Personal Fitness Trainer


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

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

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

Our program offers flexible learning options and the opportunity to obtain Canada’s top personal training certification (CSEP-CPT) by the time you graduate, enhancing your career prospects in the fitness industry. Plus, we have partnered with universities across Canada to allow our graduates to transfer into the third year of degree programs, including the Bachelor of Kinesiology in Human Kinetics program at the University of Regina.

Upcoming Intakes

Select your preferred intake to see relevant program information. Program details, including tuition and course information, may vary by intake.

Selection Start Date Delivery Mode Time Campus Length Domestic Status International Status
Sep. 03, 2024 (Fall) Your choice Weekdays - Daytime Main 2 Years (Full-time) Open Limited
  Jan. 08, 2025 (Winter) Online Weekdays - Daytime Online 2 Years (Full-time) Open N/A

Swipe table to view more information for each intake.

Delivery Mode

  • In-person - All your class activity will be delivered in person, on campus.
  • Online - All your class activity will be delivered online.
  • Hybrid - Your classes will be a mixture of in person and online learning. You must be able to come to campus and participate remotely online.
  • Your choice - Your program offers a variety of class delivery options (in person, online, or a mixture of both) and you can select which type of classes to take. If you wish, you can complete your entire program either in-person or online.
  • HyFlex - All your classes are delivered for simultaneous participation in person and online. You can choose daily to attend your classes in person or join remotely online.


  • Your choice - You can select class times and days that fit your schedule. There are a variety of class options for you to choose from including daytime, evening, weekdays or weekends.
  • No set time - No set class days or times, content is access on-demand. You can complete your studies on your own schedule within the scheduled class dates; may have set due dates and deadlines.
  • Evenings & Weekends - Classes are scheduled after 5 p.m. on weekdays or anytime on weekends.
  • Weekdays - Daytime - Classes are scheduled on weekdays, before 5 p.m.
  • Weekdays - Evening - Classes are scheduled on weekdays, after 5 p.m.
  • Weekends - Classes are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays.


Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at this campus location.

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  • Full-Time - This is the standard length to complete the program, with a full course load per term.
  • Part-Time - Students follow a structured schedule of classes so they can progress in their studies part-time while balancing everyday life.

Domestic Status

The program availability status for domestic applications is updated as applications are reviewed and assessed. Program availability is subject to change without notice.

  • Open - Program intake is accepting applications.
  • Waitlisting - Program intake is accepting applications, but qualified applicants will be placed on a waitlist.
  • Closed - Program intake is not accepting applications.
  • Upcoming - Applications will open soon for this intake. View the upcoming terms for open dates.
  • N/A - Not available for this intake.

International Status

The program availability status for international applications is updated as applications are reviewed and assessed. Program availability is subject to change without notice.

  • Open - Program intake is accepting applications.
  • Limited - For international applicants, the program intake is now only available if you already have a valid study permit.
  • Waitlisting - Program intake is accepting applications, but qualified applicants will be placed on a waitlist.
  • Closed - Program intake is not accepting applications.
  • Upcoming - Applications will open soon for this intake. View the upcoming terms for open dates.
  • N/A - Not available for this intake.

Credit programs that accept international applicants also meet the eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program, including programs with a Hybrid delivery mode. Each student is responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies.

Hands-on, industry-relevant training

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

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

You’ll learn:

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

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

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

Alumni Profile: Em Lamache

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

Kelsey Mitchell

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

NAIT grads are prepared

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

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

Information for international students

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

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

Fall (September) terms

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

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

Winter and spring terms

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

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

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

Only select courses are offered in-class each semester

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


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

In-Class (Day)

These courses are offered in-class in September only

Level One

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

Level Two

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

These courses are offered in-class in January only

Level One

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

Level Two

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

Career Outcomes

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

Hear from industry

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

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

Courses and Advanced Credit

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

Advanced Credit

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

Transfer Credit

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

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

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

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

Scholarships & Awards

Want to learn more about this program?

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


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