The Personal Trainer program at JJC offers students the technical information and practical experience to seek employment as a personal trainer/fitness instructor. Graduates will have the opportunity and credentials to work in the field, and gain experience with the option of continuing their education at a four-year school. The coursework in the program is transferable, and may be applied toward a bachelor’s degree for those students interested in kinesiology, teaching physical education, sports management and coaching, athletic training, and physical therapy. Additionally, employees already working in the fitness field have the opportunity to further their education to retain or possibly upgrade their job skills and marketability.
The program consists of courses designed to prepare a student for certification in the area of personal training, including the academic knowledge and hands-on experience of tangible skills. Personal trainers work to assess, instruct and motivate individuals and groups in exercise activities including cardiovascular training, resistance exercise and flexibility, and core training.
The program includes instruction in teaching group exercise classes, resistance training, fitness assessment and program design for individuals, nutrition for health and fitness, fitness industry management, and exercise science, including both the physiology of exercise and biomechanics. An internship to gain experience in the field is included in the program.
Courses specific to this program include laboratory and work experiences in skills required in the field of personal training. These
classes require hands-on active learning including oral presentations and demonstrations. Skills required for fitness professionals include both oral and written techniques, motivational techniques, deductive reasoning, time management, social perceptiveness, leadership and decision making.
Candidates for the National Board of Fitness Exam (NBFE), the exam to become a licensed Personal Trainer, must meet minimum requirements by submitting official transcripts from an institution of higher learning showing coursework in the following areas: Human Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise Science (Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology), Basic Nutrition and General Business or hold a current certification from a national organization that is an affiliate of the NBFE. The courses in this program will fulfill these requirements.
This certificate allows students to receive the information and skills needed to acquire a career in being a fitness instructor and/or a personal trainer. According to the Illinois Career Information Systems, about 660 job openings are expected each year in the state – one of the top 10 fastest growing occupations in Illinois.
* In May 2016, the median annual wages for fitness trainers and instructors in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
Fitness and recreational sports centers
Educational services; state, local, and private
Civic and social organizations
* Source: The U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics