How to Get Certified as a Personal Trainer


If you think hitting the gym is more enjoyable than going to the office, then you might want to turn that hobby into a profession. In the United States, one of the fastest growing fields is personal training, making it a viable career path especially for people who have always wanted to be a part of the field of health and fitness. Plus, getting certified as a personal trainer is easier than you think. With the help of these handy tips and tricks, you are on your way to building the career that you have been aspiring for.

How to Get Certified as a Personal Trainer #1 – Education is the Key to Success

Basic Requirement

Just like any other profession, there are pre-requisites to getting certified as a personal trainer. While it is true that one does not need to enroll in a university and acquire formal education that is related to health and fitness, there are minimum requirements that you must be aware of.

They are as follows:

  • Age Requirement: A personal trainer must be 18 years old or over.
  • CPR: A training for CPR must be completed by the applicant.
  • Educational Attainment: The minimum requirement for a personal trainer in terms of educational attainment is a GED or a high school diploma.

University vs. Certification

When choosing between formal education at a university and a certification from another institution, bear in mind that both have their pros and cons.

Firstly, enrolling in a university can help you gain all the information that you will ever need to become a successful trainer while having the added bonus of saying that you graduated from so and so. However, this usually involves anywhere from 2 years to 4 years, and can be expensive.

On the other hand, getting a certificate is more flexible and requires less time, but you will need to study on your own.

Choose the Best Certification Organization

With so many organizations out there, you won’t really have a hard time finding one that will best suit your needs. Nonetheless, you have to pick one that is NCCA certified.

Amongst the most popular options are ACE, ACSM, NASM and the NSCA.

Work at Your Own Convenience

Just because you have the certification you need doesn’t mean that you are free to work in every gym that pops up on your Google search.

Before applying for a job, check the requirements that they have set for their personal trainers. This can help you focus on the certification requirements of the field you want to be part of.

In contrast to getting employed, working on your own can also provide you the freedom to choose the skill sets you would like to concentrate on and which areas you would like to specialize in.


Every gym might set their own requirements for personal trainers

How to Get Certified as a Personal Trainer #2 – Set Goals and Practice Consistency

Before sitting down to take the exam, you must prepare and develop a study regimen for the certification test. Even though you can take the exam at a time that is convenient for you, a one-year limit is usually given to aspiring personal trainers.

Remember that if you fail, retaking the exam will cost you about 150 to 200 USD. This means that it is better if you come prepared to avoid re-taking the test. There are also online tests that you can schedule for your self if you cannot make it to a testing center.

Maintaining and Keeping Your Certification

Lastly, getting a certification greatly differs from maintaining and keeping your certificate.

Since the field of health and fitness is constantly changing and evolving, you have to keep yourself updated and make sure that you are getting all the information and programs you need. While some certificate programs may only require you to enroll in online classes, some necessitate yearly re-testing.

With hard work and perseverance, getting certified as a personal trainer is your ticket to a successful and fulfilling career.

Group Personal Training at a Gym

Getting certified as a personal trainer is your ticket to a successful and fulfilling career