In my previous post I elaborated on the specific elements of education, credentials and experience. This time I am going to offer my honest opinion on all three.
Do I need a degree to be successful in fitness?
I loved my MSc program at UVIC and am very grateful for my time there. When I enrolled in the MSc program it was not by choice but out of necessity. I wanted to become a strength and conditioning coach for professional athletes and at the time to achieve that professional opportunity a Master’s degree and a CSCS certification was required.
While both are great achievements, I wouldn’t recommend this route for those looking for a career in the fitness industry. That being said, I do believe that education is important. There are a few training schools that do an amazing job of providing their students with the applied knowledge to start their career. The best way to learn your trade is to receive highly specialized and job specific training before starting to work in the industry. When I looked to start my career, the credentials I listed above were required. Today, for most entering the field the base credentials to work as a personal trainer are:
- A well-respected PT certification, and…
- A personal passion to help others safely achieve improvements in health, fitness and performance.
While most four-year programs can be incredibly helpful, most post-secondary schools, particularly the larger ones, spend a lot of time preparing students to become a researcher. Learning how to logically evaluate information is an important skill. However, the amount time spent learning this skill via a post secondary degree does not equal success in the workplace.
To become a successful personal trainer you need to combine Sales, Science and Service. Success will only come to those who “Master” their 3 dimensional trade and not with a package of certifications and degrees. University and post-secondary schools definitely have their purpose and do help a lot of people become a successful member of the work force. However, these institutions often receive a failing grade in setting people up for success in the trades.
Chris Smith, BCPTI founder and CEO & co-Owner of Fitness World often says that Service, Science & Sales are the keys to personal trainer’s success in the fitness industry. I had the scientific background but had very little knowledge of Sales and Service, which limited my personal success in business and my career. It’s for this very reason that I partnered with a team, who know Sales and Service incredibly well. Education without sales and service may give you success, but not nearly as much as you deserve.
I believe strongly, that the route to a successful fitness career should begin with a base personal training credential and then work experience with a fitness organization that can help you professionally develop your science, sales and service skills.
Your next opportunity to start your career in fitness, including a guaranteed job placement with Fitness World happens mid-July 2021. To learn more request a detailed eBook about our program by submitting your contact info here.