How to Be a Physical Trainer

People of all ages are becoming more health conscious and aware that physical exercise is a way to live healthier and longer. Due to the higher demand of knowledgeable physical trainers the fitness industry has become one of the leading professions according the US Department of Labor. Physical Trainers have the option of working with young children to mature seniors which allows for a wide range of clients. Whether your plans are to open a fitness facility or to be a physical trainer at a local health club there are several ways to help you attain this goal.


Preparation to become a physical trainer should begin with attaining your high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) and you should at least be 18 years old. It’s also important to earn your CPR and AED certifications because they will be needed to receive your training certification. Contact the American Red Cross or your local fire department which provides CPR classes.

Continued Education

Graduating from high school or receiving a GED is sufficient to be a physical trainer but continuing your education at the college level is another option. Degrees in Exercise and Kinesiology will further your knowledge for a strong background in the fitness industry.

Work in a Fitness Facility

Work in a health club, physical therapist’s office or personal training studio to decide if this is the proper career path for you. Shadow a seasoned physical trainer to learn the ins-and-outs of having a clientele, marketing yourself and generating business.

Accredited Programs

Explore available programs for physical training before making an investment of time and money. If do not have a background in Exercise Physiology choose an accredited program such as National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) or American Council on Exercise(ACE). These are highly recognized training programs and can be done online to accommodate your needs. Other accredited certifications are available through International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), American Fitness and Professional Associates (AFPA) and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). The addition of an emphasis such as nutrition or children’s fitness will create further opportunities. Choose a program that also allows credits to transfer between programs. For example; a continuing education course for ISSA can be used to keep up your AFPA Certification and vice verse.

Online Options

Attend a conference for physical training, as well as, choose a program that offers online training. The online programs should be accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).