To become a personal trainer in Illinois, you have to:

  1. At the minimum, be 18 years old
  2. Have a GED or the equivalent
  3. Hold a current adult CPR/AED Certification
  4. Get certified through a recognized personal training organization

What certification in Illinois do you need?

We developed this critical quiz to help you find the best certification for you and your goals.

Personal Trainer Certification Illinois

Here are the best personal training certification options in Illinois: 

  1. International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA-CPT)
  2. National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT)
  3. National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF-CPT)
  4. American Council on Exercise (ACE-CPT)

I recommend that you take the quiz and find out which certification will be most helpful for your specific Illinois personal trainer career goals.

Personal Trainer Certification Illinois Cost

The cost of becoming a personal trainer in Illinois will depend on the chosen certification and this will vary from $449 to $999

Do you need a license to be a personal trainer in Illinois?

Most Illinois gyms and health clubs will prefer personal trainers that hold a nationally accepted exercise related certification. Having a certification is not mandatory, but it will give you a competitive edge.

Personal Trainer Schools Illinois

There are a number of kinesiology schools that you can choose in Illinois. Here is my list of the top institutions.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to take the quiz to find out the best personal trainer certification for your career.

How Much Do Personal Trainers Make in Illinois?

Illinois is a fairly competitive state for personal trainers, and one can expect to make $68,396 yearly, but the range can vary from $49,339 to $84,022 depending on the city, the level of education, and additional professional certifications, other relevant skills as well as experience.

Make sure to check out the general guide on how to become a personal trainer.

How To Become A Personal Trainer in Illinois

State Fitness Rating

The first thing I will be digging into is the state fitness rating.

This valuable statistic is an amalgamation of various data bits that give an impression of a state’s population’s health.

This, in turn, will help you paint a picture of just how primed the fitness market is for someone looking at Personal trainer jobs in Aurora and other such areas in the state.

I will look at just two data categories to establish the market potential for fitness trainers.

These categories are obesity and gyms.

With obesity, we have the obesity prevalence, a percentage of the population considered dangerously overweight by medical standards, and the obesity ranking.

This is how the state, in this case, Illinois, compares to others in America.

So as far as prevalence is concerned, we see Illinois showing up with a rate of 30.6%.

This is pretty high, evidenced by Illinois being 34th out of 51 states and districts.

Now for the gyms, and in this case, the gym presence, which looks at two metrics.

The first is the total number of gyms. In the case of Illinois, we have 674 gyms. 

The second is the top gyms per capita, which is how many gyms are available for every 100 thousand residents.

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Top gyms are described as your mainstream commercial gyms, most with franchises running nationwide.

These are easy to access and use, affordable fitness facilities such as:

  • Anytime Fitness
  • Crunch Fitness
  • Snap Fitness
  • Planet Fitness
  • 24 Hour Fitness
  • Gold’s Gym
  • LA Fitness
  • Orange Theory Fitness
  • YMCA

With a population of 12,801,539, there are 5.26 gyms for every 100,000 people.

This gives Illinois a final gym ranking of 32 out of 51, which is relatively low.

Overall, these stats give Illinois a fitness rating of 38 out of 51.

To become a personal trainer in Naperville and other areas, these stats show the market isn’t very responsive towards the wellness and fitness industry.

This challenges convincing people to adopt a mindset that sees health and fitness as necessary and then positioning yourself as a solution.

From another perspective, this looks like an untapped market, and with a generous amount of opportunities in the form of the numerous gyms and fitness clubs, this could be the base your career needs to launch from.

Fitness Market Makeup

Because it has a high obesity prevalence, the market composition you will likely deal with the most in Illinois is the average person trying to get a healthy weight through the right exercise program.

These are the most straightforward clients to engage with but often the hardest to train successfully.

That’s because healthy weight loss is as much a shift in mindset as it is a shift in body composition.

For this reason, you must master the art of change psychology, especially regarding nutrition and diet.

Illinois also has something of an athletic heritage, with many top contender teams from all the major American sports leagues having a home in Illinois.

This might prove to be a lucrative avenue for your career, either training aspiring athletes through youth development and college leagues or going all the way to deal with pro league athlete populations.

A knowledge of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, cardiovascular, and pilates training will be helpful here.

To be exposed to such opportunities, becoming a personal trainer in Chicago is best.

Personal Trainer Certifications in Illinois

Personal training certification in Naperville and other cities is needed to get a job as a personal trainer in Illinois.

I have written an article on my best personal trainer certifications. Use this as a guide to becoming a certified personal trainer in Illinois.

Overall here are my top 2 best personal trainer certification programs in Illinois. Ensure you have any or all of them when you decide to become a personal trainer in Aurora and other areas.

Writing and passing your certification exam on your first attempt is possible with the right personal training schools in Chicago.

You can also check out the National Personal Training Institute Chicago (NPTI) Chicago.

