Contributed by Meredith Butulis, DPT, MSPT, ACSM HFS, CPT, Health Fitness Program Chair – Minnesota School of Business Online
Our Health Fitness degree at Minnesota School of Business can lead to many possible careers. Most of these careers do require a degree and also a related certification. While your degree usually takes 2-4 years in order to obtain the key knowledge for your field, your certification will often take only a few weeks to study and complete.
Here are a few key questions to ask yourself when trying to find the appropriate certification:
- What population do I want to work with? There are certifications based off of clientele type (youth, general population, geriatrics), and certifications based off of modality (TRX, Kettlebells, Aquatics, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, etc).
- What setting do I want to work in? If you have a particular employer in mind, find out what certifications they require. For example, LifeTime Fitness, a huge nationwide employer of Personal Trainers, looks favorably upon a NASM CPT (National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer). Many high school and college strength and conditioning programs look more favorably upon a NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) certification. There are many more examples, and they often vary based off of region and employer.
- How do I learn best? Some certifications have you read a text book and then take a test. Some have interactive online material, and others have live courses. Some certifications offer multiple options at different price points.
- What do you hope to obtain from the certification process? Are you getting a certification just to work for a specific employer, or are you looking to learn specific knowledge in the process? It is important to chose a certification that not only meets your future employer’s goals, but also your goals. Realize that there are many advanced certifications and many fitness professionals accumulate several certifications throughout their career.
This website compares some of the most common entry-level Personal Training Certifications.
With the diversity of potential offerings, reach out to your instructors and HFS Program Chairs at Minnesota School of Business. They can help you navigate which certifications are best for you! Have a question? Leave us a post! Learn more about our program by visiting our website!