Becoming a personal trainer has its rewards. You can take the knowledge you amassed from years of dedication to health and fitness and turn it into a career. Some trainers choose to supplement their income while others earn great sums of money working full-time.
Both have the option of increasing or decreasing their weekly hours and income scale. Flexibility in one’s career is always a plus. With so many available benefits, why don’t you take the steps necessary toward life as a professional personal trainer?
Maybe the costs of acquiring a personal training certificate serve as the stumbling block. The stumbling block might be the size of a mountain. A lack of a certificate, though, could make career success elusive. Holding a certificate from an accredited organization certainly makes landing clients or jobs at a gym less difficult than would be the case without one.
Are all these programs costly? Less-expensive alternatives to the more expensive ones do exist, and they are worth checking out.
What is the least costly accredited personal training certificate?
Based on the most recent information, the least expensive accredited personal training certification is the one offered by The National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT). The cost is $199 for an exam voucher and an exam content outline.
Pass the exam, and you receive an accredited personal training certification. No strings or hidden requirements exist.
The second least-expensive personal trainer certification is the one awarded by the The National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF). Earning a certification requires a passing score on a 150-question examination. The cost to take the exam is currently $299 per the organization’s website. Certifications are good for two years. Then the trainer must retake the exam for recertification.
Are there any other costs associated with these two certification exams?
Paying $199 or $299 for the examination reflects the only mandatory fees. However, the price paid only covers the examinations. Study materials are not included in either package. A person with significant knowledge in personal training might be able to ace any examination without spending any money or time on study materials.
Most people, however, would benefit from purchasing supplementary study material for the exam. Reviewing the study material increases the odds of passing the test on the first try.
With the NFPT, expanded options include the:
- Standard Certification Package – $299
- Premier Certification Package – $399
The standard certification package comes with a study guide, trainer manual, and online learning tools. The premier package offers the same components as the standard package along with assessment video reviews, practice tests, and expert support. The NCSF also offers additional preparation programs at the following prices:
- Home Study and Exam – $499
- Home Study Plus Package – $535
- Workshop Course and Exam – $549
- Workshop Plus Package – $585
All of these different programs offer the digital version of the textbook, lesson notes, questions and answers, instruction videos, and more. With the two most-costly packages, a two-day workshop is included. The workshop runs 16 hours and covers material in-depth.
The Workshop Plus Package also comes with a hard copy of the personal training textbook and a workshop reference guide. As the most expensive option, it comes with everything.
Train Anyone, Anywhere in the World.
How do these prices compare to other personal trainer certification costs?
The popular American Council on Exercise (ACE) personal trainer examination costs $399. The American College of Sports Medicine charges (ACSM) charges $349 to non-members for just the examination. When study materials are included, the prices go up significantly. Certain certification programs may cost incredible sums of money and come with the added benefit of being more prestigious.
Are there even cheaper certification programs?
There are organizations that offer certifications for less than $100. Completing an in-person workshop and taking an exam may be required. Other organizations simply offer online tests. While these certifications are inexpensive, they are not accredited ones. The lack of accreditation could undermine a certification’s ability to be taken seriously by employers or clients. The extra cost for an accredited certificate isn’t wasted money.
What exactly does “accredited” mean?
The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), an entity created by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, oversees the accreditation of a number of different professions. Accreditation means the NCCA has examined the standards of the certification program. Personal training organizations are not the only ones the NCAA accredits.
Crane operators, nurses, and automotive professional certifications fall under the guidance of the NCCA’s standards. To be approved by the NCCA means that high standards have been met.
Thus, accreditation reflects that standards of quality have been met. Procuring a certification from an unaccredited organization could indicate the learned material is lacking. Even when you possess solid knowledge about personal training, presenting a non-accredited certificate might not impress anyone or help your career in any way.
Are there differences between lower-priced and higher-priced accredited certifications?
The less-costly personal trainer certificates might be fine for entry-level personal training work. Those interested in personal training in, say, a rehabilitation facility or working with a professional sports team may require a costlier certification that covers far more material in its testing.
Many personal trainers do fine throughout their career with a single accredited certification. Others may opt to acquire an entry-level certification while working on the more expensive and expansive programs. Some may choose to acquire two lower-priced personal training certifications since doing so can add to marketability.
What are the payment and financing plans offered?
Personal training certifying organizations realize that not everyone can pay the full cost of a program all at once. While the company might not reduce the overall cost of the learning programs, a payment plan can be set up in which someone could pay for the full cost in four installment payments.
Those concerned over costs and budget may find more options available to them through the payment plan option.
Many of the learning programs take place online. Those who cease to continue making payments would find their access shut off. The specifics of each payment plan vary from organization to organization. Review each individual one for the specifics.
What is the best personal training certification?
Likely, the best certification program would be the one that’s the perfect fit for you. The structure of the program, the material on the test, and the cost all contribute to what would be right for you. Neither the least expensive nor the most expensive certification may be the best.
Look at all the programs and see what they offer. Don’t immediately sign up with any certification organization. Really think about what certification program to go with.