How to Become a Physical Trainer with a Degree
Personal training is a career that many individuals go into not just for the health benefits but also to help others or to work professionally with athletes. Many personal trainers are also business men and women who want to open their own gyms, start a weight loss club or create a personal fitness studio with different classes. There's also the world of sports training and becoming a part of a team's medical staff. Specifically, athletic trainers specialize in preventing and treating injuries, but the profession also encompasses strength building, endurance, weight loss, cardiology, and pediatric exercises. To work in this field, you need at least a bachelor's degree. Those who do become personal trainers are also as much focused on the business aspects of their career as they are with health. Take a look at some other aspects of becoming a physical trainer.
1. Getting the Degree
The first part of becoming a professional trainer is to get the education. It can start as an associate's degree or even a bachelor's degree. Students will learn a variety of different skills and theories that go along with injury prevent as well as personal fitness. This will largely depend on what you want to do with your career and where you see yourself when you're done with college. To start, look for degrees in athletic training, personal fitness, physical therapy and the like. There are applied science programs, associate programs, and bachelor degrees that are offered through a variety of different colleges, some with online programs. Be sure to check accreditation and look at course lists as well as faculty credentials before selecting any school.
2. Working in the Field
This actually starts much sooner than college graduation. You should already become familiar with the environments that physical trainers work in, such as gyms, clinics, sports offices and the like. If you don't already have a job, you should be looking for one at these types of centers or also requesting internships. It takes experience to really land jobs after you've graduated. In addition, people look for experience because it shows that you've already been using what you've learned and you know how to work in situations where you need to have on-the-job learning. What this usually means for trainers is that they've shadowed alongside experienced trainers, treated small injuries and assisted in others. For personal fitness trainers, these individuals have worked at gyms, lead classes and privately assisted in training by shadowing a successful personal trainer.
3. Adding in Other Skills
In addition to injury prevention and personal fitness, you should think about taking courses in other areas necessary to these professions, such as nutrition and business. To promote yourself as a personal trainer, marketing skills are an amazing asset. If you want to open a gym, create your own line of videos or sell your own studio classes, business skills are also a plus. Nutrition is just another facet to personal weight loss and leading a healthy life. In addition to understanding someone's physiology and anatomy and how their muscles are working together, you should also be focusing on what's going into the body and how your clients can assist their healthy lifestyle.
4. Working After Graduation
Many will look to gyms, sports teams and schools for work, but you should actually think about going into business for yourself. You can advertise personal training services online or locally through your community. You can also start up your own classes online with video. You can have Skype consultations and even lead wellness courses. As far as injury prevention, working with a therapy center or rehabilitation center depends on the availability in your area. You can look online to find these jobs, but keep in mind, experience is going to be key in getting these jobs.
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