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The National Academy of Sports Medicine

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Getting your personal trainer certification is hard. Choosing which certification program to go with is sometimes even harder! With thousands of programs to choose from, it isn’t obvious from the outset which program is going to give you the best chance at getting the personal training job you dream of.

One of the programs we can endorse wholeheartedly is the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and for a few primary reasons. In this article, we’ll explain the reasons we’ve chosen NASM as one of our recommended programs.

Wide Applicability

Let’s face it: the majority of personal training clients are not hulking specimens of human anatomy, but rather your average Joe and Jane Doe. I’m talking about the 50-something woman who has developed a bit of a larger belly than she would have hoped for and wants to turn her life around. I’m talking about the trucker who has a family history of heart disease and wants to live to see his granddaughter’s graduation.

These are real people, too, and they deserve to attain the physical fitness goals they have set out just as much as anyone else. But you should have your expectations in line with reality: true athletes are rare and will NOT make up the bulk of your clientele.

The NASM personal trainer certification will prepare you perfectly for this kind of clientele (which is most of America) by educating you on how to go about achieving ideal physical fitness for any kind of client, not just athletes.

Affordability

Getting certified isn’t cheap, but it’s hard to beat the value offered at NASM. For $699, you can be on your way to getting certified with the best names in the industry. This price includes the NCCA Accredited CPT Exam, a hard copy textbook, online support, video lectures, a full length practice exam and predesigned workouts.

While other programs will offer certification for $399 or less, more often than not they are only providing the exam and not any of the training materials that programs like NASM will offer. If you select packages with all of the benefits of the NASM package, most companies will creep up into the $599 – $799 range as well. This makes the NASM option much more attractive given its deep history and reputation.

Reputation

Speaking of reputation, this is something that simply cannot be faked or imitated. Aside from perhaps the American Council on Exercise, NASM has the most respected personal training certification in the world and for good reason. They have been around 30 years and have successfully trained tens of thousands of personal trainers.

Not only that, but the NASM name on any resume will instantly boost a trainers’ chances of getting hired at a gym, medical facility, or corporate setting.

If you’re looking for cheap, go for an online personal training certification. If you’re looking for quality, go NASM.

How to Save Money on Your Personal Trainer Certification

We know, personal training certification is expensive. The bright side is, the expense of getting certified pales in comparison to the expenses you’ll incur once you actually start your business. If you’re put off by $599 for training certification, just consider that your marketing costs might be double of that–every single month.

For those who would still like to save a buck or two when getting certification, there are some options. In this article, I’ll go over some basic techniques for getting a great deal on your certification.

Watch for Sales

A money saving technique as old as time, but just as effective as anything else you could possibly do. Let me illustrate.

Let’s say you’ve got your eyes on an ACE personal trainer certification but you’re put off by the high price tag. $799 can be a lot to pay to get certified! Luckily, ACE provides a page on their site that specifically tells you which promotions are going on at the moment so you know you’re always getting the best deal.

And what do you know? Their classic personal trainer certification program right now is $100 off! All you have to do is check out their specials.

Opt for Exam Only

Did you know that you don’t have to sign up for all the bells and whistles that each certifying organization offers? If you feel like you’ve got a good handle on all the relevant information and you are confident you can pass the certification exam, you can opt to purchase the exam only and skip all the course materials and textbooks. This will usually save at least $200 – $300 and your end result is the same: you’re certified!

Now, a word of caution with this method. Those course materials are there for a reason and every certifying program will focus on different aspects of personal training and will ask different questions. This technique is just for those who perhaps have already gotten their degree in a related field and have a good grasp of all the finer details of this business already.

Split the Cost

Know a buddy who is applying for certification as well? Perfect! Ask him or her to split the cost with you for all the course materials, and then each of you can simply purchase the Exam only. This way, you get best of both worlds: all the information at half the cost.

I myself went this route back when I got my personal training certification in 2005 and the end result was exactly the same as if I had purchased it full price. Absolutely no difference, except the extra money in my pocket. Win win!

Conclusion

There’s no doubt about it, getting certified is pricey. Aside from your college debt and things like buying a new car, getting your personal training certification will be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make this year. But there are always ways around these costs with a little creativity and know-how!

Follow this advice and you’ll be well on your way to being certified without breaking the bank!

Good luck!

ACE Fitness – Our Comprehensive Review

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The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers certification programs for personal fitness trainers. It is among the largest non-profit organizations that offer training and education programs. The knowledge acquired from ACE enables individuals to start their private businesses in training people and educating them on fitness. Due to the new lifestyles in the modern world, people have adopted new lifestyle including eating habits. Many people have increased their body weights and hence risk contracting many diseases like diabetes. Some of the ailments associated with overweight include diabetes, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer illness, which affects the brain cells. As a trainer with desires to transform the society, it is advisable to enroll for personal trainer certification program at ACE.

Eligibility

For an individual to be eligible for the ACE fitness personal trainer certification program, he or she must be of legal age. Minors cannot enroll in ACE’s training certification program because it is against the USA government’s rules and regulations. Furthermore, the recruit must have completed the high school level of education. Personal fitness and good health records are two key requirements the staff members of ACE consider before enrolling an individual in their program. A National Identification Card, a passport or a military ID are also essential requirements. A signed and authorized driver’s license is also acceptable.

Start at ACE, Proceed Anywhere

The trainers who graduate from ACE Fitness personal certification program are open to thousands of new job opportunities in training and managing people during workouts. They are given a certificate of training accredited by National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) that will provide them with the motivation to stand out among their peers and thrive in that field.

Professionals from ACE work at different facilities from more than 83 countries globally. They get lucrative jobs at universities, high schools, hospitals, local and international gyms, in organizations and are also hired as personal trainers by various individuals to offer workout guidelines at home based gyms. ACE collaborates with many companies worldwide and gets into agreements where they can assist in managing health and fitness programs in a professional manner. The ACE certified trainers are exceptional and highly skilled with fitness and body maintenance knowledge.

ACE personal fitness certificate gives you a perfect opportunity to open your new gym center and start fitness classes to the citizens of your country. The staff members inculcate the trainees with excellent skills, and after the completion of the full course, they are equipped with ample experience which allows them to thrive in that industry.

Research shows that new opportunities to train people to keep their bodies fit will gradually increase over the years. Many individuals are always busy in their work places which make them forget about the health of their bodies. It causes obesity and body irregularities which can even cause death. Therefore, new opportunities will be there for the certified personal fitness trainers from ACE.

Affordability

The program is cost effective compared to other fitness programs offered by other companies in the USA or the entire world. The enrollment, training, and examination fees at ACE are affordable. Even the people at the typical level can afford those services which are a great opportunity for all no matter the amount of money on your payroll. There are no hidden charges since ACE is transparent on their price quotations which enable them to win numerous clients annually.

Modern Resources and Equipment

The American Council on Exercise has modern equipment that is used by their trainees. The gyms at the center are fully equipped. The various types of the material are enough for every individual, and the trainees do not share some which enhance the efficiency of those programs. The clients are also given the training and health eBooks. The books and softcopy documents are well detailed with sufficient information about instructions that should be followed to thrive in the training program. Proper cooperation between the staff members and the trainees is a necessity to avoid misunderstanding.

After the completion of the personal training program, each trainee has to do a compulsory exam. The test proves that every individual was keen and attentive during the process and that he or she will be capable of handling training sessions in future. The exam is under the ACE Academy Elite program which requires every trainee to prepare adequately to pass the quizzes.

Certified fitness instructors or trainers from ACE are respected because they are believed to possess world-class skills. They are recommendable in many centers and training facilities. The training involves numerous health tips. The tips include dietary advice that guides on how people should eat and the types of food they should avoid to remain healthy and fit. ACE trainers do not recommend the consumption of meals with fatty acids and other types of fats to avoid unnecessary weight gains.

Personal Benefits

Personal fitness trainers live healthy lives. The people who regularly perform workouts are always at lower risks of contracting different types of diseases. When training other people, they also engage in those body exercises that keeps their bodies fit and energetic. ACE fitness personal trainer certification program ensures that the trainee learns all the necessary things required for healthy living.

ACE works with numerous partners to enhance their service delivery when offering their training. The USA government is the first and primary partner because ACE must meet the regulations to be allowed to operate in the country. They are fully registered. The universities and hospitals are other partners. They employ the ACE fitness personal trainers in those institutions to offer their services to students and the staff members.

ACE fitness personal trainers must observe the code of ethics set by the company. The mission of ACE is to get individuals in the society moving. The success of the company is enhanced by each stakeholder including personal fitness trainers and staff members.

Whole House Air Purifier: Here’s the Best Model for Your Health

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There’s no denying the importance of clean air. According to the EPA, most Americans spend around 90% of their time indoors, with most of this time being in their own homes. If the air you’re breathing at home isn’t as clean as possible, chances are you’re putting yourself at significant risk of developing a serious health condition.

The good news is, purifying your home’s air is easy with a whole house air purifier. The bad news is, there are enough options on the market to make your head spin. Luckily for you, we’ve compared about six of the leading brands of whole home air purifiers, and we think we’ve found the best option when taking into account quality and value. It’s called the Perfect 16, and it comes from a company called IQAir.

Just install the machine, be sure to regularly change out the filters, and your home’s air quality will be more than 10 times cleaner. It’s the easiest way to improve the overall health of your home.

What is Perfect 16?

IQAir’s Perfect 16 is installed directly into your home’s current HVAC system to keep all the air that enters your home clean. Up to 125 times per day, the system kicks on to purify the air and keep your family safe.

Not only does Perfect 16 clean the air in your home, it does so with the safest technologies possible. Every inch of this whole house air purifier is designed with your family’s safety in mind. Only the healthiest and most reliable methods are used to filter your air down to the 0.003-micron level.

Top Features

Perfect 16 is the ideal mix of top-notch features and simplicity. It will clean your home’s air without any fuss.

Advanced Micro-Fiber Filtration catches more harmful particles than any other filter on the market. These filters are more than 10 times thinner than those offered by the competition. It’s this small size that allows them to create such a resistant barrier to harmful particles.

Perfect 16 makes use of a V2 design. Basically, this allows it to utilize more square feet of filters than any other whole house air purifier on the market. Its filtration is more than 50 times better than other leading brands.

Finally, Perfect 16 is designed with ease of maintenance in mind. IQAir knows that you don’t want to perform maintenance every three months. So they designed Perfect 16 to only require maintenance every three years. This small design characteristic makes a big difference in the long run.

Why You Need Perfect 16

Invest in Perfect 16 to give yourself the peace of mind that your family is safe, sound, and healthy. The whole house air purifier is among the most effective and reliable on the market, targeting even the smallest pollution particles. Whether a family member is suffering from asthma or you just want to keep the air clean, Perfect 16 will do the job so well you don’t have to worry about it.

Perfect 16 is designed for use in any house. It’s silent even when its working hard, it’s incredibly easy to maintain, and it provides an immediately noticeable difference in air quality. The whole house air purifier comes with top-notch expert installation as well as a lifetime warranty – now that’s a deal that’s hard to beat!

How to Become a Mystery Shopper

Businesses rely upon the keen observation skills of mystery shoppers to conduct anonymous evaluations at their establishments as a way to assess and rate the quality of service in order to remain competitive with other companies that offer similar products and services. Although you will not likely become rich from your earnings as a mystery shopper, there is still the potential to earn some extra cash that you can put aside for emergencies and to also use to enjoy an occasional small indulgence from time to time.

So, if you’re looking to learn how to become a mystery shopper, read on!

What Exactly is a Mystery Shopper?

Mystery shoppers (also called secret shoppers) are hired by companies to visit local shops and businesses to review and rate the level of service received along with the overall level of satisfaction. The work of a mystery shopper can be exciting as you work in the same fashion as an undercover spy…you blend in with the crowd and look like any other typical customer. Some mystery shopper assignments require you to make a purchase so that you have the opportunity to observe how you are treated during a sales transaction.

Product purchases are reimbursed and payment for each assignment will vary depending on a variety of factors. Some mystery shoppers who buy an item during their store visit will receive the amount they paid out of pocket plus they will get to keep the product as the form of payment for completing the assignment. Visits to restaurants may provide payment in the form of a free meal or tickets to a local entertainment venue. Most mystery shopper employees receive payment by check, direct deposit, or through PayPal.

Qualities of a Great Mystery Shopper

Has an Eye for Details

A mystery shopper is like the Sherlock Holmes of the retail world. You will use your keen skills of observation as you peruse a shop, while paying attention to every little detail as you walk the required perimeter during your visit. Adhering to the provided guidelines is also very important, so become thoroughly familiar with the instructions given to you by the mystery shopper company before you venture forth and scout out your next shop.

Trustworthy and Dependable

Mystery shopper companies are looking for applicants that are honest and reliable. What this boils down to is that you must be a responsible worker that follows through from start to finish. Sticking to the agreed upon deadline for the submission of the mystery shopping assignment is imperative. If you cannot complete an assignment make sure you notify the company that hired you so that you may be able to reschedule the work if possible.

Ability to be Inconspicuous

A good mystery shopper is able to blend in with the crowd like a chameleon. Like a hunter stalking his prey, you must be able to be inconspicuous so that your presence does not make those you are observing uneasy or suspicious about your shop visit. To successfully blend in, learn a little more about the shop you will be visiting prior to your trip. Is it a casual establishment with a relaxed atmosphere? If so, then dress accordingly like other customers.

Can Accurately Assess and Evaluate Scenarios

Maintaining an unbiased opinion when observing others may be difficult to do but it is essential for a mystery shopper to succeed with the assignment. Do not let your preference for certain types of products or services sway your outlook when assessing and evaluating the shop and their employees. Your love of shopping or dislike of a particular store should not be allowed to cloud your judgment. Approach the assignment with an open mind and do your best.

Excellent Communication Skills

On the road to learning how to become a secret shopper, you must learn the ability to effectively communicate with others in various formats. Depending on the shopping assignment, you may be visiting a local store in person, making contact by telephone, or completing an online survey. No matter which route you take during the process, you must have the ability to express your thoughts and opinions in a clear and precise manner that is easy to understand.

Solid Writing Abilities

Some people may be master conversation gurus but lack sharp skills when it comes to their writing abilities. Onsite mystery shopper assignments will require you to write a short narrative of your shop experience during your visit. Always do a spell check and edit for proper grammar and structure format within the content of your document that highlights your assignment. When you initially apply for a position as a mystery shopper, submitting a writing sample may be part of the process.

Has the Ability to Multitask

A job as a mystery shopper requires the ability to juggle several different tasks. To be successful in this industry you need to be able to multitask while keeping organized without losing focus. A suggestion is to create a handy checklist of To Do items to help you track each duty as you progress through your mystery shopper assignments. You can save and store completed work for future reference if needed and then start a brand new list to accompany each new mystery shopper assignment.

Reliable Mode of Transportation

Mystery shopper assignments may be completed online, via telephone contact, or in person. You will need a reliable mode of transportation to complete onsite mystery shopper assignments. Decide just how far you are willing to travel for an assignment as you need to consider the costs of gas and vehicle maintenance. Where you live and the location of shops to visit will give you a better idea of how far you will need to drive. Ask yourself if driving 50 miles each way is worth an assignment that only pays $10.

Maintains Required Equipment and Supplies

Part of your duties as a mystery shopper may include having to take photos during onsite visits to local stores. A reliable camera or smartphone will fit the bill and provide you with what you need to capture essential images. Writing descriptive narratives of your shopping experience will require a computer or laptop plus a printer. Make a list of all the supplies you will need before you venture out on your first mystery shopper trip so that you stocked up and ready to go.

Where to Find Legitimate Jobs as a Mystery Shopper

If the prospect of becoming a mystery shopper to earn a little money sounds exciting, the potential is there for a little extra cash to cushion your savings. Although working as a mystery shopper will not make you a millionaire, you can easily make a few hundred extra bucks each month to help cover expenses. Savvy shoppers with an eye for detail that enjoy visiting local establishments will appreciate the added income.

An article posted on Forbes.com that discusses the ins and outs of mystery shopping quoted an average rate of about $5 to $20 for each shopping visit. The pay rate for completing each assignment will vary depending on several factors, such as whether your visit is conducted onsite, online, or over the phone. You will make more money as a mystery shopper if you put in the extra time and effort.

Other ways in which you can search for mystery shopper jobs is by checking out online reviews and feedback posted on job boards. Some reviews are nothing more than fabricated accounts placed by paid reviewers that receive money to lie—so do your research and be thorough. If you see an online job posting for a mystery shopper and are unfamiliar with the company, do a Google search with its name.

Once you are adequately armed with sufficient knowledge to help you avoid scams, it will be easier to track down legitimate jobs as a mystery shopper. The first place to start your job search is to visit the website of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA). There are several hundred MSPA member companies posted on the company’s site with provided links and contact information.

To further inspire you to perhaps become a mystery shopper, here is a listing of the many categories under the class of Mystery Shop that are available for free access on the website of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) that you can explore while checking out potential companies to work for:

  • Apartments/Housing
  • Automotive Service
  • Banking/Financial
  • Car/Truck Sales
  • Casual Dining
  • Convenience Store
  • Entertainment
  • Fast Food/QSR
  • Fine Dining
  • Grocery Store
  • Health/Beauty/Fitness
  • Healthcare
  • Hotel/Hospitality
  • In-Home Service
  • Online Shopping
  • Other
  • Retail
  • Transportation Travel

Should You Become a Certified Mystery Shopper?

Although certification is not required to become a mystery shopper, there are some benefits in acquiring it and adding it to your resume. Companies that hire mystery shoppers know that certification requires passing exams that test an applicant’s knowledge. Getting a solid score on the exams proves that have a basic understanding of how the process of mystery shopping works plus it reflects important qualities and skills associated with being a savvy and observant shopper.

Adding the certification credential to your resume may provide you with an edge on the competition when applying for a job as a mystery shopper. It shows that you have taken the time to learn more about how the industry works and have developed essential abilities that can be an asset on the job. If you are interested in pursuing certification, visit the website of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association of America (MSPA), which offers several options to become certified at different levels.

When checking out the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), it is important to note that the company is a reputable one and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), receiving an overall rating of A+ for services provided within the past 3 years. If you decide to pursue certification and enroll in continuing education courses through MSPA, membership is required at a minimal cost of only $25 per year. A full listing of educational programs offered by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association of America (MSPA), which is continually updated, includes the following courses:

  • Intro to Mystery Shopping Certification
  • Gold Certification
  • Professional Responsibility and Ethics
  • Professional Industry Writing
  • Video Shopping I
  • Video Shopping II

Mystery Shopping Scams and What to Look For

Many consumers are easily drawn in by enticing advertisements that make promises. One example of a common scam is to see ads where a company will send you a list of information such as job postings in return for paying a fee. Upon further research, you will often find that the information is readily available for free on the Internet. This is how some companies, at least the dishonest ones, make money and turn a profit.

If you have had a negative experience with a mystery shopping company and believe you have been scammed, your options to resolve the issue include contacting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or your state Attorney General. If the listing is a scam, it is quite common to see angry complaints posted by consumers on the Internet. Glassdoor.com is one site where you can read reviews of companies including negative comments that have been anonymously posted to the site employees.

Get Out There and Become a Mystery Shopper

Now that you have all the information you need to become a successful mystery shopper, the next step is to go out there and apply for a job. The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) will be the best place to apply for a position as all the member companies that hire mystery shoppers are listed on their website. Check out the businesses that are looking for mystery shoppers, get in touch with them, and complete the application process. Before you know it you will be out and about visiting shops as an undercover mystery shopper anonymously observing your surroundings and getting paid for your efforts.

How to Become a Personal Trainer

There is a growing trend toward attaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a regular program of fitness training along with proper nutrition. Personal trainers have the knowledge and expertise necessary to motivate clients and help them stick to a regimented workout plan to enhance overall wellness. If you are considering becoming a personal trainer, ask yourself if you have the required qualities of being highly dedicated, driven, and focused. If you have passed that first test, let’s move on the next level and explore your potential for a career as a personal trainer.

What Does a Personal Trainer Do?

A personal trainer will examine and assess the level of individual fitness and work directly with their clients to develop a plan to help them reach their targeted goals. Additional duties include close observation to continually monitor the progress of their clients while motivating them with feedback, guidance, and support. Personal trainers can have their own business or work within health clubs, fitness centers, country clubs, or even within large corporations that have their own facilities.

Clients seek out personal trainers for a variety of fitness goals. Some individuals may want to include a workout program in conjunction with a diet to lose weight. Others may be interested in bodybuilding to enhance muscle tone. Strength endurance is another area where athletes may want the support and positive motivation provided by personal trainers. The job includes evaluating a client’s overall health history to ascertain any problem areas and or limitations that may result in injury during workouts.

Do You Have the Key Qualities of a Personal Trainer?

Key characteristics of a great personal trainer include a having a level of motivation that is similar passing boot camp—but with more compassion and patience. Before you can teach others to be fit and stay fit, you must have attained that goal yourself. Other essential characteristic traits that are necessary to be a successful personal trainer include the ability to lead a fitness program, whether it is a one-on-one session or a group program. You must have the ability to motivate and lead others. Management skills are also necessary to enforce rules for maintaining safety when using equipment to avoid injury.

Your personality must be customer-service oriented to such a level that you can inspire your clients to stick to a program and not give up. You must be able to generate positive reinforcement and support toward providing motivation. Personal trainers must also be able to create individual training programs to meet the unique needs of each client based on their current fitness levels and targeted goals. If you still are unsure whether to pursue a career as a personal trainer, then it is time to create a personal inventory list and ponder your accomplishments, motivations, and future career aspirations.

Reflect Upon Your Goals and Do Some Research

It is always wise to thoroughly research any plan before making a major investment of time and money. Ask yourself if a career as a personal trainer is the right choice for you. If you have maintained a high level of fitness all your life in conjunction with a healthy diet and regularly workout and exercise, you are already half way there. If you have a membership with your local health club and visit there on a regular basis that is even better. Bodybuilding or marathon enthusiasts that constantly strive for high levels of fitness are on the right path.

You need to look at your overall history when deciding if you want to pursue a training program, choose an area of specialization and then become certified. What are the reasons you want to become a personal trainer? Do you have experience motivating and leading others, while keeping them focused on long-term goals? If fitness is an important aspect of your life and the idea of helping others reach that same goal infuses you with inner inspiration, then you are making a good career decision to become a professional personal trainer.

Select an Area of Specialization to Pursue

There are many areas in which a personal trainer can offer specialized fitness programs. One option is to focus on one or two specializations depending on your interests and goals. There are some drawbacks to narrowing your area of expertise to just one category. The disadvantage of going this route is that when you own the business the amount of generated clientele may be limited by your choice. In other words, your income may suffer do to a lack of sufficient customers, plus you have to pay for your own insurance coverage. On the plus side, a solo business puts you in control with the potential for unlimited earnings.

If you are employed as a personal trainer for a large health club or onsite fitness center, you will more likely be working with a wide range of individuals and lead a variety of different fitness programs. A position within such a setting will also likely include a full plate of employee benefits such as health and dental insurance, disability coverage, vacation and sick days, plus a pension or retirement fund. These are definite pluses to going the route of working for someone else. Depending on your interests and goals, some examples of specialization include the following categories:

  • Endurance training
  • Resistance training
  • Senior fitness
  • Youth fitness
  • Women’s fitness
  • Men’s fitness
  • Conditioning
  • Weight loss
  • Fitness and nutrition
  • Group fitness training
  • Performance training

Enroll in a Program and Start Your Studies

Available programs to become a personal trainer can include pursuing a certificate or degree at your local college, university or vocational school. You can complete 1- year diploma and certificate programs at career training institutes and vocational schools. Many community colleges offer 2-year associate degree programs with a focus on fitness training as a major. A bachelor’s degree program is yet one more option to consider depending on your long-term career goals. A 4-year program may give you an edge if you want to pursue opportunities to advance to higher level positions.

Before you enroll in a training program, carefully examine your career aspirations. This includes envisioning the type of position and work you see yourself doing 5 to 10 years from now. Required credentials that employees will be looking for will depend on the type of organization that is hiring. If the open job is a specialized position beyond that of the training provided with a basic diploma or certificate, prerequisites may include coursework at more advanced levels in the areas of kinesiology as well as physical education and exercise science.

Depending on where you live, there are several ways you can track down a solid program to help you prepare for your career as a personal trainer. Recent high school graduates that knew long ago that a career as a personal trainer was the right choice for them can meet with a guidance counselor to help them select a good training program. Those already familiar with local vocational schools and colleges in their state are off to a great start. Aside from doing a Google search and entering the name of your state and programs for personal trainers, here are a few online tools to help you track down a good school:

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM): You can quickly and easily find a school to meet your needs by using the search tool provided by NASM. The drop-down menu includes options for selecting a country, state/providence, type of school, certification, and program delivery methods. The search results will include school names along with more information about training programs and services offered.

NCES College Navigator: This site is maintained by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This is an excellent resource that lets you search for a school based on location, level of award, types of programs, and much more. Clicking on the Browse for Programs button will open up a small window where you can enter the search terms such as “fitness” to bring up relevant results. After you save the info and close the window, click on Show Results to view a complete list of schools that offer training programs for personal trainers.

PersonalTrainerEdu.org: This site provides a search tool that allows you to locate schools based on the alphabetical listing of each state. Your options include clicking on a selected state icon or the link that says Find a School, which will direct you to a page that provides more information. Search results provide detailed school information including program overview, accreditation, admissions, and financial aid.

Select and Invest in a Certification Program

Finding the best personal trainer certification is an important step toward becoming a personal trainer. Recognized accredited certification for personal trainers is a major requirement for positions in most health clubs, fitness centers, and gyms. The reasoning for this is that insurance companies will not provide liability coverage to fitness centers that do not adhere to these standards. A complete list of organizations that offer certification within the category of Fitness and Wellness is posted on the website of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Programs recognized by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies NCCA are as follows:

Academy of Applied Personal Training Education (AAPTE)

ACTION Certification (ACTION)

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa)

International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)

National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)

PTA Global, Inc. (PTA Global, Inc.)

The Cooper Institute (CI)

Maintain Your Certification with Continued Education

Certification is important both at the beginning of your career as a personal trainer and throughout it as well. Maintaining certification is done by successfully completing ongoing continuing education and learning. Continuing education credits, also known as CECs, enhance professional development and also provide you with a refresher relative to ongoing trends and changes within the industry. The specific requirements for the amount of CECs you need to complete will vary depending on the agency through which you sought and obtained the original certification.

Examples of ways to earn the necessary CECs include attending specialized workshops and seminars as well as taking additional classes and completing courses. You may need to pay a renewal fee and will have to provide documentation of the completed CECs to maintain your certification status. Each accrediting agency may have different intervals during which you will be required to submit and renew your certification as a personal trainer. If you are unsure as to how to maintain your certification, contact the organization that originally certified you for information and guidance.

Future Job Outlook for Personal Trainers

Career prospects and job opportunities for potential personal trainers is anticipated to increase at a rate of about 8 percent during the period from 2014 to 2024. These statistics, which correlate with data for fitness trainers and instructors, are maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The data also notes that the overall growth rate for this industry is “about as fast as the average for all occupations.” (BLS, 2015)

Salary and wage levels are determined by several factors that include specialized training and education, industry certification, skill level and experience, and the geographic location. Other elements that play a role in the overall earning potential of a personal trainer include the type of setting where one is employed. Examples provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) include the following categories:

  • Fitness and recreational sports centers
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Educational services; state, local, and private
  • Government
  • Civic and social organizations (BLS, 2015)

Future trends that contribute to the popularity of this industry include expanded areas of specialization based on increased levels of interest produced by consumers that are seeking alternative fitness programs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. CNN rated the top 100 jobs in America, ranking personal trainers up near the top, positioning it as #18 on the list. Average salary figures as posted on CNN can range anywhere from around $50,000 or more per year, with some individuals topping out with six-figure salaries.

The overall outlook for those considering a career as a personal trainer is both bright and promising. Job prospects abound across the country in a variety of settings. You can work within large health club or fitness center or start your own business, based on your unique goals and interests. The industry is projected to continue to grow, providing opportunities to motivated individuals in multiple areas of specialization.

Top 3 Best Personal Trainer Certification Programs Comparison

Congratulations! You have weighed various career options and thought about what interests you and what will provide good employment. After sorting through this information, you have decided you want to become a personal trainer. You like that you will be helping people achieve their goals, and you enjoy learning about health, fitness and the human body, so the field seems like a natural fit for you.

Now what? Where do you start? How do you actually become a personal trainer?

If you want to be a personal trainer who is actually hired by paying customers, you must become certified. However, there are any number of personal trainer certification programs out there to choose from. How in the wild, wild world of the Internet do you know which one will teach you what you you need to know at a reasonable cost and in a reasonable time frame?

To help you decide, here is a list of three of the most popular personal training certification programs available, including their features, benefits and more. The programs are the following:

1. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
2. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
3. American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA)

Below is a comparison of each of the programs, along with our recommendation for the top program you should pursue to achieve your goal of becoming a personal trainer.

Requirements

Most programs require that you have several prerequisites before you actually begin the training. The most common requirements are that you must be 18 years old or older and completed hands-on CPR and AED (automatic external defibrillator) certification. If you have not done so, you can complete this through a community education program or the Red Cross.

ACE and NASM include these requirements.

AFPA only requires that you be 18 or older and have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. They do, however, recommend that you would do well to have completed some education in the field of human anatomy. This will give you a good start to any personal training program. Some of AFPA’s more specialized personal trainer certifications require that you have a minimum of a 400 documented hours of one-on-one personal training experience, but this will be down the road for you.

Study Materials and Courses

ACE has a several resources that to meet your various needs. These include Master the Manual, the Personal Trainer Manual set and the Essentials of Exercise Science Flashcards. If you like online training better, they offer several online programs to prepare you for the personal training exam, including exam review and practice tests. You can also obtain personalized help from the ACE Resource Center. This includes access to Study Counselors for questions about a certain topic, study question review or even just general test stress. If you need accountability, you can even schedule weekly check-ins with them.

NASM also offers a combination of resources, including in-person, online and print preparation guides. Options include interactive discussion questions, 1-day live workshops, flash cards, a 9-week online course and study guides.

AFPA is much the same, with comprehensive curriculum offerings whenever the timing is best for you. Their personal training certification is both practical and current, and is based on exercise science, sports medicine and nutrition guidelines. With their Distance Learning programs, you get the convenience of self-paced learning, giving you time to study. A fully-staffed customer service team is also available to answer questions and help you on your journey.

Other learning materials include certification course textbooks and an exercise textbook and DVD (including descriptions and demonstrations of more than 70 exercises). Course study guidelines and a completion schedule help you stay on track, while practice quizzes test your progress. You can take the final exam whenever you like up until six months after enrollment. You also get unlimited student support, a weekly newsletter and member discount offers.

Recertification and Continuing Education

Every personal training certifying body requires you to keep your CPR and AED certification current, and they also require continuing education credits (CECs), although the amounts are different. This generally includes conference, online courses, in-person training, webinars and more. Recertification also requires a fee. Here’s how the three programs handle the process:

ACE’s recertification is every two years, with a $129 fee. You must complete 20 CECs through ACE’s online courses, in-person workshops and the ACE symposium, held every year for ACE personal trainers. This is great connection and education time. The ACE Resource Center is also available for you to ask the counselors any questions about the industry in general.

NASM is similar, with 20 hours required every two years and a $99 fee. You also have the option when you first become certified to pay $299 for lifetime recertification. This is a good deal if you plan on staying in the personal training industry for six years or more. NASM offers online courses and live workshops to get your CECs.

AFPA’s recertification fee is $85 every two years, with 16 hours of CECs required. This education must be new activity that you have not previously completed, and a variety of courses and options are available through them as well.

Additional Certifications

Each of these three groups also offers additional certifications in addition to personal training. These can advance your career by helping you gain new and valuable skills. Some of these are general, such as group exercise instructor certifications, while others are more specific as becoming a cancer exercise trainer or a tactical strength and conditioning facilitator.

ACE gives you several good options, including group fitness instructor, health coach and advanced health and fitness specialist. ACE’s specialty certifications include youth fitness, fitness nutrition, functional training and mind-body training.

NASM offers several options as well, including mixed martial arts conditioning, women’s fitness, youth exercise, golf fitness and fitness nutrition.

AFPA has options as well, including twenty-four certifications such as Personal Fitness Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Senior Fitness, Youth Fitness, Yoga Instructor and Pilates Instructor. These programs are offered both online and through distance education.

Accreditation

Accreditation can be confusing, but basically, a program must undergo review by an accrediting body which sets standards for certification programs. This gives both you and your clients assurance that the development, implementation, maintenance and governance of the program meets their high standards. If a program is accredited, you can feel good that it is a program worth you time, energy and funds.

ACE and NASM are both accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA’s accreditation is thought of as the best and highest standard for the personal training field. Groups accredited by the NCCA must submit to comprehensive evaluation over regular periods of time in order to keep this accreditation.

AFPA’s Personal Trainer Certification program is accredited by Vital Research, which means they have met 14 Accreditation Standards set forth by Vital Research. AFPA’s Personal Trainer Certification program is not accredited by NCCA because AFPA chooses not to submit their program for consideration. NCCA is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to grant accreditation, although NCCA is held in high regard throughout the personal training industry.

Investment

While becoming certified as a personal trainer will not break the bank, it does require an investment. Think of it as investment and not a fee – you are making a deposit into your future earnings based on personal training. Once you have landed a few clients and they are actually paying you, you will realize how valuable your initial investment really is.

All three organizations offer study materials in bundles that are affordable. You will also have to pay an exam fee when it is time for the final test.

At ACE, several study bundles are popular, ranging from $499 to $799. The $699 option is the best seller, but all are good and all include the fee for the final certification exam, which helps you calculate the final cost. On the most expensive plan, free financing is available, which means you may have an easier time paying for the course.

The ACE bundles look even better when you consider that the test fee is $399 if you pay it alone. You can buy the study materials separately, but the bundles do save money – you would pay $110 for the ACE manual alone and $169 for the online test review.

NASM’s 9-week online course costs $349 and you get a test pass guarantee. This means the company will return your money if you finish the class and do not pass the test. (Students who actually complete the course have a 95% pass rate according to the NASM website.)

NASM’s half-day certification test prep workshop is cheaper at $199, but does not include the test pass guarantee. A CT super bundle, including online flash cards and information on exercise techniques and program design, costs $79. The test costs $599, which is most expensive of our list, but the test pass guarantee and the 95% pass rate mean you most likely won’t have to worry about passing the test, which is your end goal. The online course and the test together will cost about $950.

The AFPA’s online test cost $415, with an extra $30 fee if you would rather take a paper, hard copy version of the test. This price gets you full manuals, video lessons and a proctored exam. It also includes a free ebook called “How to Start a Successful Online Personal Trainer Business” which will show you how to increase your income through online training.

With the online test, you submit your assignments and final exam online. You will get your results back immediately. The hard copy mail-in test covers you if you prefer an old-fashioned paper exam. Just mail the test booklet back when you are finished.

Our Top Recommendation

Now that you have had a chance to read through all of the information above, you may be overwhelmed. To help you simplify, we are ready to make a recommendation as to the best personal trainer certification program out of the three we just reviewed.

Our recommendation for the best personal trainer certification program is the The American Council on Exercise (ACE).

We make this recommendation first because of the amount of study materials and support you receive as you go through an ACE personal training certification program. Their training packages are simply and understandably priced (and they include the exam fee!). Combine this with online support and a resource center available over the phone for answers, encouragement and accountability whenever you need it, and you have a proven winner. Even graduates of the program can call the resource center for help when they are out in the real world.

ACE also offers a huge variety of extra certifications and specializations for participants in their programs. Certifications such as group fitness instructor, advanced health and fitness specialist, and health coach are all valuable. The more specialized certifications can also increase your appeal and value for potential employers.

We also like ACE because it is a non-profit organization. As such, it is committed to its role of training the best fitness professionals out there. ACE can focus on this mission instead of having to please investors as they chase an ever-increasing profit margin.

If you earn an ACE personal trainer certification, you will be well-trained, your job prospects will be bright and you will be ready for whatever you face. If you run across a situation you are not sure about, you can always call the trusty resource center for answers. Don’t underestimate this benefit – not every program offers such a great resource for you.

NASM and AFPA are quality programs as well. You won’t go wrong if you choose either of these options – we just think ACE is a step above. This is how you start a personal training career – with a well-respected education from a quality institution.

Now that you are armed with this information, go forth and train!

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are a rare breed indeed. Marketing and selling properties is not an easy task. This type of work requires individuals to have innate qualities and characteristics that set them apart from the crowd in order to survive in a very competitive business and get ahead. You need to have an independent nature as you will be working alone most of time. This requires determination and the ability to plan and prioritize your work. Having an intuitive knowledge and understanding of how the real estate industry works will give you an edge. There are definite benefits and perks to learning how to become a real estate agent, including the potential for an unlimited income so you can enjoy all that life has to offer.

