In a digital age, the Internet is now increasingly used for education purposes. This also applies to the field of personal training. You can find university courses online to study personal training. There also remains a wealth of good resources for information.
Whether you are looking to brush up on your existing knowledge or to take your personal training to a new career level, there are options available to you on the Internet. There are a few things you’ll want to consider before moving forward into a curriculum.
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What Online Personal Training Is Available?
Some certification organizations like the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) offer online courses, study guides and practice exams as an option. You will pay $50 more for this option with this organization raising the total cost of the materials and exam from $599 to $649.
However, you must go to a testing center to take the actual exam.
The American Sports and Fitness Association (ASFA) offers a number of training manuals that you can purchase online. You can also opt to take an online test, and not pay for it unless you pass with a minimum of 70%. They offer a personal training certification for $129 and a master personal training certification for $229. This is not as respected as the NASM certification.
The highly respected National Association for Strength and Conditioning (NASC) offers ongoing education webinars for CEUs. The test ranges from $310 to $445 based on membership and is considered one of the most comprehensive in the industry.
However, taking a test at a testing center is certainly seen as the ideal. You should check with any facility you are interested in working for to find out what certifications they accept.
Can I Get Accredited as a Personal Trainer Online?
Before enrolling in a school or university for any industry, you should do some research on the school’s accreditation. The purpose of accreditation for universities is to show that the curriculum meets professional standards. Depending on what you are looking to do with your certification, you will want to make sure you are taking courses at an accredited institution.
It is also a smart idea to do research on the accrediting agency. Does this standard hold up across the personal training industry? When you are looking for a job in the field, accreditation standards may be important. It is an indication of how much knowledge you have, and if that is sufficient for you to be a professional in the field.
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What Do Online Courses Offer, and Lack, for Personal Trainer Education?
There is a lot of information in the field of personal training that can be learned from books and online reading materials. Personal training is a field that requires hands-on experience and expertise as well. This is important to consider when you are making a decision about whether to take classes online.
Most of the universities dedicated to personal training will have video supplements for you to make up for the lack of face time. This will require extra attention to detail on your part. You will not have an instructor watching you perform the exercises and stretches. There will not be somebody present to correct anything you are doing improperly. If you have a friend or contact in the industry, it may be helpful to arrange regular meetings to ensure proper form on all exercises and hands-on activities.
Taking the courses online can be more convenient for your schedule. When it comes time to receive your certification, you may be required to do an exam in person. When looking for a school, research this to make sure there is a place nearby where you can take your final exam.
What Certifications Are Important as a Personal Trainer?
Personal training schools often have different levels of certifications for various purposes. Think about what career path you most desire in the personal training industry. For example, certifications can be obtained for nutrition specialists, resistance specialists, or endurance specialists. Some schools have certifications for gym teachers and different levels of personal training.
Do research on your desired career. Find out what certifications will be required or helpful in taking that career path. Any certifications can be helpful as resume builders. Any information you are able to pick up from additional courses is also going to benefit you in the long run.
Online courses don’t always generate the same level of respect from peers as courses that take place in a classroom. There’s nothing to indicate that there should be any less respect for certifications that are received this way.
Are There Any Funding Options for Online Personal Training Courses?
You may believe that online courses would cost less because of the resources required by schools and professors. This is often not the case. You will want to do some research to find out about opportunities to fund your online courses in personal training.
There are programs available for members of the military that may pay for a portion or all of the schooling required for your certification. The government and other entities also offer options that you may qualify to save money on your education.
If you are already working in the field of personal training, your current employer may be able to cover the expenses for your continued education. Other employers will cover a certain amount towards furthering education even if it is for a different industry altogether.
Check with your employer to see if any programs are available. If you are still in need of funding for your education, check with your local bank or credit union. Some financial institutions have special loan options available to students.
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