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How to Become a Fitness Trainer in New York

Personal training in New York is big business – just ask all the celebrity personal trainers that make one heck of a good living here. New York’s own David Kirsch, who has celebrity clients like Heidi Klum and Terri Walsh, charges $400 for a house call and is also rumored to train European socialites worth billions. If you have aspirations of becoming the next David Kirsch, then New York is definitely the place to be.

Many high-profile celebrity trainers have discovered that New York rivals California in terms of fitness-focused residents, and the salaries of personal trainers here reflects this trend. In fact, New York’s personal trainers are the highest paid in the nation.

Penn Foster Career School's Online Personal Trainer Programs

Take the first step towards preparing for your career in the fields of personal fitness and nutrition through Penn Foster Career School's online programs:

You may find yourself training a twenty-something for the NYC Marathon, working your fitness magic with wealthy New Yorkers during their summers in the Hamptons, or visiting your senior clientele in Upstate New York who want to keep their strength and endurance up to enjoy hikes in the Adirondacks.

Whatever your personal training career goals, you can be certain that in New York the right qualifications can take you where you want to go – assuming your resume is as impressive as your ability to whittle a waistline.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in New York

There are two, distinct steps to becoming a highly qualified personal trainer: a college degree and professional certification.

Degrees Programs for Personal Trainers in New York

Personal trainers often pursue associate and bachelor degrees in areas such as exercise science, exercise physiology, kinesiology, and health and fitness. A number of institutions now also offer certificates of completion in personal training and advanced personal training.

Just a sampling of some of the degree programs in personal training you may pursue in New York include:

  • Associate Degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Personal Training
  • Associate Degree in Health and Fitness
  • Associate Degree in Advanced Personal Training
  • Associate Degree in Fitness Training
  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology
  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

An associate or bachelor degree in personal training or a related program includes a foundation in the humanities and sciences, along with courses in the following areas:

  • Kinesiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Health and performance assessments
  • Exercise program design
  • Injury recognition and prevention in fitness
  • Fitness management
  • Weight management
  • Performance training
  • Nutrition

Many schools offering degree programs in personal training require the completion of an internship, which is designed to provide you with a practical, real-world experience under the guidance of an experienced personal trainer.

Professional Certification Programs for Personal Trainers in New York

Whether you choose professional certification in addition to your college degree or in lieu of a college degree, you will want to ensure that the professional certification complements your career goals, your personal training specialty (if any), and that it is recognized by local employers.

Professional certification in personal training, which is designed to indicate a level of training, skills, and professional know-how, generally includes a program of study, followed by an examination. Many certification organizations have the option of online study, on-site workshops, and classroom study. Online certification programs in personal training offer study through streaming lectures, DVDs, and other distance-based methods of study.

Just a few of the professional organizations that offer personal trainer certification that is widely recognized include:

  • Academy of Applied Personal Training Education (AAPTE)
  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • American Fitness Professional and Associates (AFPA)
  • International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)
  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • The Cooper Institute

Working as a Personal Trainer in New York

Personal training studios, fitness centers, and gyms abound in New York. Just a few of the big names include:

  • Very Personal Training, Brooklyn
  • America Personal Training, Bronx
  • Nimble Fitness, New York City
  • Definitions, Union Square
  • Momentum Fitness, New York City
  • Total Body Fit, New York City
  • Physique, New York City
  • Core Fitness Studios, Glen Cove, Long Island
  • Positive Life Force, Endwell
  • Sage Studios, Astoria
  • The Works Personal Training Studio, Chelsea
  • Powerhouse Studios, Buffalo
  • Simply Fit, Astoria

The following job postings are for illustrative purposes only, although they offer much insight into job qualifications that New York’s employers require:

A New York City studio is seeking personal trainers who possess professional certification, AED/CPR certification, and:

  • A deep passion for fitness
  • Experience in personal training
  • Fully dedicated to the industry
  • Personal training certification
  • First aid/CPR certification
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills

A sports centers in Chelsea Piers is seeking a personal trainer who possesses:

  • A bachelor’s degree in exercise or a related field, such as kinesiology, biomechanics, or anatomy and physiology; advanced degrees are preferred
  • Current certification by one of the following:

    • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
    • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
    • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
    • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Additional specialty certifications are preferred
  • At least two years of personal training experience

A fitness studio in Brooklyn is seeking personal trainers who, in addition to possessing CPR/AED certification, a degree in kinesiology, exercise fitness or a related field, or a personal training certification, must be able to:

  • Demonstrate the value of personal training by creating an outstanding personal training experience
  • Educate and guide members and clients on comprehensive fitness programs and products
  • Motivate and inspire clients

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