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If you're enthusiastic about health and fitness and encouraging others to get healthy, becoming a certified personal trainer might be the right path for you. Personal trainers teach clients how to properly exercise, lose weight and lead healthier lives. Certification proves you've learned enough about health, nutrition and injury prevention to teach others but you also need to be an effective motivator, patient and a good listener.
Enroll in a bachelor's degree program in exercise science or a related field if you're entering college. Some fitness clubs require a BA in the field to obtain employment.
Enroll in a personal trainer certification program. In New York. There are several schools that offer certification programs such as the American Academy of Personal Training (AAPT). Also, the most common organizations that offer certification are the American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) and International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). Each association has different requirements for taking the exam, such as having a CPR certification or a high school diploma or G.E.D. so it's advised that you review their policies individually.
Apply for personal trainer positions at health clubs or gyms. In New York, Crunch, Equinox, New York Health & Racquet Club, Bally Total Fitness, Lucille Roberts, Crunch and Gold's Gym are some popular ones. Other employment options are cruises, resorts, hotels and spas. Many trainers choose to work for themselves, in which case you'd have to treat your career as if you were opening your own small business (naming and registering your business, getting insurance and obtaining clients).
Sell yourself. This is especially important if you're working independently but even if you have employment in a club, it's crucial to build a solid client base. Create business cards, a Web site and flyers. Have your clients, friends and family spread the word. Use the internet to get yourself listed on any personal trainer directories.
Continue learning. Attend workshops and seminars. The same organizations that offer certification also offer continuing courses to keep you up to speed on new trends and information. You can also choose to specialize in a field such as clinical exercise, weight management, post-rehab or senior fitness.