How to Become a Fitness Trainer in Texas

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Employment projections released by the Texas Workforce Commission estimate that an average of 460 new jobs will be created for personal trainers in Texas every year through 2022. This represents a 10-year growth rate of 22 percent – much higher than the state’s average job growth rate.

As a personal trainer you will soon recognize that even waistlines can be bigger in Texas. But thanks to the exercise programs you develop and implement, you’ll help your clients lead more healthy, active lives so they look and feel their best!

Fitness training takes place in a variety of venues and involves working with clients from all walks of life and all levels of fitness. One day you may be helping a young woman prepare for the Houston Marathon – the city’s largest one-day sporting event. The next day you may be advising one of your clients on an exercise regimen that will help in the recovery of a sprain sustained during the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. The day after that, you might be giving pointers to a senior citizen starting their first ever regimented exercise program.

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Health clubs and fitness centers are the most common employers of personal trainers in Texas. The Larry North Fitness Clubs in Fort Worth offer a good example of what you can expect working as a personal trainer. This company employs a team of nine personal trainers who work with clients to accomplish a range of personal fitness goals. Fitness trainers specialize in many areas, from balance and core strength training to hard core weightlifting designed to increase muscle mass. Your options for specialization also include working one-on-one with clients, or leading group classes in specialty disciplines like yoga, Pilates, or Zumba.

With the right qualifications, personal fitness training offers exciting career opportunities in Texas.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Texas

As you begin exploring a career as a personal trainer in Texas there are two important qualifications to consider: a college degree in a field related to personal training and a nationally-recognized personal trainer certification.

A College Education in Personal Training

Many employers will specify either a preference or requirement for a college degree that is related to personal training. Schools across Texas offer a variety of relevant programs in this field, which often include the option to complete coursework online.

Examples of related college majors and degree programs that are offered at locations throughout Texas include:

  • AS degree with a major in Health and Physical Education – this major contains classes such as:
    • Development of fitness habits for life
    • Body conditioning
    • Fitness class development and instruction
    • Weight training and aerobic activity
  • BS in Kinesiology with a major in Health Fitness – this major will introduce you to courses like:
    • Exercise leadership
    • Exercise testing and prescription
    • Intervention with therapeutic activity in aging
    • Executive management and development in fitness
    • Psychology of sports
  • BS degree in Kinesiology – this program incorporates classes like:
    • Sports nutrition
    • Motor development
    • Anatomical kinesiology and biomechanics
    • Learning and human motor control
    • Fitness testing and assessments
  • AAS Dietetic Technician degree, majoring as a Food and Nutrition Coach – this degree includes courses like:
    • Nutrition interviewing and charting
    • Nutrition counseling
    • Medical nutritional therapies
    • Nutrient absorption and digestion

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

Nationally Recognized Personal Trainer Certifications

You should also be aware of the most prominent organizations that offer nationally-recognized personal trainer certifications. The top health clubs and gyms in Texas all require job candidates to hold a credential through one of these certifying bodies. Each sets its own eligibility standards, with some even requiring that you have a college degree to be eligible for certification.

Some of the most prominent certification agencies are:

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

Applying Your Education as a Personal Trainer in Texas

You will understand the full importance of having a solid education in an area related to personal training once you start your first job. As part of your duties you may find yourself doing things like:

  • Applying what you have learned about dietetics to help one of your clients eat right in preparation for the Metro PCS Dallas Marathon
  • Using what you learn from the study of kinesiology to improve the stamina and cardiovascular strength of a client who is preparing for the Fort Worth Cops for Kids 5k run
  • Taking what you have learned from a class in assessment and program design to develop a workout regimen for a client who is preparing for the Mission to Mission Charity Bike Tour near San Antonio

A recent survey of job vacancies from across Texas revealed the following announcements and associated requirements. These are examples from actual job ads found in Texas as of April 2015 and are shown for illustrative purposes:

The City of Round Rock was advertising for a personal trainer who could also serve as a group exercise trainer. Candidates were required to have a professional certification from an organization such as ACE, Cooper Institute, ACSM, NSCA, AFAA, NASM, or ISSA.

The YMCA of Austin was looking for a personal trainer who had at minimum a certification from a nationally-recognized organization.

Equinox in Dallas was searching for a personal trainer with at least one certification from an approved agency.

Results Personal Training in Corpus Christi was advertising for a personal trainer who had knowledge of nutrition, fitness, and program design, as well as a foundation in sales.

Gold’s Gym in Plano was searching for a personal trainer who had the preferred qualification of a college degree in a fitness-related field.

24 Hour Fitness in Arlington was seeking a personal trainer who had either a college degree in Kinesiology, Exercise Fitness, a related field, or certification from an approved nationally-recognized organization.

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