The Perks of Working as a Real Estate Agent – Benefits and Bonuses

Many are drawn to the real estate industry due to the prospect for a six-figure and above income. The perks and bonuses of being a real estate agent particularly appeal to those who like to be in charge and work solo.

A flexible lifestyle along with the opportunity to travel when showing properties adds a sense of adventure and spontaneity to one’s day. Some additional rewards that attract professionals to the field of real estate include the following benefits:

The Need for Real Estate Will Always Exist

Ongoing trends and developments will always have an impact on the business world particular in relation to the changing levels of supply and demand. Although the real estate market may slow somewhat when the economy is bad, the need for real estate agents will never completely go away.

Due to the variety of rental properties, there will always be the opportunity to expand into other areas. This is one industry that can survive even when the economy bottoms out. Conditions eventually improve and the real estate market makes a comeback and then flourishes once more.

There are Opportunities to Network with Others in the Profession

Connecting with other professionals within the field of real estate provides opportunities to network and make new business contacts. Real estate agents that have their own business and work independently also enjoy the social aspects and camaraderie of getting to meet others that share their passion for the industry.

Networking is particularly important for real estate agents that are just starting out. Reaching out to other professionals that have more experience is also beneficial for learning more about the real estate industry and gaining helpful support and guidance.

The Option of Working Independently and Having More Control is Attractive

Real estate agents and Realtors® may have their own business or work for independent agencies that specialize in marketing and selling a variety of properties. Even those employed by a real estate agency will have the perk of maintaining a more flexible schedule than that of a typical 9-5 work office setting.

Some real estate agents telecommute from their own homes with only the occasional need to visit their agency offices to check in. The benefit of going solo and working independently is a good choice for those real estate agents that want complete control and would prefer not work for someone else.

A Real Estate Agent’s Mobile Lifestyle Provides Flexibility to Relocate

Real estate agents have the benefit of being able to easily relocate to other regions. If the market for one particular area of real estate is slow but others are booming, the potential is there to keep working and still bring in the income.

Those that may have limited obligations with no family can go just about anywhere their heart desires. If better opportunities exist in large cities, beach-side communities, or in mountaintop resorts, being a real estate agent provides you with the flexibility to stay mobile and choose your next destination.

Behind the Scenes Responsibilities of a Real Estate Agent

There are a variety of duties and tasks that go into the day of being a real estate agent. Promotional efforts include marketing listings and properties by making them visible to potential buyers. When a property of any type is ready to be listed, the real estate agent will strategically place yard signs and then post the listing in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Advertisements to further market the property are created and then promoted through other forms of media such as brochures, newspapers and magazines.

Once the word is out and the public sees that a property is available, real estate agents will need to attract potential buyers. This is accomplished in a variety of ways that includes posting information and updates on your agency’s website and blog. If you are an independent sales agent, work solo, and have your own business, you should have your own unique website so you can connect with potential clients and market your listings.

Moving forward, the next task that real estate agents need to take care of is to install secure lockboxes at the sites of their advertised property listings. Potential buyers love open houses as it a low-pressure way to view advertised properties that they may be interested in purchasing. Interested clients will contact you to arrange showings, which will naturally progress to negotiating prices and closing a deal. Additional duties include onsite inspections, title searches, and providing necessary information to lenders.

Typical Work Environment and Work Schedule

Those that are employed by a real estate agency will have the luxury of a business office with all the amenities. Your typical office environment will usually come fully furnished with your own work station plus access to provided equipment such as computers, printers, and telephones. Depending on the size of the agency you work for, you may be provided with employee benefits such as health insurance plus vacation days, sick pay, and other perks.

Your employer may let you telecommute and work within the comfort of your own home office — with the understanding that you will need to make occasional visits to your primary office for meetings and other events. Although real estate agency offices have regular business hours, their sales agents will have more flexible schedules. A typical work schedule for a real estate agent that works for a company could include meeting with potential clients during the evening hours and showing properties on the weekends.

Real estate agents that have their own business can set their own schedules. Going this route shares some of the same elements as being employed by an agency. Solo real estate agents will still need to remain open to having to meet with clients at the end of the day and scheduling a showing of a particular property during the weekend. It is also common for independent real estate agents to sometimes put in hours during the holidays.

Essential Qualities of a Good Real Estate Agent

When a potential client will be spending a lot of hard-earned money and making a long-term investment in a home or property, they want and expect their real estate agent to be not only informative and helpful, but to also be honest and trustworthy. Home buyers and sellers do not like haggling along with high-pressure schemes to maneuver them into making a purchase.

To increase your chances for future clients and additional referrals for new business, you must be professional with a friendly personality to get ahead. Prompt and efficient service with a smile is also greatly appreciated. Key characteristics that are indispensable for succeeding as a real estate agent include the following essential qualities:

Have Strong Communication Skills

A primary aspect of your job as a real estate agent will be to interact with your clients. This may take place over the phone, via email, and through texted messages as well as in person. Having solid interpersonal skills is an absolute must. Whether your job involves representing a seller or buyer, both involve business transactions that require you to be able to effectively communicate with other people.

Be an Attentive and Patient Listener

Being a good listener and allowing others to express themselves is essential to becoming a successful real estate agent. Even though sales and commissions are an important aspect of the real estate industry, being pushy and forceful will not win you points. If you maintain a friendly yet professional approach when dealing with customers, the return investment will be referrals for additional business.

Have the Ability to Negotiate and Persuade

Negotiation and the art of selling are essential skills for success in the real estate industry. If approached with the needs of all parties in mind, the manner in which you persuade potential buyers and sellers will benefit you in many ways. If you get into the negative practice of haggling, future potential business prospects may decline as clients go elsewhere and seek out other real estate agents to represent them.

Be Skilled with Social Media and the Web

Real estate agents need to be computer savvy and skilled at navigating the Internet. MLS listings are now posted on the web, providing potential clients with details about available properties along with images. Social media networking tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook provide alternative ways to promote and market listings and to connect with potential clients.

What Types of Properties Do Real Estate Agents Sell?

The market for real estate includes a wide range of property types. Selections are just not limited to residential housing or commercial buildings. The variety is so extensive, which in itself is an added perk as you are not limited to just representing one particular type of unit. This can be a blessing in disguise when the market is slow. Depending on where you live, options include, but are not limited to, the following property types:

  • Apartments
  • Condominiums
  • Townhouses
  • Co-ops
  • Commercial properties including vacant buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Hotels and motels
  • Industrial complexes
  • Gasoline service stations
  • Bank buildings
  • Resorts
  • Investment properties
  • Manufactured homes
  • Modular homes
  • Residential homes
  • Shopping centers
  • Time share properties
  • Vacation homes
  • Vacant land and building lots

Real Estate Agents and Areas of Specialization

Choosing to focus on one or more areas of specialization is one option available for real estate agents to consider exploring. Many professionals in this industry opt for the choice of being both a buyer’s agent as well as a seller’s agent as it provides the opportunity for additional business and higher profits.

Some working within the industry may decide to primarily deal with residential properties whereas other real estate agents want the potential added income that can come from representing commercial properties. Property managers and land specialists provide additional pathways to consider.

Preparation for Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Working in the field of real estate does not require a college degree but the industry is regulated and has strict standards so preparation for entry into the field includes becoming licensed. Guidelines and requirements to obtain a license will differ within each state but essentials include that all individuals be at least 18 years of age, take several industry courses, and to have successfully passed the provided exam. Additional provisions may include having to submit to a background check.

