Why Get Accreditation?
If you’re just teaching a few friends down by the gym, you might not need to go through the accreditation and certification process. But if you’re looking to step up your game and join the lucrative job market for qualified fitness professionals, then having certification gives potential employers the confidence to hire you and even offer higher pay because of your credentials.
Personal trainers seeking to strike out on their own also need certification to show potential clients that you know how to do your job properly.
CPR And AED Certification
But even before you can apply for personal trainer certification, most personal training courses require candidates to complete CPR certification. In the US and Canada, some programs even require that you have AED (automatic external defibrillator) certification.
This requirement does make sense – after all, if your client suddenly experiences a life-threatening emergency while you are training them, you are the first person available to perform first aid on them. This could even spell the difference between life or death.
Certification In Australia
A Certificate Level III in Fitness (SIS30315) is the starting point for anyone looking to get into the fitness industry in Australia. A Cert 3 allows you to be a gym instructor, giving you a good range of skills and competencies for teaching groups.
Next, a Certificate Level IV in Fitness is the minimum requirement to be a personal trainer, providing you with specialist skills to train groups or individuals of all ages. Cert IV personal trainers have access to a variety of specialisations in the fitness industry, such as gyms, community centres, and aquatic facilities.
Personal Trainer Courses
You will need to complete a Personal Trainer course to get your Cert IV. This course will teach you how to design and create programs, as well as how to run your business and how to manage other people. You can even become a specialist trainer for Children and Older Adults.
Personal Trainer courses can last up to 12 months and can cost thousands of dollars. TAFE NSW, for example, charges AU$9740.00 for non-subsidised students. Wherever you decide to complete the Personal Trainer course, you will receive a nationally accredited Certificate IV in Fitness (SIS40215).
Taking Your Personal Trainer Course Online
Twelve months is a long time to invest, especially if you’re just starting your fitness career. Fortunately, most personal trainer certifying organisations offer online-only courses, allowing even the busiest fitness professionals to self-study and take exams from wherever gym or fitness facility they are based.
There are two associations for fitness industry professionals in Australia, Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia. These are non-profit organisations that support, advise, and guide fitness professionals. While membership in either is not mandatory, both associations can help its members with their professional concerns.
Professional organisations can aid personal trainers with obtaining their licences, pursuing further education, or even getting connected with experts in the specialisations they want to pursue.
Accreditation In The U.S.
If you’re thinking about taking your personal training overseas, then consider getting U.S. accreditation, which is recognised internationally. In the United States, the agency that grants accreditation to the various certification bodies is the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or NCCA.
U.S. Certification Programs
There are a number of certifying agencies in the U.S. that are accredited by the NCCA, and it can be overwhelming for an aspiring personal trainer to choose the right one for their particular specialisation.
Some of the most well-known certification programs in the US include:
NASM (the National Academy of Sports Medicine), famous for its Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model, focusing on stabilisation endurance.
ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association), well-known for its online personal trainer courses accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. ISSA is known as the international certification, being accepted in US, European, and UK fitness facilities such as Active Wellness and Fit Club.
The ACE Certification Exam (American Council on Exercise), a well-rounded program with customised personal training programs using their Integrated Fitness Training (IFT) model. ACE Certification is particularly sought by Anytime Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness.
What Should I Expect As A Personal Trainer?
As a personal trainer, you’ll be expected to demonstrate techniques and exercises to your clients, often customising these exercises to fit their personal needs. You’ll be monitoring their fitness and any injuries or health issues, always ready to administer first aid if necessary.
Aside from your knowledge and skills as a personal trainer, you’ll need communication and listening skills in order to effectively instruct and motivate your clients. You’ll also need passion and enthusiasm, which you can pass on to your clients.
How Much Does It Pay?
The average hourly pay of a personal trainer in Australia is AU$28.96, although higher-earning personal trainers can earn up to AU$70 an hour. This comes to a total yearly pay of AU$40,000-130,000 a year, not counting bonuses! This is a very attractive incentive to get the proper certification.
Personal Certification For Personal Trainers
Certification can mean the difference between just giving pointers at the gym to making a good living as a fitness industry professional. Choosing the right personal trainer program will allow you to pursue the fitness specialisation that you’re truly passionate about.