Personal Trainer

Personal trainer jobs are on the rise in the United States. As more people prioritize their physical health, gyms and similar facilities need more experts to guide those patrons.

Schools & Courses

A person can become a qualified trainer by earning a certificate online or pursuing and advanced degree.  The courses below prepare students to become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer.

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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 Long Does it Take?

For the online courses above your education will consist of around 80 hours of coursework, which may take up to 6 months.

Students seeking higher education, such as an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business or physical therapy, should expect to take a minimum of 2 years and up to 4.

How Much Does it Cost?

Approximately $1200 for an 6 month online course such as the ones above.

Associate’s and bachelor’s degrees typically cost more and are billed semesterly, ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 per semester for most community colleges.

What Do You Study?

A course preparing students for the NASM Certified Personal Trainer exam will address the following:

  • understanding the intricacies of nutrition
  • creating effective exercise programs
  • delving into human movement science to ensure proper form and technique
  • fitness assessment techniques.
  • effective teaching skills
  • fostering positive client relationships
  • customer service
  • first aid training
  • organizational and communication skills
  • manage client schedules
  • track client progress
  • effectively convey complex fitness concepts
  • motivational techniques

These areas of expertise will enable you to design personalized fitness plans that cater to your client’s specific needs and goals.

How Will a NASM Training Course Benefit You?


Completing the NASM Certified Personal Trainer program will prepare you thoroughly for the CPT certification exam.

Additionally, the program equips you with the skills to consider alternative career paths, such as becoming an Athletic Trainer, allowing for versatility in your fitness and wellness career choices.

Why Become a Certified Personal Trainer?


First and foremost, NASM is a highly respected and nationally recognized certification body in the fitness industry, providing you with credibility and trustworthiness as a fitness professional.

NASM-CPT-LogoNASM’s comprehensive curriculum covers a wide range of fitness-related subjects, including exercise science, anatomy, nutrition, and program design, among others.

By earning the NASM CPT, you gain in-depth knowledge and expertise in these areas, enabling you to design individualized fitness plans that deliver results and promote the overall well-being of your clients.

Sets You Apart

Furthermore, NASM’s commitment to evidence-based practices and a focus on corrective exercise techniques equips you with the tools to address and prevent common physical limitations and injuries. This approach not only enhances your effectiveness as a trainer but also sets you apart in a competitive industry.

Ultimately, choosing to become a NASM CPT means positioning yourself as a highly qualified and respected fitness professional, ready to make a positive impact on the lives and health of your clients.

Taking the NASM Exam

studying for the exam

Exam Cost

The cost of education for a NASM CPT certification may also vary depending on the institution, although estimates generally fall between $1,000 to $2,000 for a training course.

Study Time

Additionally, concerning the certification exam, NASM recommends a 10-12 week study period. Some individuals may study more intensively and complete test preparation in a shorter time frame, while others may extend the duration of their training to accommodate their schedule.

Ultimately, the timeline for NASM certification training is flexible and can be adjusted to suit your specific needs and circumstances. Your commitment to studying and your background in fitness will play a significant role in determining how long it takes to obtain your NASM certification.

Salary & Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fitness trainers and instructors earn, on average, a salary of $45,380 per year, or $21.82 per hour.

Below is a table with average salary and hourly wage data for each state:

State Hourly Wage Annual Wage
Alabama $18.69 $38,870.00
Alaska $24.91 $51,810.00
Arizona $22.97 $47,780.00
Arkansas $17.35 $36,080.00
California $29.91 $62,210.00
Colorado $26.91 $55,980.00
Connecticut $29.22 $60,770.00
Delaware $21.62 $44,960.00
District of Columbia $27.41 $57,010.00
Florida $20.29 $42,200.00
Georgia $22.45 $46,690.00
Hawaii $25.24 $52,500.00
Idaho $19.64 $40,840.00
Illinois $24.85 $51,690.00
Indiana $18.20 $37,860.00
Iowa $17.15 $35,670.00
Kansas $17.27 $35,920.00
Kentucky $21.36 $44,420.00
Louisiana $16.77 $34,880.00
Maine $22.25 $46,280.00
Maryland $26.06 $54,200.00
Massachusetts $26.39 $54,890.00
Michigan $21.09 $43,880.00
Minnesota $24.46 $50,880.00
Mississippi $19.18 $39,900.00
Missouri $18.71 $38,920.00
Montana $21.35 $44,420.00
Nebraska $18.45 $38,370.00
Nevada $17.43 $36,260.00
New Hampshire $23.27 $48,400.00
New Jersey $29.51 $61,370.00
New Mexico $17.38 $36,150.00
New York $35.68 $74,220.00
North Carolina $23.38 $48,630.00
North Dakota $19.28 $40,100.00
Ohio $18.10 $37,640.00
Oklahoma $19.88 $41,350.00
Oregon $25.66 $53,370.00
Pennsylvania $19.59 $40,740.00
Puerto Rico $18.79 $39,080.00
Rhode Island $22.47 $46,730.00
South Carolina $18.10 $37,650.00
South Dakota $17.37 $36,130.00
Tennessee $20.67 $42,980.00
Texas $21.50 $44,730.00
Utah $23.28 $48,420.00
Vermont $28.34 $58,950.00
Virginia $19.96 $41,520.00
Washington $24.83 $51,650.00
West Virginia $19.13 $39,790.00
Wisconsin $20.10 $41,810.00
Wyoming $20.06 $41,730.00

Occupation:Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors (SOC Code399031)

Local Guides

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Career Overview

What Do Personal Trainers Do?