There are a variety of ways in which you can prepare for your real estate license. Options include enrolling in courses at your local community college or university. Some educational institutions offer online, web-based instruction for those that have busy schedules and need a more flexible format in which to learn. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure that the school is accredited and authorized to instruct students.

Future Growth Opportunities for Real Estate Agents

Predicting future opportunities within the real estate industry is a little more difficult than some other fields. The supply and demand for properties is essentially controlled by the state of the economy. When the market is slow due to a downturn in the economy, some types of properties will not go as quickly and may sit for a time before a potential buyer comes along. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a slower than average growth rate for real estate agents at about 3 percent during the period of 2014 to 2024.

There will always be the need for some types of properties, even during the slow periods when some areas of the market may not be moving as fast. Real estate agents that take a more flexible approach to the industry can easily make the switch to another specialization. Another option is to focus on different types of properties in order to stay active and ahead of the competition while still bringing in an income. From a positive standpoint, there are always opportunities waiting to be had and profits to be made.

How to Become a Bartender

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A great bartender plays several key roles beyond just serving drinks to their clientele. A bartender will often times find themselves taking on the role of a best friend and having to lend a patient ear while many customers talk about their bad day at work or complain about the economy and politics. Most importantly, conversing with customers requires the ability to simultaneously juggle a multitude of other tasks in a very busy and hectic environment—all while maintaining a sense of calm composure and self-confidence. Additional key qualities of a great bartender include the following characteristics:

Have a Charming Personality

One of the most important aspects of being a bartender is the ability to socialize and effectively communicate with your customers. Depending on the size of the restaurant and the time of week, your job will involve contact with potentially several hundred customers each night. Your customers will want to converse with you, share stories, and tell tall tales, all while you are busy taking orders and mixing drinks. The ability to maintain your composure with a smile on your face is a key trait for becoming a great bartender and succeeding on the job.

Have the Ability to Multitask

Bartenders must be able to tackle several duties at one time, while being able to stay focused on each task. With several customers sitting at your bar, you will be getting requests for many different types of drinks while having to be able to accurately remember each order. Customers will be chatting with you while you are mixing the drinks, filling the glasses, and adding garnishes. Having a strong memory is essential for bartending as you must be able to keep track of each individual request while performing other duties and keeping the bar area organized.

Be Fast as Lightning

Speed is essential if you want to be a great bartender. Your job will require you to juggle many things all at the same time while providing fast service to your customers. You need to have heart and to really want to work in this business in order to not only last but to succeed as well. Your customers expect you to mix and fill their glasses in record time, and they do not want to wait forever to get their drinks. If you have a personality that is filled with spunk and drive and a never ending source of energy, you have already met one of the required prerequisites for becoming a great bartender.

Exhibit Stamina and Strength

If you are looking for a job where you can serve customers while sitting at a desk all day, bartending is not the right choice for you. As a bartender you will be standing all day, and the only time you may occasionally sit down is during your lunch or dinner breaks. Some duties you will perform as a bartender include having to lift hefty boxes of liquor and kegs of beer. A job as a bartender requires stamina and strength in order to also make it through a long day on your feet while serving customers their drinks, multitasking, and performing other duties.

Be Familiar with the Community

The social aspects of being a great bartender include having a solid knowledge of the community in which the establishment is located. Customers will often ask you for information about the area especially if they are traveling and are not familiar with the local offerings. Expect to be asked for suggestions as to the best places to stay and to go for entertainment such as theaters and casinos. Vacationers that visit your bar may ask you for directions to upcoming events and attractions. Providing guidance and suggestions should be easy if you live within the area of the bar where you work.

Be Good at Math

Part of your duties as a great bartender will be to ring up customers, provide change, collect tips, and keep an accurate balance of all transactions during your work shift. Depending on the rate of customer traffic and numbers served, some food and beverage establishments may also have a practice of only keeping a set amount of cash available in the register. You may be responsible for regularly depositing money within a safe throughout your shift and not just at the end of the night. Although you do not need to be an accountant or math geek, bartending does require solid math skills to succeed.

Have a Solid Knowledge of Liquor, Wine, and Beer

Becoming knowledgeable and familiar with all the many types of liquors, wines, and beers is not a feat that can be accomplished overnight. You will need to learn about the different types of liquors served in bars and the ingredients that go into making each unique drink. It takes time and practice to develop skill and expertise as a great bartender and there are several ways you can go about doing it. When exploring your options to learn about the business of bartending, possible pathways include acquiring experience through related jobs and completing a training course.

Exploring Alternative Pathways to Becoming a Bartender

The job of a bartender is one position that requires applicants to have at least some basic knowledge and understanding of alcoholic drinks or some exposure to the environment in which drinks are served. If you know nothing about making and mixing drinks or have never worked in a restaurant, your chances for getting a job as a bartender are minimal at best. Bar owners and restaurant establishments initially look at applicants that already come equipped with some skills that can be acquired through past positions working within the food and beverage industry.

Gain Experience in Other Restaurant Positions

If you have had a position within a restaurant and are familiar and comfortable working in this fast-paced business, you are already one step ahead of other applicants. When managers are interviewing for bartending jobs, if the pool of applicants does not include anyone who already has experience working in a club or bar, the next phase is to seek out individuals that already work in restaurants. Having worked in any of the following positions will definitely come in handy and tip the scales in your favor:

Food and beverage servers: Waiters and waitresses have a leg up when it comes to experience working in the fast paced environment of a restaurant or bar. You regularly deal with many customers, take orders, and serve meals – duties of which require you to speedily multitask while keeping a smile on your face.

Dining room attendants: Busboys and busgirls also acquire valuable experience in the food and beverage industry by removing dishes after customers finish their meals and then efficiently cleaning and resetting tables with skill and speed. They may also assist other food and beverage servers on very busy nights or when the restaurant is short of staff and needs a few extra hands.

Food Preparation Attendants: Workers in this position will acquire experience by assisting cooks and chefs during the preparation of meals. Tasks may include cleaning, cutting, and mixing meal ingredients. Other duties involve cleaning and maintaining equipment and storing food. This type of job teaches essential skills that can help prepare you for a future job as a bartender.

Barback/Bartender’s Assistant: A bartender’s assistant, often referred to as a barback, provides help by taking on many of the secondary duties beyond making drinks such as keeping the bar area clean and continually restocking supplies. This position is more often seen in restaurants and bars that are extremely busy with a high volume of customers.

The Pros and Cons of Bartending School

Deciding whether to attend bartending school is a personal choice and comes with its own set of pros and cons. Your past job experience in the food and beverage industry plus your acquired knowledge of liquor, wine, and beer and how to mix drinks all play into whether you should move forward and sign up for a training course. Some advocate against the cost of taking courses to learn the trade. What you need to remember is that on-the-job learning to become a bartender is a rarity in this industry, hence the potential benefits of pursuing an education.

Managers of bars and clubs generally do not want to hire an applicant for an open position who has absolutely no past experience nor any understanding of alcohol and how to make drinks. Bartending is a very fast paced business and the environment is not conducive to taking on a new hire and providing on-the-job training. That being said, bartending school can be a good option in some situations and a good place to start to learn more about the industry.

When choosing a bartending school, the hands-on approach is the best way to learn more about this business and to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. Bartending is one profession where you need to be onsite in an actual classroom to properly learn how to make drinks. Distance learning and web-based training options just don’t cut it when it comes down to learning a skill that requires the use of your hands to make and mix drinks—you can’t do that online.

If you are interested in attending bartending school, you will need to do some further research to find out what type of training is available in your region. One option you may want to explore is USABartendingSchool.com, which is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited. The site offers a listing of bartending schools within the U.S., which are state authorized institutions of learning. An additional resource to check out is the nationwide bartending schools directory posted on ABCBartending.com.

