fitness
- Strength training
- Power Lifting
- Athletics Conditioning
- Runner training
- Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Zumba, or Cross Fit workouts
- Dieting and Nutrition
- Triathlon, Pentathlon, and Decathlon training
Personal Trainer Salaries in IL
Annual earnings for personal trainers in IL vary depending on their experience levels. For example, although the average entry-level personal trainer salary in Illinois is about $27,828 per year, experienced trainers might make as much as $63,322 annually.
Your location can also determine how much you make as a personal trainer in Illinois. Check out the following list to learn about regional salary information for entry-level personal trainers in different Illinois cities:
- Chicago $29,820
- Springfield $26,850
- Elgin $27,970
- Kankakee $24,422
- Peoria $25,411
- Danville $26,044
- Decatur $25,967
Applicants with a formal education and an official fitness trainer credential can sometimes negotiate higher wages when looking for personal trainer jobs in Illinois. Also, private health spas and fitness centers typically pay more than a typical community gym.
Personal trainer jobs in Illinois involve developing and implementing workout plans to help people achieve their physical health and fitness goals. Occasionally, these professionals might lead group fitness classes and help gymgoers as needed. However, they typically work with individual clients, performing tasks like:
- Discussing fitness goals with clients
- Gathering information about the client’s body type, including height, weight, measurements, and current fitness level
- Creating a realistic and safe health and wellness plan that helps the client reach their goals
- Demonstrating how to perform workouts and use gym equipment
- Motivating clients during workouts
- Suggesting nutrition and habit changes that could help the client make better progress
- Tracking the client’s progress and adjusting the fitness plan as needed
Career projections from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show a 19-percent increase in demand for personal trainers over the next ten years. This translates to about 65,500 personal trainer job openings becoming available each year between 2021 and 2023. Hopefuls can take advantage of this projected growth rate by earning an official personal trainer certification that might impress potential employers.