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TCC’s personal fitness and training certificate will get your career moving

If you’re always checking your Fitbit to increase your steps, love to motivate others to exercise and encourage your friends to go for the Greek yogurt in lieu of that Snickers, why not consider a career in personal fitness?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job opportunities for personal trainers will grow by 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Complete Tidewater Community College’s Career Studies Certificate in Personal Fitness and Training in just two semesters and you’re ready to sit for a national credential exam.

Rachel Thompson - personal training and fitness instructor at TCC's Virginia Beach Campus
Rachel Thompson, personal training and fitness instructor at the Virginia Beach Campus.

More than just gym class

Sure, TCC offers Weight Training and the Fundamentals of Physical Activity, but this is more than PE classes. TCC’s program provides extensive training in communications, nutrition, marketing and anatomy and physiology.

“The program gives students a well-rounded package,” said Rachel Thompson, personal training and fitness instructor at the Virginia Beach Campus. “When students graduate, they will have a great skill set – a toolbox full – that they can use wherever they go, whether it is to a CrossFit gym or on to open their own gym.”

You will also receive hands-on training through required internships with local gyms and training centers. We’ll even help you find the perfect fit.

“Frequently, the gym they get placed in is where they end up working,” Thompson said. “I had a student last year who was placed at the YMCA and she is now a trainer there. The internship really helped her get the job.”

Student Denise Brown shows a fellow classmate how to properly lift.
Denise Brown (left) and a fellow classmate simulate client exercises in PED 168.

“I can use the classes I’ve taken so far, like CPR, anatomy and physiology and the internship, on my resume,” said student Denise Brown, a Navy veteran training for a second career in personal training and fitness. “These skills really make me marketable to a facility.”

Ace the ACE

All coursework is based on the standards of the American Council on Exercise (ACE), qualifying students to sit for certification exams administered by ACE and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Inside scoop

“To be in this field, you need to be a people person and genuinely care about someone and helping them out,” Brown said. “Once you get your basics done, you can branch out in other ways.”

“Don’t come in thinking that this program will be like a PE class,” Thompson said. “There is a lot of content and repetitive reading in these classes. There is a huge studying component to it. Be prepared to hunker down and get serious in the comprehensive courses.”