:: Instructor-led Classes

Personal Trainer Certificate Program

Course Details

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Get in Shape While Helping Others Get Healthy!

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The University of Texas at Austin, Professional Development Center (PDC) in collaboration with the World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) offers a Personal Trainer Certification Program. This challenging program is taught over a 6-week period and covers key topics including biomechanics, exercise physiology, fitness testing, equipment usage, and health assessment. The National Exams are held on the 6th week and students who pass both are eligible for the 30-hour internship and ultimately the W.I.T.S. certification.

The Personal Trainer Certificate Program prepares students by building their education and confidence in order to achieve success in a fitness career. Serious athletes often decide at some point to hire a personal trainer to help them excel. Personal trainers must know the way the body works and be able to apply proven methods that result in greater success in athletic endeavors.

If you have a passion for wellness and helping others reach their fitness goals, now is the ideal time to pursue a career as a Personal Fitness Trainer! As a personal trainer, you’re responsible for living a healthy lifestyle and encouraging the health of others. Make a career out of what you love: working out and staying fit!

Classes meet on Thursday from 6-9pm at TCC, and Saturday's from 1-4pm at a local gym.

For more information about the program please visit the FAQs page or watch a video.


The U.S. Department of Labor projects that "employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As businesses, government, and insurance organizations continue to recognize the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees, incentives to join gyms or other types of health clubs is expected to increase the need for fitness trainers and instructors." (U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014).

photos of personal trainer with client, the UT Tower, and a man running

Who Is W.I.T.S.

The World Instructor Training School (W.I.T.S.) is an approved CEU provider for the Board of Certification for Athletic Trainers (BOC), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB), the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). The American Council on Education has recommended 3 undergraduate academic credits for this course. W.I.T.S. is the only major certifying body in the country providing comprehensive practical training and internship components.


  • Minimum 18 Years of age
  • High School Diploma or GED

Who Should Attend

Fitness enthusiasts or anyone seeking a new career in the health and fitness industry. This course is designed for fitness instructors, personal trainers, physical therapists, occupational therapists and assistants, and individuals who are currently training clients or would like to in the future. Whether it is for your clients or for yourself, all levels of expertise are welcome.


After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand and describe basic anatomy, kinesiology and exercise physiology.
  • Assess an individual’s level of fitness using ACSM guidelines.
  • Design and customize exercise programs.
  • Demonstrate proper execution of resistance, cardio-respiratory and flexibility exercises.
  • Identify and demonstrate at least one strength exercise for every major muscle group.
  • Explain ACSM and AHA recommendations for cardiovascular exercise.

Required Textbook

Fitness Professionals Handbook (6th Edition) is the required textbook and is available as a hardback book or eBook.

By Edward Howley, Dixie Thompson
Book 608 pages
ISBN-13: 9781450411172
$93.97 (includes tax, shipping and handling)

By Edward Howley, Dixie Thompson
This e-book requires the installation of Adobe Digital Editions. Read the access instructions.
© 2012
ISBN-13: 9781450423946

Click here to purchase textbook.

Certificate Requirements, Scheduling, and Pricing

To achieve the National Personal Fitness Trainer Certification:

  • Students must earn a score of 70% or higher on all exams.
  • Attendance is required and students are only allowed one excused absence. Students with an excused absence must complete all work assigned.
  • Adult CPR/AED is required for the certification to be issued.
  • Students are also required to complete a 30-hour internship through W.I.T.S.
  • All course requirements must be completed within 12 months of the original course start date.
  • The renewal period is based on the original course completion dates.

Course Outline and Scheduling

Thompson Conference Center
6 - 9 p.m. Thursdays

Session 1: Activity, Fitness, and Health and Beginning of Exercise Physiology
Session 2: Exercise Physiology
Session 3: Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics
Session 4: Exercise Prescription for Health and Fitness
Session 5: Behavior Modification and Program Administration / Management
Session 6: Written Exam

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Saturdays

Session 1: Health Appraisal, Body Composition and Cardiovascular
Session 2: Fitness Assessments
Session 3: Anatomy and Flexibility
Session 4: Strength Training and Biomechanics Exercise
Session 5: Program Design and Administration
Session 6: Practical Exam

Do You Want A Career That Gets You In Shape?
For more information about the Personal Trainer Certificate Program at The University of Texas at Austin please contact Veena Hosur at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 512-471-2354.

Future Term Courses and Enrollments

Most certificate programs are offered three terms per year, spring, summer and fall. Individual workshops are offered at least once each semester. Information about upcoming courses is available when enrollment opens each term. Some certificate programs consist of individual workshops while others are cohort style programs, please contact the coordinator for more information.

  • Spring term: Enrollment opens in early October, workshops or certificate programs are offered January – May
  • Summer term: Enrollment opens in early March, workshops or certificate programs are offered June - August
  • Fall term: Enrollment opens in June, workshops or certificate programs are offered September - December


Questions about this course?

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