At age 56, I realize this is the industry I need to be in - always did know that, but I now have a calling. Where do I begin?
I am ready to change careers and want to get in to the fitness/nutrition industry. How can I get a job in this industry without credentials, except life experience. I would like to get started, perhaps in a clerical or sales position since I do have those qualifications. I would like to then get started on getting certified in Personal Training or something where I can help people lose weight and get more fit. I may sound old, but I am still fit.
I've always worked out! Jane Fonda was my idol back in hte 80's when I had my first child and needed to lose the baby weight with the help of her VHS tapes.
From then on I read everything there was about health & fitness. I started training and teaching martial arts and researched flexibility & conditioning workouts to incorporate into my workouts. Began to teach cardio kickboxing and decided to get my Group and Personal training certification (very basic & affordable, home study courses)
I now LOVE my job starting my 4th year as a corporate Health Fitness Specialist and still teaching martial arts and cardio kickboxing as well as many other group exercise classes as part of my job.
Jabez is spot on about the industry, but unfortunately in order to work in commercial or corporate, you do need certification which protects you and them from liability.
Only in a perfect world could we all just get by on what we know from experience... after all, at our age that is one thing that sets us apart from all the rest.
Start with taking a look at all of the certifications IDEA has to offer.
Once you narrow it down, go for it.
Having life experience is great but it's essential that as a trainer you stay within your scope of practice.
Get certified first: if you can get a job at your local Y or gym as a front desk person that would be a good place to start. Look for mentorship programs in your area, I would highly suggest attending the IDEA Convention this July in San Diego.
I would suggest that you start with getting a personal trainer certification as quickly as possible. Beyond going for a certification that is in your field of interest, ask around to see what requirements the clubs have that you may be working for. Some want to see a specific certification.
Getting a job in sales / marketing at a club may not be as difficult as you think as long as you are not expecting much of a salary. The membership sales position are often high turnover because the salary is contingent on sales. But it would get you into the environment.
I wish you the best of luck.
I wish you much success in your new career.
I personally feel you should visit www.acefitness.org and look in to earning their personal trainer credential.
From that site you can purchase the material or find an educational partner in your area and take the live university level course.
I feel very strongly that the ACE Personal Trainer certification is an excellent certification to earn and if you have the opportunity to take the 16-week course live, you will learn much and be ready to take the exam as well and put into practice all that your studied as well as performed in the 16-week course.
Too the American Council on exercise has so many wonderful resources for it's members and this is something that you want to have at your disposal considering that the resources will be part of your new profession.
In any case, congratulations, and I wish you the best.
The industry is pushing 4 certification to practice our skill and I support that but, I DO NOT & WILL NOT DIS-CREDIT EXPERIENCE! I have done this work part-time and fulltime 4 over 10+ yrs. Paper/certs. can get u in the door and working faster but does not make u more qualified than another. I know many who have degree's and certs out the wazoo but absolutely suck @ this.
1) find a mentor, 1 qulified 2 introduce u into more modern training & conditioning techniques
2) information is abundant 2day, just watch where u obtain it from. Do u want to do the fad thing or offer substance(RESULTS)!!!
3) get a group of your girls/peers 2gether, find out which have similar needs or are interested n what u do 2 stay fit n your years. EXPERIENCE RULES LUV!! If you can, expand this small(@ start 4 safety) group 2 others. Conditioning should be hard work, but can b really FUN! You would b suprised how many contacts u can make by doing challenging, beneficial workout while laughing and smiling with your peers. U never know who's watching...
4) CPR certification is a must, then consider if you want a national or regional cert. There r 100's of em, again good 2 have but, not a must have
5) "KNOW THY SELF..." don't get n 2 trouble trying 2 duplicate some1 else. Find ur own style...embrace it, then improve it
P.S. DON'T expect people 2 openly embrace you w/o a cert. I have found this industry operates very much off of stat quo. Don't b detered either, If it's what u want, GO GET IT!
BEST WISHES 4 UR FUTURE SUCCESS'S
A combination of a degree and certification will give you very solid start, however, as Jabez points out, experience will ultimately make the difference if you hope to support yourself in the health/fitness field. Fortunately, this industry has LOTS of part-time opportunities, if you are unable to give up your current full-time job or plan to go back to school. Also, don't rule out volunteering as a way to earn experience. Many people who have been successful in this industry will tell you they were willing to work for little or nothing, at first, in order to earn experience. YMCAs, hospital-based facilities, academic settings, and other not-for-profits are usually very willing to work with volunteers. I have seen many volunteers transition to paid positions.
Finally, once you have some experience in the industry, you should choose something that interests you enough that you can make it your area of expertise. What skill can you develop that others may not have?