Fitness trainers instruct others on how to exercise properly and assist them as they learn to live an overall healthy lifestyle. A trainer can help a client one-on-one by putting together a workout plan for them and demonstrating the right way to perform the movements. Their advice can help patrons get the results they want from working out while also preventing injuries.

A trainer can also teach group fitness classes. Depending on their experience and certifications, a person might lead a session of aerobics, yoga, high-intensity interval training, or a similar activity with a room full of people. Through these sessions, trainers provide fun, shared opportunities for others to move their bodies.

What Are Trainers’ Job Duties?

A trainer’s core responsibility is to help others improve their physical fitness. This means they must develop an individualized program for each client. If they are teaching a class, trainers should adapt their instructing to suit the group. Some specific duties are:

  • Explaining and demonstrating exercises
  • Motivating clients and students in classes and personal training sessions
  • Observing and correcting trainees to guarantee safety
  • Monitoring a client’s progress and adjusting their program as needed
  • Advising trainees on other health-related topics such as nutrition, weight management and lifestyle changes
  • Administering first aid if necessary

Where Can Fitness Trainers Work?

Gyms, recreation centers and similar facilities are the primary employers of fitness trainers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 58 percent of trainers work for institutions such as these. The more education a trainer has, the more likely they are to get a job that compensates them well.

The next largest percentage of trainers are self-employed. These individuals may travel between multiple fitness centers. They might also train clients at home. Civic organizations such as senior centers, schools, childcare facilities and more also hire visiting trainers to teach specialized classes on-site.

What is the Work Environment Like?

A clean and safe workplace is essential for fitness trainers. Workers must be certain that all of the equipment they use functions properly. This can ensure trainees also use it correctly, which in turn helps them get their ideal results and prevents injuries.

Many employees at gyms and health clubs also have the duty of maintaining cleanliness. Keeping all equipment put away properly creates a pleasant and tidy environment. It also reduces the risk of others tripping and injuring themselves. Dusting and disinfecting used materials are also crucial daily activities in a place where patrons share equipment.

What is the Schedule Like?

The schedules of fitness trainers can vary based on their position and employer. Trainers often offer services in the evenings, after clients finish their own work days. They might also instruct on weekends. These hours can provide flexibility for those who train part-time while also working another full-time day job.

How Can A Personal Trainer Grow Their Career?

Trainers can take steps to obtain higher-level and better paying employment by furthering their education. Different programs emphasize varying elements and types of training. Some examples are group exercise, sports nutrition, corrective exercise, and strength and conditioning. After learning more specifics, trainers are able to help people who have more distinct goals and needs.

If a trainer is looking to increase their clientele, learning to market themselves can be helpful. Showing off achievements previous clients have made with their assistance, and promoting their effectiveness locally and online can attract others who are willing to pay for their services.

What Are Some Alternate Careers For Personal Trainers?

If a fitness trainer thinks they may want to change careers, there are plenty of options that are similar, but offer an alternative work environment and daily routine.

Although some necessitate further schooling, several of these positions require many of the same skills.

A few examples are:

  • Physical therapist aide – These healthcare workers aid therapists while they treat patients who need help healing and regaining movement after suffering an injury.
  • Recreation therapist – These professionals use games, sports and other activities as treatment for people with injuries, illnesses and disabilities.
  • Salesperson – Prior experience in the fitness industry can make former trainers excellent at marketing gym equipment and other health products to companies and individuals.
  • Fitness center manager – Someone with a knack for the business of health may succeed at managing a gym or recreation center.

Career Outlook

The career outlook for personal trainers is promising, with approximately 69,000 openings for fitness trainers and instructors projected to open each year over the next decade. Employment is forecasted to grow by 14%, which is considerably faster than the average for all occupations (3%).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the fitness training job market will grow a total of 13 percent from 2018 to 2028. That’s more than double the rate of most other professions. This is good news for those considering fitness trainer careers.

Lately, people are becoming convinced of the benefits of exercise and the importance of physical health. Businesses, government agencies and insurance companies are all encouraging and incentivizing the public to be more active. Gyms are attracting more members because of this trend, and they need a greater number of trainers on their staff to aid patrons.

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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