Types of Trainers & Certifications

Fitness facility

These include a large number of certifications (AAAI/ISMA, AFAA, ACE), with many crossovers (NSCA -CPT), Many of these are entry level programs, but give you the basics for your career.  They also give you the ability to get insurance needed for training.  Remember, it’s not the certification, but what you do with it!  Richard Simmons started without a certification and I think he has done well (note…he now is certified).

Athletic training facility (Professional, School, Teams, etc.)

If you have the desire to train professional athletes, sports teams or the next Carl Lewis (who’s Carl Lewis?), then you are going to have to obtain a more rigorous training program, probably involving a degreed program. (NSCA-CSCS).

*note to self…these jobs are few and far between, some not even based on merit, but who you know.  If you are not in that scene, you may have problems getting the job.

Rehabilitation / clinical

If you have the gift of putting people back together or motivating them to make radical changes based on poor life choices, this is your cup of Gatorade.  Again, advanced training is necessary to get started (ACSM), and time on task is imperative for success.