Key Career Skills for Personal Fitness Trainers



By Andrew Ostler

Published September 10, 2013,

Fitness trainers help people achieve their health goals through exercise and nutrition. The rewards are in the results. This flexible, people-oriented job requires very specific certifications though; and to be successful, a personal trainer must have skills that aren’t necessarily taught in any seminars or workshops. We asked a number of specialists in the fitness industry what they look for in trainers and what certifications are necessary to be well-qualified, and here is what they said:

A personal trainer should be nationally certified by one of the larger, national certifying entities like ACE, ACSM, NASM, or the like. This, however, is just the first step. After the certification process, they need field experience. This is a process that my company does with new trainers, however many other business owners won’t take the time to invest in newly certified trainers. It is well worth it as the longevity of the relationship and the results with the clients is repaid 10-fold. There are so many elements to consider when training a client. Safety is of the utmost concern and just having a certification doesn’t give the trainer the physical experience of working with a client- especially when clients have some musculoskeletal issues. We spend so much time repairing what untrained trainers do to damage the joints of their clients.

So in summation, to be successful the trainer should really ask a company if they can intern and shadow a seasoned trainer. Although there is no pay, the education is invaluable!

Christine King, MES