Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Personal Trainer, Career Pathway certificate

Student working with a personal trainer lifting weights

  • Do you want to promote the health and wellness of others?
  • Are you experienced in working as a fitness professional, and want to enhance your skills and abilities?
  • Do you want to make a difference by helping others achieve their fitness goals?
  • Opportunity awaits!

As a personal trainer, you will be part of the preventive health care team working in health and fitness clubs, wellness centers, public and private recreation facilities, hospitals, and/or corporate fitness centers. The EXS Personal Trainer Certificate encompasses all the coursework in the first year of the AAS degree in Exercise Science.

This Career Pathway certificate may be obtained as a stand-alone certificate or in addition to the AAS degree. This first year will prepare you to meet qualifications for employment as a personal trainer in the fitness and wellness industry where you will develop, demonstrate, and implement appropriate fitness assessments and programs for healthy populations. Minimum 41 credits. Students must meet all certificate requirements.

Individualized coaching

As a Career Pathway student, you can get one-on-one support to help you access resources, services, and employment. You may also be eligible for financial support to help you with the costs of college.

Get connected

Award information

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Career Pathway Certificate: Personal TrainerLess than 1 yearLimited entry, see how
to get into this program

Learn more about Exercise Science and all 5 awards available »



Course listing for the 2023-2024 catalog year.

FT 100Emergency Response for Fitness Professionals1
FT 101Exploring Exercise Science Careers3
FT 103Nutrition for Exercise3
FT 104Fitness Assessment3
FT 105Exercise Prescription3
FT 106Analysis of Movement3
FT 107Exercise Physiology3
FT 110Injury Prevention & Management2
FT 131Structure & Function of the Human Body4
FT 180Exercise Science Internship Preparation1
FT 280Exercise Science Internship I4
or FT 280C Exercise Science Professional Project II
HE 295
PE 295
Health and Fitness for Life
and Health and Fitness for Life Lab
HUS 102Mental Health First Aid: Adult1
or HUS 106 Mental Health First Aid: Youth
or HUS 107 Mental Health First Aid: Older Adult
PE 181AWeight Training I1
or PE 181B Weight Training II
or PE 181C Weight Training III
PE 281Professional Activities: Resistance Training2
Choose 2 of the following Professional Activities courses4
PE 250
Professional Activities: Outdoor Leadership
PE 282A
Professional Activities: Group Fitness
PE 282B
Professional Activities: Older Adult Fitness
PE 283
Professional Activities: Mind-Body Disciplines
PE 287
Professional Activities: Aquatics
PE 288
Professional Activities: Team Sports Training
Total Credits41


The average full-time wage is $45,000 to $65,000 per year, with typical entry-level wages of $20 to $40 per hour.

Finish your degree

The Personal Trainer Career Pathway Certificate leads to additional certificates and degrees. Continue your education to give yourself more job opportunities and career advancement.

Is it for me?

  • Who: High school graduates (and high school equivalency). Completion of IRW 115 or (WR 115 and RD 115) and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Note: First-year winter term courses for the AAS degree and the Personal Trainer Career Pathway Certificate require MTH 65 or higher and WR 121 with a “C” or “P” or better as prerequisites. If you do not meet all the placement recommendations, contact us for other options.
  • Where: PCC Sylvania Campus
  • When: Three terms

Program cost

Use the cost calculator to see the estimated costs. For more detailed cost sheets contact 971-722-4210.

Career exploration

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Take a career self-assessment to learn more about yourself and careers in this industry, and browse data on wages and employment trends.

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PCC’s Career Services staff can help you match your talents to rewarding professions.

Next steps

See how to get into this program.Get started now

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