How To Become A Personal Trainer in Rhode Island in 2022

This is your one-stop shop when it comes to optimizing and accelerating your career in fitness.

This article forms part of an in-depth series that looks at one of the most crucial factors in career success – location.

Location, in this case, will be looked at from a state-by-state perspective.

I’ll be using a blend of statistical data, anecdotal evidence, and my professional opinion to help you gain some insight into the viability of a fitness career in each state.

This time I’ll be looking at how to become a personal trainer in Rhode Island and figuring out how to cut it as a CPT in that state.

For the sake of simplicity and relevance, I’ll only be looking at the top 3 cities within the state based on population size.

That’s because population size is the most useful metric when it comes to evaluating opportunity potential.

Fitness coaching is a numbers game, which means your best odds lie where most people are.

That means looking at personal trainer jobs in Providence, Cranston, and Warwick.

I’ll also do a dive into what sort of credentials are required. I’ll be looking at personal trainer certifications in Providence and other major cities.

With that said, let’s get right into it.

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

How To Become A Personal Trainer in Rhode Island

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    State Fitness Rating

    Before I figure out for you how to become a personal trainer in Providence and other major metros, let’s look at how willing the population is to buy into such services.

    For that, I’m going to take a look at the state fitness rating.

    This is a ranking system compiled by the talented crew at

    It provides insight into how healthy the population is in each state and ranking each state accordingly.

    While these stats were originally presented to give an impression of how healthy and fit certain population groups are, it also helps us understand the health and fitness status of the industry you will be working in.

    Two key metrics stand out when discussing the state fitness rating. These being the obesity prevalence and the top gyms access.

    The obesity prevalence gives us a good picture of the fitness level and how health-conscious the population is.

    That’s because obesity is one of the most reliable indicators of general health. There is no such thing as a healthy and fit obese individual.

    By extension, this tells us how engaged the population is with the fitness industry.

    An above-average obesity prevalence shows us a population less likely to buy gym memberships in fitness centers or hire a personal trainer.

    Rhode Island has an obesity prevalence of 26.6%. This is relatively good, putting the state in 11th place.

    This shows a population ready and willing to engage with services such as the ones you offer as a qualified fitness expert.

    Next, let’s look at the top gym access. You might be wondering what is meant by “top gyms.”

    Simply put, these so-called top gyms are the large commercial fitness brands with locations dotted across the country.

    They are the most recognizable, most accessible, and most affordable options for the general population when it comes to fitness and wellness services.

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    Some of these top gyms include:

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

    Rhode Island has a total of 76 top gyms to a population of 1,056,426. This gives the state a top gym per capita (per 100k residents) ratio of 7.19, putting Rhode Island in 7th place out of 51.

    This is great news for the tiny population who have great access to mainstream commercial gyms, but the figures don’t really give fitness trainers much reason to celebrate.

    Remember, striking gold in fitness is a numbers game, and even though Rhode Island residents might buy into fitness programs, the numbers are small, and with only 76 top gyms, the employment opportunities for personal trainers in RI are super limited.

    Overall, Rhode Island is the 4th fittest state in America, according to

    Fitness Market Makeup

    Rhode Island’s fitness culture is centered on outdoor adventure sports such as rock climbing.

    This means many of the people and prospects you’ll encounter have an interest in this way of life.

    For that reason, you’ll probably find yourself dealing a lot with functional training programs, strength and conditioning, and some corrective exercise programs.

    There is also something of physique culture in the state, so you’ll also have some clients with body transformation and bodybuilding goals on their agenda.

    Having an ISSA nutrition cert to have insightful knowledge on fitness nutrition will be very helpful.

    Personal Trainer Certifications in Rhode Island

    Personal trainer certification in Cranston and other cities is needed to get a job as a personal trainer in Rhode Island.

    For those asking, “how do I get my personal training certification programs in RI?”

    I have written an article on my best personal trainer certifications. Use this as a guide on how to become a certified personal trainer in Rhode Island health clubs.

    Overall here are my top 2 best personal training certifications in Rhode Island. Ensure you have all or any of them when you decide to become a personal trainer in Cranston and other areas.

