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How to Become a Fitness Trainer in Mississippi

Once considered a luxury, personal training services are now widely available to anybody with enough motivation to get to the gym. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, Mississippi is one out of only six states to require physical education in every grade, making health and fitness a standard part of the daily routine for the state’s youth. Still, there’s lots of work to be done to improve the health of the state’s residents. In fact, in 2014, the state placed 50th in the United Health Foundation’s overall U.S. health rankings. Due to a critical need for healthier living habits statewide, the demand for personal trainers in Mississippi has increased dramatically.

A “one size fits all” approach doesn’t apply to this field, so as a personal trainer you’ll be expected to know how to work with a broad spectrum of clients. From parents of young children wanting to teach them healthier habits, to dedicated runners prepping for the Mississippi River Marathon, your clients will come from all walks of life.

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You’ll also be joining a growth industry with plenty of opportunities for employment and respectable pay. According to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, occupational Employment Projections estimates a 25% increase in the number of personal trainer jobs between 2010 and 2020. As of 2015, the annual salary range for personal trainers in Mississippi was $28,000 to $50,000, as reported by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Mississippi

An ever-evolving fitness industry will require you to be in the know when it comes to the latest trends and techniques in the field. From fitness clubs and gyms to physical therapy facilities, employers are seeking out higher caliber candidates for personal training positions. As such, the high quality education and relevant experience you attain will set you apart from your competitors.

Formal Education and Training

Though Mississippi has no requirements for licensure, many employers may specify a preference for a college degree related to personal training.

Examples of relevant majors offered at the associate’s and bachelor’s level available both online and at campus-based schools throughout Mississippi include:

  • Health Fitness Studies provides you with a basic understanding of the science behind physical fitness and teaches you how to effectively implement fitness programs
  • As a Kinesiology major, you can take foundational courses in first aid, CPR, principals of nutrition, athletic training, psychology of sports, strength and conditioning, and physiology of exercise
  • An Exercise Science program prepares students for a wide range of health and fitness related professions through a specialized curriculum that concentrates on the applied sciences of exercise physiology, motor control, exercise behavior, and biomechanics

Nationally Recognized Personal Training Certification Options

To excel in the personal training industry, you should consider acquiring nationally-recognized personal trainer certifications from a prominent organization. While there are many superb associations across the nation, only eight are accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Upon completion, you will be issued a certificate as proof of your status as a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), a Personal Fitness Trainer (PFT), or a specialist in any number of modalities. Each association has its own standards of eligibility, and some require you to have a college degree before applying.

The eight NCCA-accredited certification agencies are:

  • National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT)
  • National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC)
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
  • National Exercise & Sports Trainers Assn. (NESTA)
  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
  • National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • Training and Wellness Certification Commission (TW-CC)

Utilizing Your Education and Training as a Personal Trainer in Mississippi

Potential employers expect you to have a strong desire to help others commit to personal fitness goals through a daily exercise regimen uniquely suited to each client’s needs. These recent personal trainer job postings throughout Mississippi offer a peek into what local fitness centers require in an ideal candidate:

  • With locations throughout the state, YouFit is seeking candidates that are CPR/AED certified and have a minimum of one nationally recognized personal training certification. These trainers are expected to design and lead training programs to help clients meet their individual fitness goals.
  • Jackson’s CENTERS is a management company specializing in campus recreation. They are looking to hire a part-time personal trainer with nationally recognized CPR/AED and First Aid certifications and a nationally accredited personal training certification. The position requires the ability to modify and tailor workouts to specific client needs and a strong knowledge of the standard practices of recreational sports.

As you begin your hunt for a personal training job in Mississippi, you will also want to consider the latest workout and health trends gyms and clubs are using. While the industry isn’t about to say goodbye to CrossFit and high-intensity interval training, health experts predict more people will gravitate toward workouts they can easily fit into their busy lives and that cater to their own personal fitness levels.

The following rotation of classes at Courthouse Racquet & Fitness Center in Brandon provides some insight into what types of classes you may be required to oversee:

  • Spinning: a 30-minute class taking place on a stationary bike designed to provide an intense cardiovascular workout
  • Silver Sneakers: a fitness program catering to seniors incorporating flexibility, cardio and strength training
  • Yogalates: an innovative fusion of yoga and Pilates engineered to increase stamina, balance, flexibility and mental clarity
  • Coreflex: participants focus on strength training exercises designed to tone and shape their core, including sit-ups and planks

As a personal trainer, you will lead classes like the ones listed above and help cheer clients on as they work to achieve their personal fitness goals. Whether providing an individual consultation or leading a group, as a personal trainer you will be an integral part of Mississippi’s health and wellness industry.

There are numerous ways to pursue a personal training career in Mississippi. Some determinants include whether you intend to work at a gym or health facility, or to launch your own business. If you aim to go into business for yourself, you will also need to acquire a business license and register your company as a sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, or corporation. Additionally, you will need to legally register your business formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State. For more information, contact the Mississippi Small Business Development Center.

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