How to Become an Personal Trainer in New York
If you’re a friendly, charismatic individual with a passion for health and fitness, a career as a personal trainer could be the perfect fit for you.
Those who complete an accredited personal trainer training program at a New York trade school or community college can qualify for jobs in gyms, health spas, and recreation centers across the state.
Education & Training
A high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement for being a personal trainer in NY.
Degree or Certificate Program
While high school graduates may be able to find entry-level personal trainer jobs in New York, most employers prefer to hire candidates with more education and experience. Completing a degree or certificate program can help improve your chances of getting a job in this field.
Several New York vocational schools have personal trainer certificate programs that teach:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Exercise Science
- Health and Physical Fitness
- Weight Management
- Kinesiology and Biomechanics
- Physical Fitness Testing and Assessment
- Fitness Program Development
Communication classes could teach students how to maintain a friendly, professional attitude while working with their clients. Marketing classes may be helpful if you plan on starting your own personal training business.
Those hoping to work with high-end clients might consider getting an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in exercise science or kinesiology.
Aspiring personal trainers in NY might gain practical experience working in their school’s on-campus gym during their training programs. While working in these settings, personal trainer students typically instruct fitness classes and help other students and faculty members use gym equipment appropriately and safely.
First Aid Credentials
Some training courses might also include obtaining a Basic Life Support credential from the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Having this first aid and CPR certification gives personal trainers the skills to assist clients who over-exert themselves and sustain injuries, become short of breath, or faint during workouts.
New York Personal Trainer Requirements
Those wondering how to become personal trainers in New York may question whether they need to get an official certification.
According to the New York State Education Department’s Office of Professions, only those who wish to become certified athletic trainers must obtain a license. Earning this credential qualifies you to help work in clinics, colleges, and with professional sports teams.
Personal Trainer Certifications
While a standard personal trainer credential is optional, having a license could make it easier to find well-paying personal trainer jobs in New York.
Some of the most popular organizations offering personal training certifications include:
- The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- The American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- The National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)
Each of these agencies has its own requirements for submitting an application and registering for the certification exam. Check these organizations’ websites for specific details on earning your personal trainer credentials.
Personal Trainer Salaries in NY
How Much Can You Make?
Although the average personal trainer salary in New York State is about $66,150 per year, precise wages vary by location. Use the list below to find personal trainer salary information for different cities in New York:
- New York City $72,931
- Long Island $71,585
- Syracuse $49,456
- Yonkers $71,208
- Ithaca $51,713
- Albany $50,120
As you gain experience and earn more personal training credentials, you may be able to find work with high-end companies and celebrity clients, making close to $80k per year or more.
What Do They Do?
A personal trainer is a health and wellness professional who creates personalized workout plans for their clients. Many trainers work as fitness instructors in gyms and health clubs.
Those with extensive experience or official personal trainer certifications may be able to take on private clients or find assistant coach positions with local or state sports teams.
Working with Clients
Once the client chooses their goal, the personal trainer collects basic information about the person’s weight, height, body type, diet, and daily habits.
Trainers also ask about any injuries the client may have and ask them to perform a few simple exercises so they can gauge the client’s current physical fitness level.
Developing a Plan
Using the information they collected as a baseline, the personal trainer develops a plan that fits the client’s specific goals and abilities.
Nearly every training program these professionals create includes a list of exercises and a workout schedule that can help the client reach their goal as safely and healthily as possible.
Additional Job Duties
After developing a customized fitness program, personal trainers help clients implement the plan. Trainers show clients how to use workout equipment and maintain proper form while exercising, cheer them on, and offer support to keep them motivated.
Once clients have achieved their original fitness goal, they can consult with their trainer to create a new plan and meet a new objective.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for fitness trainers and instructors is likely to increase by about 19 percent over the next decade. Since experts predict so many job openings becoming available between 2021 and 2031, having an official license can help you stand out when applying for personal trainer jobs in New York.