Personal Trainer Degree Programs and Courses

Although earning a degree is not necessarily required to work as a personal trainer, it can make it easier to gain certification. Explore degree programs in related fields like exercise science and kinesiology. Find out what you'll study as an aspiring personal trainer, and review the certification options and requirements in the field. Schools offering Fitness Trainer degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Personal trainers often only need a high school diploma and certification. However, obtaining a degree or other postsecondary education may help you in your quest to become a certified personal trainer.

Degrees Associate's or bachelor's degree in exercise science, kinesiology or physical education; master's degree programs are available for those wanting advanced positions in management
Courses Nutrition, exercise science, anatomy and physiology, fitness analysis, medical terminology, body-building techniques, sports training, small business management
Certification Offered by many organizations; check with the National Commission of Certifying Agencies to check the organization's accreditation

What Will I Study to Become a Personal Trainer?

When studying to become a personal trainer, you'll learn about the human body and how to help others on their way to a healthy life. You can also learn the business skills necessary to be a successful personal trainer. These are some topics you can cover in your courses:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise science
  • Fitness analysis
  • Medical terminology
  • Sports training
  • Small business management
  • Business computing skills
  • Movement science
  • Weight management

What Are My Degree Options?

A degree program may not be necessary to work as a professional personal trainer, although postsecondary coursework could prepare you for certification in the industry. An associate's degree program could give you the knowledge needed to pass a certification exam, as well as the skills you'll need for work as a personal trainer. An associate degree program may allow you to focus on subjects like anatomy and physiology, nutrition, exercise and body-building. You might enroll in an Associate Degree in Advanced Personal Training and Exercise Science program, for example. Relevant online options in this field are rare at the associate's degree level due to the hands-on nature of personal trainer education, though there are a few available.

What About Bachelor's and Master's Degrees?

More advanced positions in this field, such as management of a fitness facility, could require you to hold a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in a relevant field. Advanced degrees may offer study in subjects like disease prevention, rehabilitation, exercise biomechanics, sports management and physical disabilities. Some fields of study could include health fitness, exercise science, sports science and kinesiology. Online internship or degree options may be available at the graduate level in subjects like exercise science and kinesiology.

A Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, a Master of Science in Exercise Science or a Master of Arts in Kinesiology with a Physical Education Emphasis are a few available degree options. You could also find a Master of Sports Science.

What Are My Certification Options?

Personal trainers are typically expected to hold certification. Certification can be earned through a number of organizations, though you may prefer an organization that is accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies in order to ensure its credibility.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »