How to Become a Fitness Trainer in North Dakota

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Of all states in the nation, North Dakotans go to church in a greater percentage than anywhere else. With skill and dedication as a personal trainer you can help to make this statistic true for North Dakotans who go to the gym or health club.

Working with a skilled personal trainer in North Dakota is an advantage all should appreciate. With your guidance your clients can exercise properly, avoid or rehabilitate injuries, and enjoy an overall healthier lifestyle. This is important, considering that the Norsk Høstfest – the largest Scandinavian festival in America complete with a smorgasbord of food – is held in Minot every year.

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As a personal trainer can help your clients of all ages and backgrounds be in their best physical shape for events like:

  • Fort Union Rendezvous Run in Williston
  • Fargo Marathon
  • Extreme North Dakota Iceman Triathlon in Grand Forks
  • Bismarck Triathlon

Health and vitality are not reserved for sporting events either. Many North Dakotans will appreciate your insights when it comes to their posture, technique, and nutritional diet required for more common activities like going to church, working on the farm, or going out for the night to a martini-sushi bar in Fargo. Whatever the case may be, you will need to have the qualifications and underlying knowledge it takes to be a competitive personal trainer.

Professional Qualifications to Become a Personal Trainer in North Dakota

There are two main types of professional qualifications you can pursue: traditional college degree programs and personal trainer certifications. Either one or both of these are often required by North Dakota’s reputable health clubs and gyms.

College Education for Personal Trainers

You can find several colleges and universities in North Dakota that offer relevant degree programs for aspiring personal trainers. Courses that are part of these associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs are often offered online to accommodate a busy working schedule.

Many employers prefer or require you to have a college education as a personal trainer because they recognize the importance of having a strong foundation in this field. You will use the skills and knowledge you acquire in college everyday in the field with your clients. Some of the relevant North Dakota programs you can choose from include:

  • Exercise Science – a degree in this field includes courses such as:
    • Human anatomy and physiology
    • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
    • Advanced exercise physiology
    • Pathophysiology
    • Community fitness methods
  • Kinesiology – this degree will incorporate classes like:
    • Motor learning and fundamentals of physical conditioning
    • Testing and evaluation of exercise
    • Exercise assessment and prescription
    • Movement and performance analysis
    • Methods in cardiovascular conditioning and resistance training
  • Dietetics – earning a degree in this field will entail studying subject that include:
    • Advanced medical nutrition therapy practices
    • Behavior modification and health psychology
    • Nutrition and its metabolic basis
    • Food selection and preparation
    • Nutrition, development, and growth

Nationally Recognized Certification Organizations

Having a nationally-recognized personal trainer certification is one of the most common employment requirements in North Dakota. Each of the following sponsoring agencies have their own eligibility requirements, some of which include a college degree:

Working as a Personal Trainer in North Dakota

One of the most realistic ways you can get a sense of what North Dakota employers expect for professional qualifications is to look at employment advertisements. A recent survey taken in March of 2015 found the following job vacancies and requirements. These are examples of the qualifications you will need to earn to be competitive in North Dakota:

  • Gold’s Gym in Bismarck was looking for a personal trainer with a current nationally-recognized certification or the ability to obtain such within three months of hire. Candidates were preferred to have a college degree in a fitness-related field.
  • A survey of all the personal trainers at a local university in Grand Forks found that all held nationally-recognized certifications, with many also having a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
  • Complete Nutrition in Fargo was searching for a fitness consultant with the highly desirable qualification of a professional certification, and the preferred qualification of a related associate’s degree or higher.
  • A survey of the personal trainers at Sanford Health Women’s Health Center in Bismarck found that all had a professional certification while some also had a college degree.
  • Ultra Body Fitness in Fargo was advertising for a personal trainer with the ideal qualifications of:
    • Nationally-recognized personal trainer certification
    • Current CPR certification
    • Positive attitude and outlook

Ask Performance and Fitness in Minot is a good example of a health club environment you can expect in North Dakota. Ask combines personal training services with other amenities like tanning, massage, and group fitness classes to attract a wide range of clientele. You will work as part of a team of fitness professionals to assist your clients in accomplishing their heath and fitness goals. Part of your job description may include teaching individual or group classes with titles like:

  • Yoga
  • Olympic Lifting
  • Urban Boot Camp
  • Zumba and Zumba Toning
  • Plyo
  • Mobility Training

Although they are the most common place of employment for personal trainers, fitness and health clubs are not the only North Dakota environments where you can work. Many personal trainers work with their clients outdoors, participating in activities like:

  • Cycling through the Badlands on the Maah Daah Hey Trail
  • Canoeing down the Sheyenne River at Fort Ransom State Park
  • Snowshoeing in Icelandic State Park near Cavalier
  • Mountain biking down the Pipestem Creek Trail near Jamestown
  • Hiking in Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge Backway near Kenmare

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