School of Health and Life Sciences

Personal Fitness Trainer

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Are you passionate about fitness and dream of helping others achieve their wellness goals? NAIT's Personal Fitness Trainer Program is designed to turn your passion into a rewarding career that makes a real, lasting impact.

For over 25 years, NAIT’s Personal Fitness Trainer program has been at the forefront of fitness education – creating one of the most in-demand fitness programs in Alberta. Our program goes beyond basic certifications, providing a comprehensive curriculum that covers both the hands-on practice of physical training and safe exercise and the knowledge of exercise science, nutrition, lifestyle counselling, marketing, business management and much more.

Formal education plays a vital role in shaping your fitness career, and we understand its importance. Our instructors, who all hold PhDs and Master’s degrees in specialized areas like physiology and corrective exercise, bring unparalleled expertise and real-world experience to the classroom, ensuring you receive top-notch instruction that sets you apart in the industry. That’s why employers actively seek out NAIT graduates, recognizing their exceptional skills and training. In fact, our program proudly boasts a 96% employment rate.

Our program also offers super flexible learning options, allowing you to balance your studies with other commitments. Whether you’re interested in online or in-person classes, choose the pathway that suits your needs and embark on a transformative educational journey that empowers and inspires.

Quick Facts

Credential: Diploma

Diplomas are credit programs that take 2 to 3 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.

Campus: Main

Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at NAIT's Main Campus in Edmonton. View map

Delivery Options:

  • Online Flexible Delivery - Your course activity is not scheduled and therefore you can determine when to do the coursework.
  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.

Length: 2 Years

With a typical full-time course load, this program will take 2 Years to complete.

Open Studies: Available

This program has courses that are available for Open Studies. Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program. It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in. View courses

International Students: Accepted

This program accepts international students, however, program availability may be limited. Check program availability for this term. This program also meets the eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program. Each student is responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies.

Grad Employment Rate

Employment rates are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and do not guarantee future employment opportunities. Please note that data for newer programs may not be included within this report.

Download report

Median Starting Salary: $39,000

Salaries are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and are not a guarantee of future income.

View Career Outcomes

Hands-on, industry-relevant training

You’ll work with a variety of fitness and testing equipment including:

  • Treadmills
  •  Free weights
  • Metabolic carts
  • 12-lead ECGs

You’ll learn:

  • How to assess and monitor fitness levels using: stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, heart rate monitors, BIA body fat measuring devices, analyzers and pulse oximeters
  • Information about muscle oxygenation, EMG and portable slacklines
  • Techniques for online personal training
  • How to train clients out of their own home

You can expect to spend on average of 8 to 10 hours of online and individual study time per week per course.

If you choose to enrol in our online offering, you will require access to a digital camera or video camera. Some online courses will require the use of specialized equipment that you can access at any major gym facility.

Alumni Profile: Em Lamache

Em Lamache created a new exercise program to foster a more inclusive fitness environment for Edmonton’s LGBTQ community.

Kelsey Mitchell

NAIT grad Kelsey Mitchell receives honorary degree for unwavering dedication and determination.

NAIT grads are prepared

“The PFT program  developed me as a trainer, and coach and gave me the tools I needed to succeed in this profession. Even bigger than that however, was the amount of self development I received as well through foundations, leadership, and because of the amazing teachers. The biggest thing I gained from this program was the confidence to take what I've learned and create a sustainable income doing something that I absolutely love!"

Emilee McCloskey, Personal Fitness Training '20
Personal Fitness Trainer -  Em Conditioning

Information for international students

Some NAIT programs are unavailable to international students because they do not meet eligibility for a study permit or Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

This program is delivered in a different format for students beginning in the winter and spring terms than it is delivered for student beginning in the fall term.

Fall (September) terms

Study Permit: The fall intake programming is delivered in a way that meets the criteria for a study permit.

Post-Graduation Work Permit: Graduates of the fall intake program may qualify for a PGWP so long as they maintain their personal eligibility.

Winter and spring terms

Study Permit: The Winter and Spring intake programming is delivered through distance learning and therefore does not meet the criteria for a study permit.

Post-Graduation Work Permit: The winter and spring intake programming is delivered through distance learning and therefore these intakes are not-eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program. Completion of this program through distance learning will not make you eligible for a PGWP.

International applicants seeking permissions to take this program for the winter or spring terms can contact a NAIT Academic Advisor – International to discuss options.

Only select courses are offered in-class each semester

Demand for this program is high and space for in-class courses is limited. To avoid disappointment apply and submit all required documents early. Qualified students will receive enrolment information through their student portal. If the preference is for in-class courses, students should enrol in classes immediately to ensure a choice of in-class deliveries. Please note for students starting the program in January or May, online courses are only available.


All courses are available online in January, May, and September.

In-Class (Day)

These courses are offered in-class in September only

Level One

  • ANAT1120 Human Anatomy
  • PFTR1121 Foundations for Personal Trainers
  • PFTR1122 Applied Movement Mechanics
  • PFTR1123 Applied Physiology of Exercise
  • PFTR1224 Introduction to Assessment and Counselling

Level Two

  • PFTR2320 Advanced Movement Considerations
  • BUSN2421 Marketing for Exercise Professionals
  • PFTR2323 Performance Training Strategies
  • PFTR2324 Lifespan and Clinical Exercise Considerations I
  • PFTR2390 Practicum I

These courses are offered in-class in January only

Level One

  • PFTR1220 Functional Training and Assessment
  • LEAD1221 Leadership Studies
  • PFTR1222 Resistance Training and Assessment
  • PFTR1223 Aerobic Training and Assessment
  • NUTR1124 Applied Nutrition Strategies

Level Two

  • BUSN2321 Business Strategies for Exercise Professionals
  • PFTR2423 Applied Exercise Professional Strategies
  • PFTR2424 Lifespan and Clinical Exercise Considerations II
  • PFTR2491 Practicum II: Professional Experience

Career Outcomes

Our program includes a very strong entrepreneurial focus, which will give you the tools to open your own fitness business.

Hear from industry

“NAIT PFT grads are committed, career-minded full-time personal trainers.  The diligence they show to get their PFT diploma is evident in their efforts with us. Their ability to work with a wide range of clients assists us as our business draws members with many different fitness goals. Having two practicums as part of the [program] helps to prepare them for this." 

Employer - Jodie Boettger
Talent Acquisition Specialist, Personal Trainer - GYMVMT

Work Experience Placements

Courses and Advanced Credit

Current and recently admitted students can find information and updates about their program on their My Program page in the MyNAIT Portal. To monitor your course progress and the courses still needed to graduate, visit your Academic Progress Report.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section, your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 7 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C- in the course(s) or program

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

Read more about advanced credit or contact us about applying for credit for this program.


Expand each course below to see details about credits, requisites, scheduling, and more.

Tuition & Fees

Scholarships & Awards

The following scholarships and/or bursaries are available to you as a student in this program. To access your opportunities, visit the Student Portal.

Admission Requirements

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions. If you are a current or recently admitted student you can find program and course information as well as contact details for your program on the My Program page on the MyNAIT Portal.

General inquiries

Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

  • Student application support
  • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
  • Program admissions process
  • Enrolment support
  • Student funding options
  • Fee and refund inquiries
  • General program and course withdrawal procedures
  • Navigating and MyNAITPortal

Contact Student Service Centre

Program-specific questions

Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

  • Program details
  • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
  • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
  • Program and course withdrawal

The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780.471.7664 or

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