T Nation

Going Into Personal Training?

Being a junior in high school I have been thinking about college and what I want to do with my life. I’ll just cut to the chase and ask, what would you be majoring in if you wanted to become a personal trainer? Would it be health fitness? Also, what colleges are good for this field and how much do personal trainers get paid?

Thanks in advance

First, do not worry about the money … have passion … love it … the money will come later.

Regardless of what schools offer good programs to provide the scientific background, hear me out:


understand marketing
understand accounting
understand finance
understand communications
understand management

I am going out on a limb and saying that these are more important to being successful than being great at what you do … ask some of the experts around here. Yes, you have to be good, but you have to promote … YOU!

Whilst in school, work at the gym.

Immerse yourself NOW and don’t wait until you are 31 like me!


I’d give a read-through of a similar thread from a few months back:

how much do personal trainers get paid?[/quote]

If you work for a gym, it’s somewhere between “zippola”, and “not nearly enough”. The last gym I worked at charged members $75 per hour, of which I made $20. L-a-m-e.

If you train on your own, you can almost name your own price…depending on the area you live in and depending on if you can deliver fast, visible results. A buddy of mine charges $80/hour (cash) in a wealthy area of N.Y., but it’s hard to find an independent trainer for under $40/hour around here.

Usually the programs you are looking for are titled something like:

Bachelor of Kinesiology
BSc Kinesiology
Bachelor of Physical Education
Bachelor of Human Kinetics
Bachelor of Exercise Science
BSc Exercise Science

The benefit of these is that they are a true undergraduate degree, meaning you qualify to apply for your CSCS after graduating.

Other college programs are usually named something like “Certified Personal Trainer Diploma” or something similar. Since they are a diploma and not a degree, you do not qualify for CSCS.

Get the undergrad degree, my friend.

Also, do what you love, and then read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and that will take care of the money. :wink:

I agree with Dan. You DO NOT have to have an exercise science degree to be a personal trainer or to be good at it. Take Business courses, learn to promote yourself.

While you’re in school, I would suggest either Major in Business or Marketing with a minor in Sports Sciences.

As others have said, as soon as you can, get to the gym and start training. Learn as much as you can here. I don’t know if you need to be 18 to get a certification for personal training (anyone have an idea on this?) but get one as soon as you can.

Then go out and do what you love.

Personally, I think ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ was a waste of money.

Try ‘The Wealthy Barber’ instead.

I agree with the undergraduate idea, though.


You have to be 18 and a High School grad to get diploma through AFPA.

[quote]Hot AZ wrote:

I don’t know if you need to be 18 to get a certification for personal training (anyone have an idea on this?)[/quote]

I believe for CPR-certification (a requirement for most training certs.) it’s 17. Also, I’m almost positive the I.S.S.A. is 17 and older.

I got a CPR cert in high school when i was 16. Maybe its different in other states?

"Personally, I think ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ was a waste of money.

Try ‘The Wealthy Barber’ instead."

I’d say exactly the opposite as we’re set to make a nice $40k profit on our first reno-and-sell rental property. :stuck_out_tongue:

Money now, not later.