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How to Become a Fitness Trainer in Vermont

Residents of Vermont tend to be healthier than those in many other states. According to numbers released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Vermont’s residents have a healthier average body mass index (BMI) than 88 percent of the country. You will use your professional capabilities to work with this population segment as well as those who strive to lose weight and improve their overall level of fitness.

Most of Vermont’s personal trainers work in health clubs or fitness centers. Marketplace Fitness in Burlington is a good example of what you can expect at such as facility. Here you would work alongside a team of fitness professionals and personal trainers who together help a wide variety of clients achieve their health goals.

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Vermont is also a prime tourist destination with resorts catering to guests who want to enjoy themselves outdoors while looking their best. Compared with the rest of the country, a higher percentage of personal trainers in Vermont work in these types of resorts, helping guests maintain their exercise habits or start new ones in an idyllic setting.

Vermont’s Department of Labor projects that between 2012 and 2022, the number of jobs for personal trainers will increase by 11 percent – faster than the average job growth rate in Vermont. To prepare for these opportunities you can begin by gaining competitive qualifications that will help land a job and build a list of dedicated clients.

Qualifications for Personal Trainer Jobs in Vermont

Vermont’s top health clubs and gyms will expect you to have the skills necessary to make client assessments, design a tailored program, then implement and safely guide clients through the program until they achieve their personal fitness goals. This means earning a relevant college degree and/or a nationally-recognized personal trainer certification.

College Education for Personal Trainers

Vermont is home to several schools that offer relevant degrees for aspiring personal trainers through flexible campus based and online programs.

Some of Vermont’s relevant academic programs for personal training include:

  • Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise and Movement Science, including classes like:
    • Sport and exercise physiology
    • Biomechanics of human movement
    • Fitness for special populations
    • Science of strength training and conditioning
    • Exercise evaluation and prescription
  • Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics, with courses such as:
    • Fundamentals of nutrition
    • Fitness, obesity, and weight control
    • Science of energy balance
    • Nutrition in the human life cycle
    • Sports nutrition

Other relevant majors include Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine and Kinesiology.

Nationally Recognized Personal Trainer Certifications

One of the most commonly required qualifications for personal trainer jobs is a nationally recognized certification. Certifying organizations each have their own requirements for eligibility, which can include a college degree. These are some of the country’s most well-known and well-respected organizations:

  • National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)
  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
  • International Fitness Association (IFA)
  • The Cooper Institute
  • Professional Personal Trainers Association (PROPTA)
  • National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)
  • Lifetime (LT) Academy
  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

Working as a Personal Trainer in Vermont

Once you start working you will be able to apply all you have learned in school to your real-life clients. One moment you might be using what you have learned as part of a dietetics class to help a client eat right in preparation for the Girls on the Run 5k event in Brattleboro. The next moment you could be applying your knowledge of biomechanics to help a client prepare for the Vermont City Marathon and Relay. A few moments later you may be using your business and marketing skills to sell a membership to your health club.

Having the right qualifications will be the cornerstone of your career. The following are illustrative examples of qualifications Vermont’s top health clubs, specialty studios and resorts are looking for from a personal trainer. These were taken from actual job vacancy announcements from across the state in April of 2015:

Stowe Mountain Lodge, a four-seasons resort, was looking to hire a personal trainer and yoga teacher with a background in fitness training, with a preference given to candidates with a college degree.

The Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain was looking for an activities assistant to take clients on bike rides, canoe tours, and hikes. The ideal candidate would have a background in outdoor exercise activities and writing.

Stratton Mountain Resort was looking for a fitness instructor to work with resort guests leading classes like Pilates, yoga, water aerobics, and kick boxing. The ideal candidate would have a background in fitness and a flexible teaching schedule.

Kids and Fitness in South Burlington was seeking an assistant teacher to work in the classroom with a lead teacher. Candidates would need to have at least two years of related experience, with an associate’s degree being a preferred qualification.

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