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How to Choose the Right Personal Training Certification in Canada

A young ethnic male personal trainer stands with a blue clipboard, standing next to a young ethnic female personal training client, while a dark haired female walk on a treadmill the fitness centre in the background

If you have a passion for fitness and motivating others to achieve their health and wellness goals, then a career as a personal trainer may be right for you.

Getting a formal education in personal training is an excellent start to your career, but after graduation many employers and insurance companies require personal trainers to have certification in order to be employed and insured.

In Canada, there are a number of certifications to choose from, ranging in hours, cost, delivery options and specialty areas. With so many options available it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Continue reading to get a summary of how to choose the right certification option for you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Personal Training Certification

Does the certification have any pre-requisites?

Most personal trainer certifications in Canada require at a minimum up-to-date CPR training, but pre-requisites can vary and can include paying for full courses. Be sure to look into the certification’s pre-requisites before signing up.

Many post-secondary programs will often include training tied to an approved certification. For example, graduates of MaKami College’ Personal Training program are eligible to challenge the exam for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), an internationally highly accepted certification.

How long do you want to spend in school?

In Canada there are a wide range of options when it comes to certification, from short, 40-hour certifications, to multi-year certification programs.

Generally, the shorter the course, the less expensive it is. However, be sure to weigh the time and cost of the program with other important factors below, as shorter and cheaper may not always be the best option depending on your goals.

Where do you plan on working?

Do you plan on working for a gym or fitness centre? If so, find out what kind of certifications that employers prefer, and that can help you make your choice. However, do consider that you may not spend your entire career at that employer, so you may want to look into a certification that offers you more opportunity and flexibility in career choices in the long run.

If you are considering working for yourself, you may want to ensure you take a personal training program that offers more education on client relations and communication skills.  

In addition, not all certifications are as widely accepted everywhere. For example, some certifications may not be transferrable to other provinces in Canada, or to other countries. So if you plan on potentially travelling as a personal trainer, you may want to look into certifications that are applicable to the provinces and countries you are thinking of moving to.

What are your career goals?

Before choosing a personal training program, be sure to think about your career goals. While some programs focus more on the basics of anatomy, cardio and flexibility, others may place emphasis on how to design custom workouts or skills to start your own business.

Your Career as a Personal Trainer

With many job paths to choose from, you can take your passion for fitness and helping others and turn it into a rewarding and lucrative career. As a certified personal trainer, you can work in various settings, including fitness centres, wellness centers for sports teams or even on your own as an independent trainer with your own clientele.

Pursuing a post-secondary education in personal training is an excellent way to start a successful career in this field. If you want to learn more about our personal training program, speak to a student advisor at MaKami College today!

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