Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fitness Certification Advice for Aspiring Personal Trainers

If you are seeking a career as a personal trainer, the certification that you hold may be a major factor in your ability to land your dream job. However, if you have started looking at all the various personal training certifications available, you may not know where to begin as there are so many to choose from.
To help you work through the major considerations of selecting the best personal trainer certification for you, we have identified five major criteria that you may want to research before selecting the one you want to invest your time, and money, in.

These five criteria include:

1.      NCCA Accreditation: The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCAA) is the main certifying body in which the most prominent agencies are accredited. There are other certifying agencies, but they are not held in the same regard as the NCAA.

2.      Price: In addition to the cost of the certification exam, you’ll also have to purchase study materials.

3.      Number of Test Questions: Generally considered a minor factor, but the amount of questions is important to those who may be poor test takers.

4.      CEU Requirements: Continuing Education Units are required for you to maintain your personal trainer certification. You’ll want to consider the amount and cost.

5.      Average Income: The money question. How much, on average, do trainers with specific certifications make compared to others?

Now that you are familiar with some key criteria, let’s look at some advice of how these factors may influence your decision to go with specific certifications bodies over others.

NCCA Accreditation

You can consider an NCCA Accreditation to be something of the gold seal of approval for a certification body. This means that if you choose to get a personal trainer certification that has been approved by the NCCA, you are likely to be able to get a job anywhere.

For example, bigger brand name gyms, a place where many trainers get their start, will generally accept your personal trainer certification if it is NCCA-approved. You’ll still want to ask the potential gym (or workplace) what certs they accept, but if your cert is NCCA-approved, you are more likely to able to get your foot in the door.


Your initial concern may be the price of a specific personal trainer certification. Thus, you should consider not just the cost of the exam but all the study materials.

This will include, but is not limited to, the cost of the book. Often, certification bodies will sell other educational materials – study guides, test exams, audio books, etc. – that you may want to invest in as well.

Number of Test Questions

Most personal trainer certification exams have around 120 to 150 questions. These are all multiple choice. If you are a poor test taker, or take a long time to test, you may want to factor in the amount of questions as well as the allotted time for the test.

With the exception of one provider, all exams are closed-book.

CEU Requirements

This is probably the most overlooked factor in choosing a certification. Most aspiring trainers only consider the upfront costs of the exam, neglecting the cost of maintenance.

Before you select a certification based purely on upfront costs, consider:

·        The CEU requirements

·        How often you need to recertify

·        How much it will cost to recertify

Average Income

Using a site like PayScale.com, you can get an idea of how much you might make with a full-time position as a personal trainer. While a lot of certification bodies don’t publish this type of information, these third-party sites can help you get an idea of what you might make.

Look for Your Personal Trainer Job Today

FitnessJobs.com is your go-to site for finding personal training jobs near you. To find your next dream career in personal training, get started today.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

3 Things You Must do to Recruit Top Personal Trainers

When it comes to recruiting personal trainers for the health and fitness industry, employers and hiring managers need to rethink their message. Top talent isn’t going to respond to job postings with a two-line job ad, or a mercenary ad that screams “We just care if you reach your quota”. Job seekers are interested in “What’s in it for me”?

Here are 3 tips on how to meet the needs and desires of accomplished fitness professionals:

1.      Really great candidates want to work for terrific companies. When creating job postings, hiring managers need to take the same care in crafting their message as the marketing team does when advertising for new members. Branding your recruitment ads is critical. Your opening paragraph should tell a story about your club and organization, any unique elements and accolades your organization may have. Speak about the amenities, equipment and all the things a prospective employee would want to know before they come to work for you.

2.      Your job description should address specific needs your fitness department has. Most clubs and studios have a wide range of members. If you have a large senior population and are looking for personal trainers with experience in this group, say that in your ad. Also, sports performance training is gaining in popularity as parents are investing in their kids with the hopes of obtaining college scholarships. Certainly, clubs are looking for trainers who are experienced in personal training, with education and certifications and know how to self-market and sell personal training. Take time to create this message so you don’t scare off quality candidates with a mercenary message.

3.      Job seekers are interested in what’s in it for them. Think about your program and explain your compensation plan in detail. Don’t just list $18-$55 and hour in your ads. Let people know what to expect in a crystal-clear message. As an example, if trainers with zero experience are a consideration, say that in your ad and explain what their hourly rate would be plus commissions and bonus. If accomplished trainers with education, numerous certification and 5+ years of experience are joining your team and you are paying a guarantee for 20 hours per week with hourly pay, plus commissions and bonus, plus paid time off, continuing education reimbursement, and health care contributions, spell out the details in your ad.

When recruiting for your business, the way you represent yourself in recruitment ads, speaks volumes about the way you run your business. I would recommend that the fitness department and key marketing staff create the job postings together. Take your time to create well thought out job postings and you will receive a tremendous payback!

Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry career expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health club industry. He is the founder and president of FitnessJobs.com. Alan can be reached at alan@fitnessjobs.com or by calling 800-259-4397.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Employee Retention in the Fitness Industry

Retaining employees in any industry is critical to the success of the business. In the fitness industry, there is a combination of part-time and full time employees, and both are extremely valuable to the success of the business.

Employee turnover is not only expensive, but more importantly, derails customer service, member retention and meeting financial objectives. So how does a fitness businesses ensure they do a better job in this vital area?

It starts at the top. If ownership and management believe employees are their greatest asset, that is essential for success.

