Personal Training

The Personal Training Certificate Program at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the preparation needed for positions in a variety of fitness settings.  Upon completion of the program, students will have the skills and competencies to begin a career or continue on to an Associate Degree.

Personal Training Certificate (PTC)

The Personal Training Certificate prepares students to complete a certification as a personal trainer. Students study anatomy and kinesiology, exercise physiology, nutrition, biomechanics of exercise, personal safety (including CPR), organizational and legal consideration of the fitness industry and practical application of individual and group fitness instruction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by 39 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. Students have the option to begin a career after program completion or continue on to an associate degree.

Year 1
ENG 101College Writing I 3
EXS 102Principles Of Anatomy And Kinesiology 3
BIO 152Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology 4
EXS 201Exercise Science And Nutrition 4
PER 130Health, Fitness, And Wellness 3
BIO 101Introduction To Nutrition (formerly NUT101) 3
EXS 103Strength and Conditioning 3
EXS 203Exercise Testing And Program Design 4
EXS 210Externship 2
 Total Credits: 29

See Personal Training program student learning outcomes and technical standards.


This program is offered primarily on the Gardner campus.

Student Success Tips

This is a great opportunity for students to gain entry level employment in the healthcare field prior to applying to the PTA program. Students are expected to have proficient computer skills and the ability to access the internet via desktop/laptop computer or tablet. Internet access may be from home or through a public site such as a local public library, public college or at any Mount Wachusett Community College campus.

Transfer Options

This program is intended for immediate career entry. Courses completed as part of this certificate program can be applied to the Exercise and Sports Science Degree.

Career Options/Earning Potential

For career options, please click here.

Special Requirements

Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations. Students seeking to participate in EXS 210 Externship may be subject to meeting additional requirements which may include immunizations, a Criminal/Sexual Offender Records Information (CORI/SORI) check, fingerprinting, and drug testing. Some of these may be done at the student’s expense.

Please note:  Marijuana, though legal in Massachusetts, is recognized as a controlled substance by the federal government.  Marijuana use whether for medicinal or recreational purposes will lead to a positive drug test; making the student ineligible to attend a practicum site. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have the ability to:

  • Formulate clear and precise questions about complex problems and ideas relevant to a variety of disciplines—math, science, the humanities, and the social sciences—and gather, assess, and interpret information to arrive at well-reasoned conclusions and solutions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of complex written texts that demand an appreciation of subtext, irony, metaphor, and the subtlety and nuances of language.
  • Successfully complete a substantial research paper that demonstrates the ability to formulate a research question, conduct research using the library’s databases, and synthesize information from a variety of sources into a cohesive and in-depth analysis of a topic.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of historic, social, and cultural backgrounds necessary for understanding their own and other societies with an emphasis on important ideas and events that have shaped, and continue to shape, their world.
  • Demonstrate scientific literacy, which can be defined as the matrix of knowledge needed to understand enough about the universe to deal with issues that come across the horizon of the average citizen, in the news or elsewhere.
  • Demonstrate a broad exposure to, and an understanding of, the differences and similarities in the various academic disciplines within their Liberal Arts education.
  • Successfully transfer to a baccalaureate degree granting institution if desired, with the proper educational foundation for transition into a chosen field of study.

Technical Standards1 for PTC


For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  2. Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  3. Gather, analyze and, draw conclusions from data.
  4. Stand for a minimum of two hours.
  5. Walk for a minimum of six hours, not necessarily consecutively.
  6. Stoop, bend, and twist for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time and be able to repeat this activity at frequent intervals.
  7. Lift a 40-pound person or assist with a larger person and transfer the person from one location to another.
  8. Determine by touch: hotness/coldness, wetness/dryness, and hardness/softness.
  9. Use the small muscle dexterity necessary to do such tasks as gloving, gowning, and operating controls on machinery.
  10. Respond to spoken words, monitor signals, call bells, and vital sign assessment equipment.
  11. Identify behaviors that would endanger a person’s life or safety and intervene quickly in a crisis situation with an appropriate solution.
  12. Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.
  13. Exhibit social skills appropriate to professional interactions.
  14. Maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close personal contact.
  15. Function without causing harm to self or others if under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medications.

EXS 102. Principles Of Anatomy And Kinesiology. 3 Credits.

This course is intended to provide the student with a detailed overview of musculoskeletal structure and function and its application to a more complex analysis of human movement and skill. Introduction of concepts concerning tissue and organ system organization, basic biomechanics, and the nervous system and its relationship to the musculoskeletal systems will be studied. Identification and detailed palpation of the bones and muscles of the human skeleton will be correlated with joint and muscle function. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement. Fall.

EXS 103. Strength and Conditioning. 3 Credits.

Through participaton in lecture and lab, students will develop the skills and understanding of muscle physiology and its relationship to resistance training. The course will provide students with an understanding of required adaptations for proper training, correct form and technique. Prerequisites or Corequisites: BIO 203 or EXS 102 or PTA 104. Spring.

EXS 201. Exercise Science And Nutrition. 4 Credits.

This course will explore the scientific dimensions of fitness and nutrition. The course will be aimed at the function of exercise on the skeletal muscles, the organs, and the systems of the body; the relationship of activity and fitness to health; as well as an overview of nutrition, energy balance, and weight control as it affects health. Prerequisites: BIO 152 or BIO 199 (or co-requisite). Fall.

EXS 203. Exercise Testing And Program Design. 4 Credits.

This course introduces students to testing protocols for individuals and groups. Students will be instructed in various fitness programs for flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular exercises. Students will also learn weight management techniques, as well as safety aspects of fitness exercises. The principles of adherence and motivation as well as communication and teaching techniques will be discussed and evaluated. Students will develop an understanding of legal issues and business structures, as well as professional responsibility. Prerequisites: EXS 102 or PTA 104, EXS 201. Spring.

EXS 210. Externship. 2 Credits.

This externship experience involves direct observation and interaction at selected facilities. Placements include fitness centers, wellness centers, physical therapy clinics and rehabilitation centers. Students obtain a basic knowledge and understanding of the practical aspects of the fitness industry through participation. One seminar hour and several hours of field experience per week are required. Prerequisites: EXS 102 and EXS 201. Spring.