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Physical Trainer Education Requirements and Career Information

Job Descriptions February 11, 2013

Students aspiring to become physical trainers can improve their career prospects by completing the associate degree programs in personal fitness or physical training. These professionals, who are typically self-employed, are also employed at wellness and recreational centers, and gyms. Clients rely on fitness trainers to help them meet fitness goals; to that end, these professionals recommend and manage a fitness and dietary regime.

Educational Requirements

An associate degree program could provide valuable knowledge that is likely to improve a fitness trainer’s career. It usually takes two years to complete an associate degree program and students obtain sufficient knowledge and skills required to lead group exercise classes and conduct one-on-one training sessions among other activities.

Physical Fitness Training – Associate of Applied Science

Students admitted to an associate degree program in physical fitness training become adept at evaluating clients’ physical fitness and in designing exercise programs devised to assist them in accomplishing fitness goals. Coursework focuses on subject areas such as group exercise programs, first aid, human performance, nutrition and cardiovascular programming. Several courses cover oral and interpersonal communication that is essential for physical trainers since they will need to earn client’s trust. It is crucial for physical trainers to have exceptional communication because it will assure them that their clients fully understand the suggestions made by them and implement it safely. Physical rehabilitation instruction may be included in some courses, but this is not the exclusive domain of physical trainers and it is typically handled by physical therapists and athletic trainers.

Career Information

Physical trainers assist clients in increasing their overall fitness and losing weight. They are usually employed in an environment focused on fitness such as wellness centers, country clubs, health clubs and gyms. Physical trainers perform their work by assessing the overall physical health of clients and also learning about their fitness objectives and develop a fitness schedule suiting the individual needs of every client. After a physical trainer develops a program, they typically play a role in motivating clients to stay discipline, so the clients will be able to complete the entire program. During this process, the trainer also guides the client on the diet and exercise routine that they must complete at home. Job growth of twenty-nine percent has been projected for fitness workers during the period from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In May 2008, physical trainers earned an average annual salary of $29,210 (

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