How to Become a Personal Trainer
There are a number of options and institutions that offer courses in personal training, with one of the largest being the Australian Institute of Fitness, with several different specialisations available for those wishing to expand their study and qualifications. Training institutions offer hands-on experience paired with education about the human body, the muscle groups, exercises specific to different results, rehabilitation and nutrition.
When choosing where to get your certification, be sure to choose an organisation that is nationally recognised and accredited who can provide you with the qualifications recognised across the fitness industry. If you have a gym that you wish to work for, call them beforehand and see what their personal trainer qualifications are and their pre-requisites including experience and any additional training.
When it comes to personal training courses available, some gyms and exercise centres divide personal trainers into three levels based on their certification qualifications.
Level 1 trainers
Level 1 Personal Trainers are those that have completed either their Certificate IV Personal Trainers qualifications or possess Certificate III and are working on completing their Certificate IV qualifications. If they are the latter they are often supervised or receive additional coaching from senior members. Level One personal trainers are often new to the fitness industry in that career capacity.
Level 2 trainers
Level 2 Personal Trainers have at least 1 to 3 years experience with full certification of Certificate IV.
Level 3 trainers
Level 3 Personal Trainers are the most experienced and highest level of trainer available with full qualifications and several years experience.
There is often an educational preference option when deciding which personal training course you wish to pursue. Most institutions will have two options for study: study externally by correspondence at your own pace or attend classes with hands on practical work. This flexibility makes personal training an ideal study and career option for those who are already working and looking for a career change or those who are simply interested in being a personal trainer after hours.
Within the personal training field, there are speciality options available for further study that can add to your experience and qualifications, which means you will also be able to charge more for your services. These specialities can range in anything from clinical exercise specialist to focusing on rehabilitation to high level fitness training.
There are a number of other courses available that train in the fitness industry, while not qualifying for personal training; they do offer programs that allow you to work within the fitness industry and qualify for foundation subjects if you choose to pursue a career in personal training with Fitness Australia at a later date. Such examples include being a gym class instructor or any number in the range of fitness career training programs.
Finally, becoming a personal trainer does not have to limit you to working within a gym and on contract. Many personal trainers are independent and simple hire the gym for a yearly rate to bring their clients whereas others can work online, in resorts and spas and even holiday destinations such as cruises.
Personal Training can offer an excellent foundation for a career in the expanding industry of fitness.