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How do I become a personal fitness trainer?

QUESTION: I want to become a personal fitness trainer. Which college or degree should I pursue? Signed, Fit For Fitness

Dear Fit For Fitness: To become a fitness trainer, you will want to earn a degree in an area such as health, physical education, sports science, exercise science or kinesiology. Look for colleges that offer degrees in these and related areas. To help get you started, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recognizes accredited programs that meet its guidelines for strength and conditioning through its Education Recognition Program. There is a list of these programs on its Web site at As you are investigating colleges, speak with current personal fitness trainers to get their recommendations about which degree will best help prepare you and which schools are the strongest in these areas. Speak with faculty members and students at the college to learn how the school will help prepare you for a career in personal fitness training.


Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.

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