Personal trainer education
Professional personal trainers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but they generally share one thing: a formal education in the health sciences. It’s possible to become a personal trainer without a degree, but a bachelor's degree or similar accreditation will usually give you a head start on this career path.
Many accredited bioscience degree programs can provide a good basis for becoming a personal trainer. A biochemistry degree, for instance, can provide a keener understanding of the metabolism involved in nutrition and fitness, while kinesiology focuses more directly on the body's high-level organ systems.
However, there are also dedicated health, wellness, and even individualized personal training degree and certification programs that may relate more directly to your future career. By earning one, you can distinguish yourself from applicants who may have a more general biology background, and show your focused dedication to personal training.
At the end of the day, a degree isn’t required to be a personal trainer, but it does help enormously in securing a position. Even those who plan to found their own companies may find it much harder to secure clients without an educational background to display.
Personal trainer career paths
Personal training degree graduates can start a private practice of working with clients directly, or they can take a job at a company that already serves clients. With certification, the skill set and education of a personal trainer are widely applicable. Even within the world of the gym, personal training graduates can lead fitness classes, design nutritional regimens or take on managerial responsibilities.
The personal training route can easily lead to careers outside the fitness world. Potential paths can include health writing for a publication, sales for a fitness supply company, or even HR work at progressive-minded companies. Accredited personal trainers have demonstrated not just an ability to work through a challenging course of study but also a passion for the health and wellness of those around them. Employers value these traits in a wide variety of non-technical positions, even if they have nothing to do with physical activity directly.