If you are interested in becoming certified as a personal trainer, you have many options from which to choose. There are many high quality certification programs available; in fact, there are so many that it becomes challenging to select just one!
To help you narrow down your choices, we have a list of some of the options in personal training certification available. By opening the field to a wide range of choices, you should be able to find the best fit in a personal training certification program for your needs.
Many programs are specifically geared toward certifying students as personal trainers by preparing them for a certification exam at the end of the program. If you choose a certification program, look for organizations that have been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Some of the best known programs include American Council for Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). These programs usually allow you to obtain your certification within a matter of months, which can be used to work at some of the top gyms and fitness centers in the country.
For individuals who do not have a certification program in their area, online options are also available. Many of the accredited organizations also allow students to prepare for the exams at home, using online material that you order through the organization. You might also find study helps like flashcards and sample examinations available through the organization’s website.
However, most of these organizations do require that the exam is taken at a secure facility, so you may need to travel some distance to reach an exam center. Most of the accredited organizations have exam centers in all the major cities in the United States, which means travel should be relatively limited.
Many community colleges offer personal training certification, as well as associate’s degrees in related fields of study. Many of these college programs take between 30 and 40 hours to complete and include an NCCA-accredited exam for certification at the end of the program.
Coursework usually incorporates textbook study, lecture and practical experience to provide a well-rounded training program. Some also offer internships at local fitness centers and may even provide placement services after graduation.
While a four-year degree isn’t necessary for many personal training jobs, some accredited certification programs require a degree before students can enroll in the program. A bachelor’s degree in a related field like sports medicine or kinesiology will also better equip you to work at some of the best facilities in the country. The level of experience you receive through a university will also help you break into business for yourself if you decide to become an independent contractor in the fitness industry.
If you are preparing for a career in personal training, you have many options available. Whether you choose an accredited certification program, a two-year college or a four-year university, the right training will help you launch a successful career in the fitness industry.