Is a personal training certification sufficient to establish your own business? Is a college degree needed?
No, you don’t need a degree. It doesn’t hurt, but I have known many, many professionals over the years who are excellent fitness professionals despite the fact that they have no formal academic background. The real keys are knowing your scope of practice and caring for the benefit of your clients.
Study as much as you can. Gosh, there are so any great resources–IDEA, ACE, ACSM, NASM, AFAA–and the list goes on. And don’t ever stop studying, knowledge keeps growing. And the one thing that I would add is that you should always feel comfortable in saying “I don’t know” when you are asked a question that you don’t know the answer to. It’s not a down, but the great thing is that you know where to find the answer!