Bellevue College has a number of certificates available for students to pursue, one of which is a certification to become a personal trainer. BC offers the “Personal Fitness Trainer Certification” that teaches students all of the necessary components of being a personal trainer. The certification takes 19 credits through a set list of classes to complete. The purpose of the certification is to give students the tools to find a job as a trainer for any gym. The program also covers the topics needed for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Personal Fitness Trainer exam which is needed also for a job in the industry. The certification not only will help for getting credits for degree graduation but also help with getting a job in the real world.
Ray Butler is the chair of the Health and Physical Education department and loves to promote healthy lifestyles. As one of the developers of this program, he knows how the certification will help students in, not only graduation, but also in finding a job: “Research shows that there is going to be a 15-20% increase in demand. There are a lot of people who understand that there is a need to maintain an active lifestyle and stay fit, and they need some help in designing a program that speaks directly to their needs and goals. Our trainers can do that.” Bellevue College also hires trainers that complete this course. Many of the trainers at the BC gym were students that have completed the training with the highest marks.
There are a number of courses that students are required to take before they can receive their certification. Knowledge of the human body is key to a trainer. That is why there are classes on kinesiology and first aid. There are also classes on nurturing and strengthening the body such as nutrition and conditioning. With a total of 19 credits over seven classes, the certificate covers most of the bases of becoming a personal trainer. There is no time limit to finish the certification once it is started. However, students are able to finish the requirements in as little as two quarters if started in fall quarter.
Many students do the program only for the certification, not even for the credits. People understand the growing need for personal trainers so students can come back after they have gotten their degree just to get the certification. “Probably about half of the students already have a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree. They are coming back just to get this training. Students will say this is what I want to do. It is a pretty quick route to a career change,” said Butler. The certification is away to let people find different career paths that can correspond with what they are already studying to do.
The Personal Fitness Trainer Certification is a strong program that can help out students who are interested in a position not only as a trainer but anywhere in the fitness world.