In its 2008-09 edition of Occupational Outlook Handbook, the U.S. Bureau of Labors Statistics (BLS) projected that the fitness occupational field will experience higher than the average growth rate-27 percent higher-in the decade of 2006-2016. The reason for the projected growth of this occupation is not hard to understand-Americans’ renewed interest in health and physical fitness matters has spawned a tremendous (and growing) variety of spas, fitness centers, and health clubs. lam bang trung cap These fitness facilities, in turn, are hiring personal trainers to help their clients with their fitness goals.
But how do they choose the best personal trainers for their clients? For many fitness centers, that choice comes down to the job candidate who has the right personal training certifications.
Personal Trainer Certification
According to the BLS, most fitness facilities require that their personal trainers obtain certification prior to employment. Such certification insures that their trainers are skilled and have taken and passed examinations (written and practical) which validates their abilities to enable others to achieve fitness objectives without injury.
Although most certifying agencies do not require completion of a particular training program to award personal trainer certification, most do require that their applicants have a high school diploma (or GED), be CPR certified, and pass a comprehensive exam.
To study for the exam, one may obtain study materials from the various certifying organizations, but this is not a requirement. While some of the more reputable organizations provide comprehensive study guides, covering topics from anatomy to injury prevention, nutrition to stretching, other certification bodies allow an individual to choose materials to prepare for the exam.
Once obtained, personal trainer certifications are usually valid for 2 years and then can be renewed only upon completion of a certain number of training programs, seminars, and other physical fitness programs (collectively called continuing education credits).
Although becoming certified takes time, effort, and money (for study materials and examination fees), most fitness facilities require such personal trainer certifications of their employees, thus even experienced individuals are simply handicapping their employment opportunities by failing to obtain such certification.
Finding a Personal Trainer Certification Agency
There are many acceptable certifying agencies and many that are simply fraudulent enterprises designed to make a profit without offering anything of value. The most important step in finding a good personal trainer certification organization, therefore, is making sure that it is accredited by a reputable independent accrediting agency. Accreditation insures that the certification program meets industry standards. It is, in essence, a “gold seal” of approval within the industry and, as such, it carries of prestige with prospective employers. The very best way to make sure that a certifying agency is reputable, says the BLS, is to determine whether it holds accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or other similar agency.