5 Key Components for Employee Retention

1.     Create a Recruitment Strategy

a.     Qualified Hiring Manager: It is essential that the hiring manager is equipped to do the job. Training on proper interviewing/hiring techniques and following legal practices is important.

b.     Manager’s Hiring Tool Kit: Make sure the hiring manager/s have the tools to succeed. They should have job descriptions, compensation plans, interviewing questions, new hire paperwork and more.

c.      Next Man Up: All job applicants should receive an acknowledgement for applying; a professional courtesy. Also, for those candidates that were close to getting hired, contact them and encourage them for future opportunities. Keep those candidates resumes close at hand!

2.     Onboarding and Training: A key ingredient for employee retention is a well thought out onboarding and training program. Poorly planned onboarding and training will cost you time and money in the long run.

3.     Employee Reviews: Try to conduct employee reviews 2 times a year. It is a great way to stay in touch with employees and help them grow and stay motivated.

4.     Compensation and Perks: Pay attention to your local market and be competitive with compensation. You will also have the edge on other businesses as you can provide memberships, discounts on services and a whole range of perks to keep your staff motivated and having fun.

5.     Career Tracks: Identify staff members who are interested in the fitness industry as their future. Spend time providing insight and motivation so they can reach their goals working for your company.
Keeping statistics on key metrics of personnel will let you know how you and your team at doing.
Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry career expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health club industry. He is the founder and president of FitnessJobs.com. Alan can be reached at alan@fitnessjobs.com or by calling 800-259-4397.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

7 Things Fitness Companies Must Do Now to Have a Great 2017

1.  Make certain your team is the best possible group of employees possible. Evaluate all employees top to bottom right now and coach up or out C level employees.

2.   Designate a recruiting leader to oversee recruitment. Someone needs to take ownership of the process and procedures, regardless of how large or small your business is.

3.    Make sure your hiring managers have all the tools they need to present a professional image for your company: Job descriptions, updated compensation plans/benefits and interview questions. Have a meeting in advance and review the interview process with all hiring managers.

4.   Create a budget for the 4th quarter. Determine where and when you will place all recruitment ads. At FitnessJobs.com, we believe our unlimited job posting subscriptions are the best value anywhere and should be part of everybody’s recruiting plan. However, we also believe you should have a diverse recruiting strategy that includes a variety of options.

5.    Create DYNAMIC recruitment ads! Great employees are attracted to great ads. Crummy ads attract crummy people! Keep in mind when creating effective recruitment ads: Job Seekers are interested in “What’s in it for them”. List compensation ranges, benefits, perks, continuing education reimbursements if any, club memberships for them and possible family members, relocation allowances etc. Make sure your ads have an opening branding paragraph about your business and any accolades and what’s special about your business. Recruitment ads should not be MERCENARY filled with MUST DOs!

6.   Make certain you respond to all applicants. That is the professional approach. Keep in mind that anyone you don’t hire may become a member or have family members that may me member prospects.

7.   Make sure you have a well thought out training program in writing and equally important is a well thought out onboarding process for all new employees.

As a final note, recruiting new team members is expensive in labor as well as recruitment costs. Do a great job and your business will reap the rewards in a higher level of member retention, customer care and greater profits!

Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health club industry. He is the president and founder of FitnessJobs.com and author of: How to Land Your Dream Fitness Job - A Complete Guide to Finding Your Dream Job in the Health and Fitness Industry. He can be reached at 800-259-4397 or by email: alan@fitnessjobs.com.

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Become a General Manager in the Health Club Industry

Managing and leading a team of people in all industries have similar characteristics. If you have a passion for fitness, customer service, leadership and experience, plus a sales and marketing aptitude, then you have the “Right Stuff” for health club management. Below I will fill in the blanks and try to help you with some valuable steps you need to take to land a club management job.

If you are new to the industry, but have the experience and skills listed above than you need to beef up your resume with some club experience. Below are some easy steps to take.

1. Become a member of the most successful club you can afford.

2. Take a part-time job as a front desk associate at the most successful club with the BEST REPUTATION in the area.

3. Get a job part-time (If you have a full-time job) in the membership sales department. This is critical. If you understand the ins and outs of membership sales, then you have your foot in the door. Track your accomplishments!

4. Take some personal training sessions so you can see how this department works. Personal training is a critical component and profit center for health clubs.

5. Pay attention to the cleanliness, maintenance and customer service of the club. This will show you have an aptitude about these important aspect of club operations.

6. Try to get a part-time job with supervisory experience in a smaller franchise club. A weekend managers job would be a valuable asset to your resume.

After 12 months, you now have enough experience to apply for a club management job. Your economic needs may be the driver on your approach here. The more flexible your compensation requirements are, the easier your career change will be. You probably will have numerous entry level management opportunities. FitnessJobs.com is a great site to explore health club opportunities. Also, you may look at club management jobs at IHRSA, a fitness industry trade organization. Your previous experience may move you along rapidly in this industry.

When making a decision on possible employers, do this carefully. Try to join a well-respected, successful organization. As you enter the fitness industry there will be no shortage of amazing opportunities, as it is a booming industry and will be for the rest of time based on the ability of health clubs to improve lives.

Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health club industry. He is the president and founder of FitnessJobs.com and author of: How to Land Your Dream Fitness Job - A Complete Guide to Finding Your Dream Job in the Health and Fitness Industry. He can be reached at 800-259-4397 or by email: alan@fitnessjobs.com.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Technology and the Frustration of Using Technology

It has been a long time since I have posted on the FitnessJobs.com blog. Why you might ask?

Is it that I hate writing blog articles?

Is it that I am too busy too write valuable content for my blog?

Is it that I don't think it's important?

Nope, it's none of the above. The fact of the matter is, I get lazy and frustrated with technology and the challenges that it sometimes presents. The truth is I have not been able to login and through many attempts, I just gave up for a while. Today, miraculously, I was able to login. Imagine that:)

So, coming soon, I hope to be a regular contributor to the FitnessJobs.com blog!

Alan Cohen