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Becoming a Personal Trainer in North Carolina

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The state of North Carolina does not legally require personal trainers who operate in the state to have any specific license, certification or registration. But like most individuals working as personal trainers throughout the United States, in order to gain employment at a gym or health club, you will need to acquire a personal training certificate or specialty training certificate to work in North Carolina. You can get certified to be a personal trainer in several accredited programs, such as through the National Exercise Trainers Program, which offers online courses and workshops throughout the state.

Contact gyms and fitness clubs in North Carolina that may be hiring personal trainers. The best way to get an idea of the kind of certificate you will need is to ask a gym what kind of trainer they are looking for. While many gyms look to see whether you have a general personal training certificate, others may want a specialty certificate, such as in yoga instruction or martial arts training. Knowing what certificate you want to pursue will help you choose a training program to meet your needs.

Select a certification program where you will take courses either online or in person. There are many accredited programs throughout the country, so the best option is to perform a general Internet search for "personal trainer certification." You want to look for programs that have a history of success in personal training courses, are accredited by the state of North Carolina, and have testimonials from former students who have completed the program and have found work as personal trainers. The American Fitness Professionals and Associates and the American Council on Exercise are examples of nationally recognized and accredited training programs. The course fees for training programs vary depending on the type and length of the program, in addition to whether you are seeking a specialty certification.

Complete the certification course. Depending on the type of course you select, you may have to attend several workshops or training sessions. If you take courses online, you may have to make time for scheduled online class discussions and meetings with instructors.

Take and pass the final examination. After you successfully complete the course and exam, the organization will award you a certification. You can use this certification to apply for personal training jobs in North Carolina.


Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.