State Bartending Laws and Liquor Certification Requirements

Beyond meeting the basic requirement of being of age to drink alcohol, serving it within a bar, club, or other type of food and beverage establishment as a bartender comes with its own set of rules and regulations. The APIS (Alcohol Policy Information System), a site maintained by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, has various maps and charts that help to clarify the laws and any questions as they pertain to “underage drinking and minimum age for on-premises servers and bartenders.” (APIS, 2015) Regulations may vary in each state so it is important to become familiar with your region’s laws.

Guidelines for Liquor Certification

Do to the nature of the type of work involved in bartending and its associated legalities, many states require that those serving alcoholic beverages complete certification. Those that are new to the trade of bartending must become knowledgeable with the laws as they relate to areas such as overdrinking, requesting proof of ID, hours of service, and how to effectively deal with drunken customers that may be violent. Additional information is available online at ServerCertificationCorp.com, which provides an easy to use alphabetical listing of all the states and their certification requirements.

The Future of Bartending: Job Outlook and Potential Salary

The hourly wage rate for a job as a bartender will vary from state to state and will also reflect the experience level of the applicant. More luxurious resorts and hotels that charge more for their services may offer a higher wage or salary with added benefits, perks, and bonuses. Beginning positions for those just starting out may average at about minimum wage. However, even with a lower hourly rate, bartending can be a lucrative position due to the potential that comes from added income received in the form of tips. Some bartenders with experience working at busy high-end establishments can make six-figure incomes — so the potential is there.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the future outlook for bartending is bright, progressing “faster than the average for all occupations” (BLS, 2015) with a projected growth rate in the range of about 10 percent during the period of 2014 to 2014. Positions can be found across the nation at a variety of places that include not just your typical bar but also jobs at hotels, resorts, clubs, taverns, inns, and any type of establishment that caters to travelers. Applicants that have the necessary knowledge acquired from formal training courses and or experience working in other types of positions within the food and beverage industry will have an edge on the competition when applying for jobs.

Flight Attendant Jobs: Here’s How to Get Hired

Becoming a flight attendant is challenging. Airline companies want to know that they are hiring an individual that can keep passengers safe and comfortable throughout the duration of their flight. In order to get hired as a flight attendant, you need to prove to airline recruiters that you are tough, intelligent and compassionate enough to handle any situation while up in the air.

Cover letter and resume

First impressions are everything in the airline industry. Your resume and cover letter should give airline recruiters a quick idea of who you are and why you would be an asset to their company. A memorable first impression is the key to securing an in-person interview.

Your cover letter should be short enough to read at a glance, and should briefly touch on any relevant skills or experience that you possess. Each cover letter that you write should be tailor made to suit a specific company. You can get a taste of what sort of language an airline uses by visiting its website. Using company jargon in your cover letter can help you to stand out as a candidate by showing that you understand and appreciate a company’s culture.

A short, well written cover letter is essential for capturing the attention of an airline recruiter. You can use your resume to showcase more details about your professional background and skills. Like your cover letter, you should keep your resume concise and use simple, elegant formatting. Recruiters have to read hundreds to thousands of resumes, and anything unnecessarily long winded or jumbled may end up in the garbage pile.

If you have an extensive work history, you should highlight past experience that would be relevant in an airline setting. For example, past work as a cashier shows that you have customer service experience, while employment as an EMT shows that you have medical training. It’s also a good idea to list relevant volunteer work, hobbies, or interests that might give the recruiters a taste of your personality. Airline companies are particularly interested in candidates that are good with people, such as those who volunteer with children or the elderly, along with candidates that stay fit by participating in sports or other physical activities.

All of the information that you provide in your cover letter and resume will be verified during a background check, so it is best to best to be perfectly honest about your employment history. Airlines won’t hire a candidate that later fails his or her background check.

Stand out during the interview process

Your goal during the interview process is to prove to airline recruiters that you have what it takes to become a flight attendant. They are looking for candidates that are well groomed, personable, intelligent and courteous. You will often be interviewed with a large group of other applicants, sometimes hundreds, in what is known in the industry as a “cattle call.” The cattle call is designed to quickly and efficiently weed out any unsuitable candidates. So much competition can feel overwhelming, but there are a few simple ways that you can make yourself stand out from the crowd.

The simplest way to make a good first impression is to dress appropriately. Women should wear wear a crisp navy blue or black suit, preferably with a skirt, along with formal black shoes. Makeup should be minimal and in natural tones only, while accessories should be kept small and tasteful. Men should wear dark slacks, a dress shirt, and a suit jacket along with black dress shoes. The idea is to look as much like the standard image of a flight attendant as possible.

Looking the part of a flight attendant is only half the battle. Throughout the interview process, you must show the flight recruiters that you have the personality and interpersonal skills necessary to handle the daily challenges that you will face while in the air. Act courteously towards both the recruiters and the other applicants, because your every interaction will be under close scrutiny.

Some airline companies subject applicants to a brief preliminary one-on-one interview. A recruiter will ask you a series of fairly standard interview questions, sometimes up to twenty, that you will have a set amount of time to answer. This is your opportunity to show off your communication skills. Answer questions truthfully, clearly and concisely. Avoid rambling so that you are able to answer every question within the allotted timeframe. It can be helpful to practice answers to common interview questions beforehand, such as:

  • How did you hear about this job posting?
  • Why do you want to become a flight attendant?
  • Why are you the best candidate for the job?
  • What kind of jobs have you worked in the past?
  • What are your future career goals?
  • How would you handle an unruly passenger?
  • How would you handle a dispute between two passengers?

It is important to be courteous and confident during the interview, since these are two qualities that are important in a flight attendant. Make eye contact, maintain a good posture, and avoid fidgeting. End the interview on a positive note by thanking the interviewer for his or her time.

Airline companies commonly use group interviews to assess the interpersonal and communication skills of applicants. Candidates are split up into teams and given a scenario to act out while being observed by the airline recruiters. This is not a competition nor a chance to outshine your teammates, but rather, a chance to show that you are able to work effectively as part of a team.

In the scenario that your team is given, you will face a problem that a flight attendant might encounter while on the job. For example, you may have to calm an unruly passenger, or settle a seating argument between two customers. You are expected to think on your feet and come up with creative and innovative solutions to the problem at hand. It may be helpful to practice role playing scenarios with friends and family members before your interview.

Take the medical exam seriously

The medical exam will assess if you meet the height and weight requirements necessary to become a flight attendant. You will also be put through a battery of tests to determine the health of your circulatory and respiratory systems. Serious medical conditions that could put you or your passengers at risk while in the air may bar you from becoming a flight attendant.

Candidates will also have their blood and urine analyzed during the company medical exam. You should disclose any past recreational drug use to the company upon taking the physical. This won’t bar you from becoming a flight attendant, but you will be subjected to random drug testing for two months after hire. You should also alert the recruitment staff if you take any prescription drugs, as these may show up in your blood or urine tests and affect your hireability.

Be personable, punctual and professional

Flight attendant training is an intense four to eight week course designed to weed out the weakest students. You won’t just be evaluated by just test scores and class rankings. Instructors will be watching trainees for grooming habits, punctuality, and disposition. Even small infractions such as unkempt hair or a rude comment can get you kicked out of the training program.

Flight attendants are expected to be the the paradigm of professionalism. Airlines are looking for candidates that will be an asset to the company. Throughout your training, take every opportunity available to show that you have the strength, compassion and intelligence necessary to become a flight attendant.