Education is the way to become a professional in any field. I recommend anyone interested in becoming a fitness instructor look into ACE courses, ACSM courses, or any other NCCA accredited certifying organization. There are schools near many major population areas for this as well. I used to teach for a post secondary school for fitness instructors when I lived near Denver, CO.
I teach a complete course for fitness instructors (classroom/practical experience) now through my business in Hawaii. I also teach CECs for those already certified. The CECs are definitely a write off so why not come take a continuing education vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii. The instructor course for preparing to get certified may also be, I never tried to get my first cert deducted off my taxes. Anyway, check out my website, www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com if you are interested.
Have you taken many fitness classes? What types do you enjoy? Find out from instructors in that field what their licensing and certification is. If you want to teach group classes, most places will hire you with a basic certification like AFAA group exercise and then a specialty certification in whatever specialty you prefer (i.e. if you want to teach a branded format like Zumba, you need to take a course and pay the licensing fee to use their name.
Some specialty formats, including Zumba, will allow you to begin teaching without having a base certification. Personally, I would NOT recommend that. There are safety, programming, and anatomy/physiology topics that are not covered in specialty licenses.
[Don’t get me wrong, I love Zumba and I teach several of its formats, but I also have quite a few certifications under my belt, not just a Zumba license]
Best of luck to you!
That’s great! When you know if you want to do personal training or group fitness, research associations that are accredited by NCCA such as ACE, NASM, and AFAA. I have both but I started with personal trainer because that’s what I thought I wanted to do. It gave me a great foundation to be able to do other things!
Part of your decision might be made by where you choose to work and what they prefer. On the other hand, you have to look at your experience and knowledge to see how much you need to learn and if you meet the prerequisites.
Good luck and let us know what you decide!
Hi Renee. Congratulations on finding ‘your profession!’ It’s your ENTHUSIASM and knowledge, NOT your age that will determine your success in your newly chosen field! So, putting your age aside 🙂 and concentrating on your desire to become a certified fitness professional I think that many of the factors already identified by Karin are things that you will need to consider. I would add that for a person new to the field, ‘industry marketability’ is important in getting that all-important first job. There are many, many certifications out there. Not every one of them have the same entry and testing requirements, so what you will need to do is your due diligence in researching the organizations out there to determine their requirements and comparing them to your current situation. For example, it does little good for you to look into Certifying Agency X if they require a 4-year degree in Exercise Science and you do not currently hold one. I think that you get what I’m trying to say here. So, just like any other education, you have a strata of educational institutions and you will need to compare that strata to your particular situation. While it’s great to get the BEST or most RESPECTED certification, it may not be doable for you in your current situation. If it is, great go for it. But if it is not, I would say do further checking because there are some organizations out there that, while perhaps not perceived to be the best, they may allow you to gain entry into the industry and give you a start. You can then learn, study and improve both your skill-set and knowledge while perhaps honing your craft. You may then decide to continue your “education” by pursuing additional more widely accepted or recognized certifications.
I say that if you’ve passionate about wanting to enter this field, there is a certification out there that can help you get there!
I hope that this helps.