    Personal Training schools in Rhode Island

    Getting certified as a personal trainer RI by any one of the NCCA accredited agencies is certainly a step in the right direction, but beyond that, you can upgrade your credentials and get the best personal training jobs.

    I’m referring to getting a degree in any sports or exercise science-related field.

    That’s because trainers with degrees categorically earn more than those without. 

    Having a degree allows you to leverage your expertise for better opportunities.

    If you’re looking for employment, you’ll most certainly receive preference from your prospective employers, not only that, but you’ll be presented with much higher positions.

    If you’re running your own business, having a degree allows you to push your brand’s credibility far beyond what a cert would do. 

    This allows you to leverage your credentials at a premium and charge more for your services.

    Luckily, there are some exercise science schools in Rhode Island you can attend on a full-time or part-time basis, although not that many, to be honest. Let’s take a look:

    With only two options when it comes to kinesiology schools in Rhode Island, you’re not exactly spoiled for choice. However, it is a small state, so your options are proportionate.

    Bear in mind, getting a degree is a huge financial and time investment that you should only pursue after careful consideration.

    So, with your national certification, it will still be easy to get fitness jobs in RI.

    Personal Trainer Jobs in Rhode Island

    With only 76 gyms in the entire state, personal trainer Jobs in Rhode Island are sparse.

    Of course, there are probably way more opportunities in the way of other specialist facilities and private gyms, but even then, it’s fair to conclude that Rhode Island presents rather slim pickings.

    In any case, working in a gym is ideal for a personal trainer in Rhode Island as it allows you to fall back on that initial safety net of having a fixed income and benefits.

    You’ll also gain a lot of industry experience and technical know-how working the floors and interacting with fitness clients during personal training sessions to achieve their fitness goals.

    Going beyond that, you should see yourself running your own operation.

    With a personal trainer certification RI, you have the freedom to set your own price and schedule, but the catch is the hefty administrative responsibilities it comes with.

    Whatever the case, a big area you must try and focus on, is cultivating an online fitness operation.

    Whether your online fitness plays a background role or is the main focus of your business, it’s an aspect of doing business in fitness that would be foolish to ignore.

    Check out this article on how to make it as an online fitness coach.

    Best Cities to Be a Personal Trainer in Rhode Island

    As I’ve already mentioned a couple of times, your modus operandi when it comes to location is situating yourself in places with the most people.

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    A Good Option
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    Rhode Island is a small state as it is. With a population of barely more than a million residents, it’s slim pickings right off the bat.

    So as far as cities go, I consider a population figure of 100k or more your best bet.

    City In Rhode IslandPopulation
    East Providence47,483

    With that in mind, Providence should be your plan A. Becoming a personal trainer in Warwick or Cranston might also present some opportunities.

    From there, things get a little less favorable.

    Personal Trainer Salary in Rhode Island

    When considering personal trainer Jobs in Warwick or any other city, you must go in with an idea of your income potential.

    In Rhode Island, the annual average for personal trainers is $64,994. This is significantly higher than the national average of $61,802 per year.

    That’s a promising figure, but income is only worth how far you can stretch your dollar.

    Cost of living is a major factor that determines the value of your earnings. For that and other important aspects, you’ll need to look at the quality of life rating.

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

    Quality of Life Rating

    Becoming a personal trainer in Warwick, Providence, or Cranston opens you up to one of the best living standards when it comes to the quality of life.

    Rhode Island often ranks as one of the top states to live and work in.

    Health care and the natural environment lead the charge to provide one of America’s most comfortable living standards.

    Business freedom and social cohesion are also great.

    The cost of living is, however, a tad higher than the national average. This is, of course, offset by the significantly higher average income.

    For all that, I’ll give Rhode Island an 8 out of 10 QoL rating.


    I approached this review based on carefully gathered facts and figures and the final verdict was based on: 

    • The population of the state and its major cities.  
    • The obesity figures as compared with other states.  
    • Personal trainer certifications that 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 Rhode Island

    Rhode Island is a great place for fitness professionals if you can cut into the sparse opportunities.

    But from experience, because it is a tiny state, even with a vibrant market, the industry is small for personal trainers Rhode island.

    This also translates to the limited opportunities for higher learning credentials when it comes to personal trainer certification in Warwick and other cities.

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