Different Types of Fitness and Nutrition Certifications
When you start researching different schools for your educational needs the one thing you’ll first notice is that you’ll see a lot of different types of certifications that are offered. Every type of certification has it’s pros and cons. American College of Sports Medicine offers several types of health fitness certifications. You can earn your ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C) and ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor. They also offer specialty certifications including Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer, Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer and Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist. ACE offers NCAA-Accredited certifications as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach and even Medical Exercise Specialist. The AFPA – American Fitness Professionals & Associates offers fitness certification programs in: Group Fitness Instructor, Aquatic Fitness Instructor Certification, Kickboxing Instructor Certification, Youth Fitness Specialist, Cycle Instructor, Pilates Instructor Mat, Stability Ball Training and Yoga Instructor Certification.
Finding the Right School
As you begin your research in finding the right fitness school for your training you need to first decide if you want hands-on training or if you’ll be OK with earning your certification online then you’ll probably have more options. Realize that many employers will be looking for your overall commitment in becoming a fitness instructor, previous job experience as well different areas you are experienced in.
The next step is to find a fitness school to start researching. Many will be found in your city but if for some reason a campus location is too far away then you should choose an online program. The advantage of going to a physical campus location is you’ll have access to all the equipment that the school has. You’ll also be able to work hands-on with qualified instructors that are teaching the class. The disadvantage of a classroom is typically they don’t have a wide variety of fitness certifications available and typically offer a 1 year training program. We personally love the online schools due to the low cost of tuition and available certifications.
One of things to consider before enrolling in any program is the success that the school has with helping their graduates find jobs. This is extremely important as we have seen schools have over 100 relationships already built with major fitness companies and can help you find a jobs right after you graduate. No school can promise you a job however some have over a 90% placement rate within 3 months of graduating. Also realize that no amount of education can trump having a good attitude and a willingness to learn. We have seen individuals who get jobs over those who have lots of education only because they are willing to work extra hours, work odd times, learn different techniques and have an overall better attitude.
What are Your Career Goals?
Before enrolling in any trade school you’ll need to first decide what type of fitness instructor you want to become. Many choose to become a fitness or nutrition specialist because they want to work for a gym. It is a great idea to get trained as both a fitness instructor as well as nutritionist. If your goal is to be a private fitness instructor and have your own clients then it is a good idea to focus on all the different areas of fitness to be able to service the needs of your clients. Also taking some business courses is also a good idea since you’ll basically be running your own business.
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