Personal Trainer Jobs in Illinois

With over 600 gyms and a few major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, there are bound to be numerous opportunities for work for a Chicago personal trainer.

Despite the low fitness ranking, the size of the population should yield some good odds for a job in the fitness industry.

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Most Popular Cert
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A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25&percnt off
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Your best starting point is to approach a gym with your credentials and, hopefully, some experience and the right attitude.

This is a great way to build yourself up regarding skills, status, and reputation.

In the future, you should consider working as an independent trainer, perhaps with your fitness brand. This will strip you of all the safety nets that come with employment, such as benefits and income security.

But noting is achieved from comfort zones.

From here on out, you’ll be more flexible with your time and energy, able to set your own prices, but at the expense of managing every aspect of the business yourself.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to take the quiz to find out the best personal trainer certification for your career.

Best Cities to Be a Personal Trainer in Illinois

Illinois has a moderately sized population. Not too big, but not tiny by any stretch.

However, when going city by city, the population spread isn’t so even.

Chicago is the state’s most popular city by a very large margin, coming in at 2,693,976 inhabitants.

Aurora is the second-largest urban area by population, but with only 197,757 inhabitants. That’s not even 10% of Chicago’s population.

After that, population figures spread out somewhat evenly.

This sharp contrast between Chicago and everywhere else means that, in reality, Chicago is the only decent shot you have at being a top-earning successful PT in the state.

An independent “personal trainer in Chicago, IL” has more potential for success than a “personal trainer in aurora, IL” or “personal trainer in Illinois” with its population.

City In IllinoisPopulation
Chicago2,693,976
Aurora197,757
Naperville148,449
Joliet147,344
Rockford145,609
Springfield114,230
Elgin110,849

As you can see, you’re dealing with small population centers outside of Chicago.

Personal trainer jobs in Naperville or Aurora pale in comparison to the potential that lies in Chicago.

If you want to work in a gym or fitness center, there are many personal training jobs in Chicago to apply for.

Personal Trainer Salary in Illinois

The average annual income for a certified personal trainer in Illinois is $63,471, which is a little more than the national average of $61,802 per year.

That means as a PT in Illinois, you can look forward to a decent income.

To earn the average personal trainer salary in Chicago, many factors, besides just the location, contribute to your final earnings potential.

Make sure you have your credentials down and are staying ahead of trends.

Make sure to check out the full guide on personal trainer salary.

Quality of Life Rating

Overall as a state, Illinois is rated quite low in terms of quality of life, but when we look at Chicago as an isolated case, things almost flip upside down.

Chicago has a larger population than the next 20 largest urban settlements in the state.

It is also one of the most progressive and influential cities in America.

The freedom and resources for starting and running a business are great, which means it is a place of opportunity for personal trainers in Chicago, IL.

The cost of living isn’t amazing, but not terrible either, and finally, healthcare, leisure, and education are all excellent.

In some areas, Chicago only suffers when it comes to crime, and taxation isn’t the best there either.

Overall, I’ll give Illinois a 7 out of 10, which would be lower were it not for Chicago being the tentpole of a city it is.

Methodology

After serious research, I was able to come up with this thorough review based on the following parameters:  

  • The population of the state and its major cities.  
  • The obesity figures as compared with other states.  
  • Personal trainer certifications are available in Illinois. 
  • Availability of personal training schools & colleges.  
  • Career prospects for personal trainers.  
  • Earning potential for certified PTs.  
  • Quality of Life (QoL).  

Final Words

Chicago is the best city to be a personal trainer in Illinois because its population exceeds all other cities.

You won’t have issues searching for personal trainer jobs in Chicago if you possess the appropriate accreditation.

But nothing stops you from having a good career as a “personal trainers in Peoria, IL,” “personal trainers in Springfield, IL,” “personal trainers in champaign, IL,” or in other cities with less population.

You should have the right timing, strategy, and training programs in place.

FAQs on How to Become a Personal Trainer in Illinois

How to become a personal trainer in Illinois?

A personal trainer in Illinois must be a member of any of these bodies:

– The Cooper Institute
– American Council on Exercise (ACE)
– International Fitness Association (IFA)
– American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
– National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
– Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
– National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

How to become a certified personal trainer in Illinois?

Becoming a certified personal trainer in Illinois involves having the following:

– A high school diploma or GED
– A first Aid, CPR, and AED certification

Above all, register for a certification program with a personal trainer institute recognized by NCCA or study an exercise-related course in a college or university.

How to get a personal trainer certification for free?

The following are ways to access a personal trainer certification for free; you should take advantage of any of these opportunities:

– Employer-sponsored training
– Deferred payment( student loans)
– Third-party funding from the government for young people, the unemployed, or military veteran
– Online promotions and taster courses

References

https://www.exercise.com/learn/ten-fittest-states-in-the-us/

https://www.salary.com

https://www.americankinesiology.org/SubPages/Pages/Kinesiology%20Institution%20Database

https://www.teleport.org

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


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