Have you been considering a career in sports and fitness but are not sure where to begin? Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can acquire the skills and education you need to succeed in the health and fitness industry. Before you can begin, however, you will need in-depth training and education through a professional certification program. We can help you set yourself up for success with these 10 comprehensive tips.
Ready to get your strength and conditioning certification?
#1 Find a place to get certified
There are a number of ways you can acquire your certification, but one important thing to consider is to look into associations that have an established certification process that is recognized and respected among the fitness community. Perhaps what's even more important is that you determine your short- and long-term goals for acquiring a certification. Finally, obtaining your professional certification requires time and dedication to the program. What organization or program is right for you?
When you're reviewing your options, including the course content and requirements, make sure you enroll in a program that complements your schedule and learning style. For example, does your current schedule leave little time for studying? Consider a program that promotes flexibility and an at-your-own-pace learning format, such as an online or distance learning certification program.
#2 Look into prerequisites
Before you can officially start your program, you may have to complete a few prerequisites. Fortunately, certain organizations won't require you to have any prerequisites for earning a certification, so you can get started with your course and advance to a career at a much faster, more convenient rate.
#3 Allocate enough time in your schedule
Acquiring your certification takes time and dedication—and while online programs typically offer flexibility, you must be willing to commit in order to succeed.
#4 Take advantage of the unlimited student support
Many organizations offer unlimited student support. Take advantage of it before, during and after enrollment to stay informed and to prepare yourself for ongoing success.
#5 Study at your own pace
No two people are the same, and that notion rings true for individual learning styles and abilities. Fortunately, with an online certification program, you can study and learn at your own pace. You can also choose when you study, which is especially beneficial to those who retain information better in the morning and vice versa.
#6 Follow the learning format
All certification programs follow a specific learning format. Whether it be delivered via comprehensive manuals, video lessons, written exams or all of the above, be sure that you follow it from beginning to end. Many certification programs will also provide you with a number of different resources and materials upon purchase. Be sure to keep them in an easily accessible place so you can refer to specific information and study the material often.
#7 Review the exam requirements
Just as you would stick to specific exam requirements in high school or college, certification courses require you to pass with a specific letter grade or percentage. Make sure you review these requirements before you take your exam. Please note that a retest fee may requested if you do not pass the first time.
#8 Test when you're ready
It's no secret that tests can trigger stress. Fortunately, online certification courses allow you to test on your own time, when you're fully prepared. Just be sure that you complete the examination within the predetermined time.
#9 Gain experience
Once you have successfully passed and earned your certificate in strength and conditioning it's time to gain first-hand experience in the industry. When you make the effort to meet and develop relationships with other certified professionals, you'll gain many opportunities that you could have missed if you didn't expand your horizons.
Always view every employee or guest of the gym you're attending as a potential opportunity to get your name out there. It's a great way for you to shape a positive reputation and encourage others to think of your name when they meet someone who is interested in training with a certified professional.
#10 Continue to build your skills and advance your education
If you're new to the health and fitness industry, don't worry about building your presence right away. Start by focusing on one step at a time and your career will begin to grow from there. That being said, the health and fitness industry is always progressing and discovering new trends, so be sure that you are too. After all, prospects and your clients will look to your for your expertise, so be sure you're prepared and informed.