Becoming a personal trainer in Iowa requires that you:

  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Have a GED or the equivalent
  3. Have a current adult CPR/AED Certification
  4. Be certified through a recognized personal training organization

What certification in Iowa do you need?

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

Personal Trainer Certification Iowa

Here are the best personal training certification options in Iowa: 

  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 you take the quiz to find out which certification makes the most sense for your specific Iowa personal trainer career goals.

Personal Trainer Certification Iowa Cost

The certification that you choose will determine your cost of becoming a personal trainer in Iowa, and this can vary from $449 to $999.

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

A majority of Iowa state gyms and health clubs require that you hold a nationally accredited personal trainer certification to be eligible for a fitness instructor position. Having additional skills like CPR and first aid will be beneficial

Personal Trainer Schools Iowa

Having a nationally accredited personal trainer certification in Iowa will give you an edge and potentially a higher income. From My research, these are some of the top kinesiology schools in Iowa that are worth considering:

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 Iowa?

As a personal trainer in Iowa, you can expect to make $63,703 yearly, but your overall salary can range from $45,954 and $78,257 based on your certifications, additional skills, years of experience, and other perks that your employer may offer. See the detailed salary report here.

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

How To Become A Personal Trainer in Iowa

State Fitness Rating

Before getting your trainer certification in Cedar Rapids or anywhere else, let’s look at the population’s health and fitness stats.

Understanding the state’s fitness rating will begin to paint a picture of the local fitness industry and market.

From there, you can gain some impression of your prospects and potential as a certified personal trainer in Iowa.

I’ve gathered some essential data from exercise.com, which helps us understand how healthy Iowa is in terms of achieving fitness goals.

Two critical aspects of the state fitness rating are obesity and top gyms access.

The obesity prevalence rate and ranking show the population’s engagement in health and fitness.

Iowa’s obesity prevalence is 32%. This is pretty high and shows a population with a less than ideal health status.

That gives Iowa a ranking of 38 out of 50 states, 51 since we’re counting DC as somewhat of a state too.

With a low ranking, we can surmise there is a low engagement with Iowa’s health and fitness industry.

That limits the potential for success but could also indicate potential growth and opportunity for fitness trainers as they help clients maintain their fitness level.

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The next factor we’ll look at is the top gym statistic.

Top gyms are categorized as mainstream commercial gyms. These are the most accessible to the general public based on affordability and ease of use.

Top gyms include household names such as:

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

Iowa has 232 top gyms to a population of 3,134,693.

That leaves about 7.4 gyms for every 100 thousand residents. 

That remarkable ratio puts Iowa in the top 5 rankings across all states at number 4 for gym access.

With such contrasting fitness data, Iowa has a state fitness ranking of 21 out of 51, placing it in the top half of America’s fittest states.

This indicates a great potential opportunity for you as a CPT in Iowa.

Fitness Market Makeup

The fitness market in Iowa will likely be the average joe looking to trim some body fat (weight loss) and get to a healthy weight.

My findings revealed that people in Iowa engage in moderate physical activity.

With such a high obesity prevalence contrasted with the high availability of fitness options, we can safely assume that most of your prospects will fit into the weight training category.

We can also assume that most of your potential client base will be in commercial gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs, where you should target your services.

A great way to capture such a market would be through small group training. It’s a great dynamic for motivation and is a financial win-win since your clients pay less, and you earn more.

Personal Trainer Certifications in Iowa

Writing personal trainer certification exams in Des Moines and other cities is needed to get a job as a personal trainer in Iowa.

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

Overall here are my top 2 best personal trainer certificates in Iowa. Ensure all of them when you decide to become a personal trainer in Cedar Rapids and other areas.

A personal trainer in Iowa city can also access personal training certification online for free for lack of resources.

All personal trainers should ensure their certifications are certified by either DEAC or NCCA.

Personal Trainer Jobs in Iowa

Iowa has a great gym to population ratio.

That means working the floor as a fitness instructor in one of the numerous gyms across the state is a great start.

You’ll have access to many clients during personal training sessions and the opportunity to grow your skills and experience level with a secure income, albeit small.

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A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25&percnt off
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Another great thing about full-time employment for fitness professionals is the standard benefits of helping people achieve physical fitness.

However, if you’re a serious and ambitious PT, your goal is to set your own fitness training business into motion.

That means working on building a personal brand and an array of services on a one-on-one basis.

I would suggest taking on nutrition and online coaching based on the fitness market in Iowa.

Getting the best exercise science jobs in Iowa or “fitness jobs Des Moines” means you can help the populace achieve their health and fitness goals through standardized fitness programs or training programs.

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 Iowa

Regarding population size, Iowa’s cities can be considered small.

The largest city, Des Moines, only has a population of just over 200 thousand residents. 

After that, we have Cedar Rapids and Davenport, which only have population figures in the 100k region.

Outside these top three cities, no other area crosses the 100k threshold.

That means the top 3 cities, especially Des Moines, are your ideal locations for personal training.

City In IowaPopulation
Des Moines214,237
Cedar Rapids133,562
Davenport101,590
Sioux City82,651
Iowa City75,130
West Des Moines67,899
Ankeny67,355

A quick search on “personal trainer des Moines Ia”, “personal trainer Davenport Ia”, and “personal trainer Cedar Rapids Iowa” on Google will show you how highly sought after they are.

Personal Trainer Salary in Iowa

The median salary for PTs in Iowa is $59,790 per year.

This is below the national average despite Iowa having so many employment opportunities for personal trainers.

While a low salary figure, personal trainer jobs in Cedar Rapids and other cities might seem like an outright deterrent, but it might not be so bad.

We’d need to measure it against the cost of living and the quality of life to determine whether the income is good.

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

Quality of Life Rating

As I just mentioned, the Quality of Life in a state is a factor for job prospects and income potential.

Once you get the job and the money starts rolling in, are you where you would like to be?

The whole point of making a living is to enjoy it, so let’s look at Iowa from a livability perspective.

You’ll be glad to learn that Iowa is consistently considered one of the best states to live in. 

At one point, Iowa was voted the best state regarding the quality of life.

Public infrastructure, education, and health care are the top highlights.

Iowa also has a low unemployment rate, which should provide hope if this is where you plan to practice as a personal trainer.

Methodology

This review was approached using well-researched facts and figures and the final verdict was based on the following:  

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

Final Words on How to Become a Personal Trainer in Iowa

Iowa is a small but functional state with much to offer a budding personal trainer.

Despite having a high obesity prevalence, there are plenty of opportunities to tap into an ever-growing fitness market.

I can tell you’ll enjoy practicing your profession and maintaining a quality standard of living in Iowa.

Your best bet is to become a personal trainer in Des Moines, which has the largest population.

You can also become a personal trainer in Davenport or Cedar Rapids since they also have relatively large populations by Iowa standards.

FAQs on How to Become a Personal Trainer in Iowa

How to get a personal trainer certification?

It is important to have a nationally acceptable personal trainer certification from:

– American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
– National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
– National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
– National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
– International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
– National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)
– American Council on Exercise (ACE)

How to get certified as a personal trainer?

You can get certified by using your basic qualifications, such as a high school diploma or GED, and a CPR/AED Certification to obtain a personal trainer certification of your choice.

Also, you can enroll in a college for an associate or bachelor’s degree in an exercise related field.

What is the average salary for personal trainers in Iowa?

The average salary of a personal trainer in Iowa is $59,790 as of May 27, 2021.

However, your earnings depend on the city of residence, education, certifications, skills, and years of experience.

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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