How to Become a Fitness Trainer in Georgia

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As a personal trainer in Georgia you will work with your clients to promote musculoskeletal strength, cardiovascular fitness and overall health. Promoting an overall level of vitality will have a positive impact on lowering the rate of obesity in the state. As of 2015, 65 percent of adults in Georgia were overweight or obese, according to numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Still, your clients will be diverse, representing the full cross section of Georgia’s residents. Your clients will range from teens who want to get in shape to mountain bike the trails at Big Creek Park, to seniors who want to stay healthy so they can enjoy canoeing in George L. Smith State Park.

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Having a positive influence on the health of your clients is not the only thing to be excited about when planning to become a personal trainer in Georgia. Industry projections released by the Georgia Department of Labor show that the number of personal trainer jobs in the state is expected to increase by 18.5 percent in the decade leading up to 2022 – a much higher-than-average rate of growth for the state. Working as a personal trainer can mean enjoying job security in a profession that offers flexibility, all while doing something worthwhile!

Education to Become a Personal Training in Georgia

Though fitness clubs are the main employers of personal trainers in Georgia, you always have the option of freelancing, or even opening up your own club one day. Whatever your long term goals, you can start preparing for a successful career today through a relevant education in the science of body movement, nutrition, physiology and health promotion.

Georgia’s Personal Trainer Schools

Georgia’s institutes of higher education will accommodate you as you work towards an associate’s or bachelor’s degree related to fitness and health promotion. Through online, traditional and blended programs, you can study for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in fields like:

  • Exercise Science
  • Nutrition
  • Kinesiology
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physical Education
  • Human Biology

Learning about the physiology of the musculoskeletal and cardio-pulmonary systems is just the beginning of what you will study. Your education will also help you gain an in-depth understanding of important concepts that you will use daily as a fitness trainer, including nutrition and dietetics as well as health and fitness assessment.

Education in the fields that relate to personal training will help your long-term career prospects and provide you with solid qualifications as you begin the search for your first job. Education will also give you a leg up when pursuing nationally-recognized fitness trainer certification, some of which require a college degree.

Nationally-Recognized Personal Training Certification

Many of Georgia’s personal trainer employers prefer or require the trainers they employ to have some form of official personal training certification. Examples of the top organizations that offer certification in specialized areas of personal training include:

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
  • ExpertRating
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • 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

Depending on the certification you choose to pursue, you may be required to first obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field that is related to personal training. Having current certification in CPR and first aid is also a good idea, as many employees will require you to have this.

Gaining the right education and becoming certified is a process considered by many to be a de facto requirement for becoming a competitive job candidate.

Working in Georgia’s Personal Fitness Industry

Most of Georgia’s personal trainers work in fitness facilities and gyms. Each employer will have its own requirements or preferences for hire. Some notable names and qualification requirements in Georgia include the following:

  • Youfit Health Clubs with locations throughout the northern Atlanta metropolitan area hires professionals who have a nationally recognized personal trainer certification (or who will become certified within 30 days of hire), with a preference given to those who also have a related college degree.
  • Provant Health Solutions in the Marietta area looks for personal trainers who have a personal trainer certification or a related college degree.
  • Workout Anytime based throughout Georgia hires professionals who have a current personal trainer certificate and who have strong communication skills.
  • Wellbridge, a fitness company with locations in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, hires experienced personal trainers with an approved certification, with applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in a related area preferred.
  • Life Time Training in the Atlanta area seeks experienced personal trainers who have any of these preferred qualifications:
    • Personal trainer certification from the ACE, ACSM,Cooper Fitness, NASM, NATA, NSCA, NPTI, or the LT Academy
    • Four-year degree in a field related to personal training

These examples of employer qualifications were taken from real-life job vacancy ads that were surveyed in March of 2015. You can always check with major personal trainer employers such as these to see the latest vacancies and current qualification requirements.

Places like Powerlady Fitness in Atlanta are a good example of the kinds of classes personal trainers will lead in Georgia’s fitness clubs. Powerlady offers its members classes in the latest fitness methods, with its recent lineup including:

  • Cycling and stretch
  • Stretch and balance
  • Yoga
  • Body blast
  • Cardio burn
  • Cardio kickboxing
  • Total body pilates
  • Spinning
  • Step interval
  • Zumba

Whether it’s to show off a toned physique in Atlanta or to stay healthy in Macon, there are many reasons people will seek your professional guidance as a personal trainer. As a personal trainer you can work with your clients at health clubs as well as on-site at scenic outdoor locations and parks.

As Georgians become more fit they can participate in some of the state’s better-known outdoor activities. Depending on your client’s preferences, you can always work on training at a mutually agreed upon location, such as:

  • Hiking in Amicalola Falls State Park or on Arabia Mountain
  • Exploring Providence Canyon State Park
  • Kayaking or canoeing down the Altamaha River
  • Suntanning on Cumberland Island or at John Tanner State Park

You can find other resources on the subject of how to become a personal trainer in Georgia with organizations like the Atlanta Personal Trainer Program.

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