How to Become a Fitness Trainer in Utah

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As a well-qualified personal trainer in Utah, you will find a community of fitness buffs that appreciate your professionalism and expertise. A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that Utah ranks second in the nation for having the highest percentage of adults – 58.8% – that regularly participate in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. The study also revealed that Utah ranks third in the nation for having the lowest percentage of obese or overweight adults.

As a personal trainer in Utah, you can expect to use your skills in a variety of environments with an even greater variety of clients. One day you might be teaching a small group class at a trendy health club in Salt Lake City. The next day you might be offering skiing or snowboarding posture advice to a visiting tourist in Ogden preparing for a weekend on the slopes.

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The Utah Department of Workforce Services projects that in the ten-year period leading up to 2022, the number of personal trainer jobs in Utah will increase by 26 percent, representing an average of 110 job openings every year! This is higher than the state’s average job growth rate for the same period of time.

As you prepare to enter Utah’s fitness industry as a personal trainer, it will be of the utmost importance to develop the kind of qualifications that employers and clients value.

Developing Yourself as a Personal Trainer in Utah

Earning a degree in a field that relates to personal training in addition to a nationally recognized personal trainer certification are two of the most important qualifications you can pursue. All reputable employers throughout the state either require or prefer that job candidates have these qualifications

Traditional College Education

Earning a college degree in a field related to personal training will provide you with a strong foundation in physiology and the science of human body movement, ensuring you are capable of assessing the capabilities of each client so as to design and implement a safe and effective exercise program tailored to their unique needs. That is why many of the state’s top employers require you to have a relevant associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, Sports Medicine, Exercise Physiology or other relevant majors.

Many schools offer traditional academic programs that include an online option for working students who need to maintain their own training regimen. These are details on just a few of the areas of focus relevant to working as personal trainer:

  • Associate of Science with a concentration in Personal Training, which includes courses such as:
    • Fitness assessments
    • Behavior modification
    • Cardiovascular and weight training fitness
    • Exercise physiology
  • Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Community Recreation and Sports Management, including classes like:
    • Socio-cultural dimensions of sport
    • Legal, ethical, and economic issues in sports management
    • Sports sales and marketing
    • Sports and fitness leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, incorporating courses such as:
    • Anatomical kinesiology
    • Exercise physiology
    • Exercise programs and fitness assessments
    • Stress management
    • Strategies to prevent and reduce obesity
  • Master of Science with a Concentration in Sports Nutrition, which will include classes like:
    • Metabolism of micro and macro-nutrients
    • Advanced cardiovascular physiology
    • Food analysis, management, and development
    • Biochemistry and nutrition
    • Medical nutritional therapy

National Certification Options

You will also find that virtually all employers expect you to hold some form of relevant certification, some of which require you to first hold a relevant degree. This list represents the most reputable and well respected certifying bodies in the health and fitness industry:

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

Working as a Personal Trainer in Utah

Health and fitness clubs are the most common employers of personal trainers in Utah. Foothill Personal Training in Salt Lake City offers a good example of what you can expect working at one of these establishments. At this facility you would work with a team of 11 colleagues who have college degrees and professional certifications in fields that are directly related to personal training, plus decades of combined experience. This facility is specifically geared towards personal training, and offers one-on-one, small group, and group fitness training options.

One of the best ways to know exactly what health and fitness clubs are looking for in Utah is to check the classifieds. A recent survey of vacant job announcements found the following openings and associated qualifications. Shown here are examples of requirements for personal trainer jobs advertised in April 2015:

A 24 Hour Fitness branch in Provo and another in Salt Lake City were looking for a personal trainer with a college degree in Kinesiology, Exercise Science, or another related major, or alternatively a certification from an approved national certification agency.

Life Time Fitness in South Jordan was seeking a personal trainer who had a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine, Kinesiology, or a related field at minimum, plus at least one certification from a nationally recognized agency.

A Vasa Fitness branch in Salt Lake City was looking to hire a personal trainer who already had a professional certification, and anyone hired would need to become certified within four months.

Koko FitClub in Sandy was looking for a personal trainer who had prior sales and fitness experience. College education and personal trainer certification were both preferred qualifications.

Orangetheory Fitness in Salt Lake City was searching for a personal trainer with intermediate knowledge of body mechanics and physiology. Preferred qualifications included a bachelor’s degree in an exercise-related field, while having an approved certification was required.

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