What is the Online Trainer Academy certification? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What is the Online Trainer Academy certification?

The Online Trainer Academy (OTA) certification is one option for online personal training. Read OTA reviews and find out more in this article.

Melissa Morris has a BS and MS in exercise science and a doctorate in educational leadership. She is an ACSM certified exercise physiologist and an ISSN certified sports nutritionist. She teaches nutrition and applied kinesiology at the University of Tampa.  She has been featured on Yahoo, HuffPost, Eat This, Bulletproof, Vitacost, LIVESTRONG, Toast Fried, The Trusty Spotter, Best Company, Hea...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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  • The Online Trainers Academy certification is one option for online personal training.
  • The cost of the OTA program and certification is $799 and includes study resources and one exam attempt.
  • Online Trainers Academy reviews note both pros and cons of the program.

Online personal training has grown tremendously over the last few years and is becoming the future of personal training. While face-to-face personal training will not go away, it is beneficial to understand what resources are available for personal trainers looking to start or grow their online training business.

The Online Trainers Academy is one resource with study materials and a certification option for personal trainers. It’s also vital to have the right gym management software to help grow and manage your fitness business.

Exercise.com has gym management software designed for personal trainers to grow and manage any fitness business. Get a free demo today.

What is the Online Trainer Academy?

The Online Trainer Academy (OTA) is part of the PTDC, which stands for personal trainer development center. It was developed in 2011 by Jonathan Goodman and serves as an online resource for personal trainers and other fitness professionals. The OTA is one of the components of the PTDC along with the Online Trainer Coaching program.

The Online Trainers Academy is a workshop and certification program for online personal trainers. The OTA is designed to be self-taught and self-paced and there is no deadline on taking the certification exam after signing up.

Cost of the OTA: How much does the Online Trainer Academy cost?

The OTA program costs $799 or $87 a month for 12 months, which totals $1,044. This price includes the modules, certification exam, an online textbook called The Fundamentals of Online Training, a study plan, video lessons, business templates, access to a private Facebook group, and social media templates.

You also receive access to the OTA Success Center, which has free workout and training images as well as many solutions to common personal training questions.

You can get a free preview of the online textbook on the OTA website. The initial cost includes one exam attempt. If you do not pass the certification exam the first time, you must pay $50 for each exam retake.

Components of the Online Trainer Academy (OTA)

The OTA program has four modules to complete before accessing the certification exam. You must make a 70% or above on the exam to earn the OTA-1 certification. After passing the OTA Level 1 certification, you will receive a digital certificate or you can purchase a physical copy of your certificate.

The four modules are:

  • Module 1 is called Mindset and includes information about setting up your unique business name, social media, and your vision.
  • Module 2 is Business Structure and has details on client onboarding, client support, and productivity tips.
  • Module 3 is for Client Care and includes information on client motivation, assessments, referrals, and client relationships.
  • Module 4 is all about Marketing and has details about getting more clients and upselling.
  • Bonus Module is on Level Up Your Skills touches on pricing, advertising, and social media.

OTA-2 Certification

There is also an Online Trainer’s Academy Level 2 certification but it is highly selective and the pricing is not listed online. You must apply online, complete two interviews, and then receive study materials before you can take the certification exam.

This program is designed to last eight weeks and includes books, study materials, one-on-one coaching calls, and weekly group coaching calls. This program is designed for online trainers already making a minimum of $1,000 a month and want to scale up their business.

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Online Trainer Academy Reviews

Online Trainer Academy reviews note some strengths and weaknesses of the program and certification. The main downside of the OTA certification is that it is not accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The top personal training certifications are accredited and include ACSM, ACE, NASM, ISSA, or NSCA. There are many certification options available, so you need to find out which personal trainer certification is best for your goals, knowledge, experience, and education.

For personal trainers that are already certified by ACE, AFAA, NASM, or NESTA, you can receive CEUs/CECs for completing the OTA program. However, if you do not already have a certified personal trainer credential, the OTA certification will not give you the basic information about fitness, exercise programming, exercise prescription, assessments, exercise physiology, and human anatomy/physiology that you need.

Another downside of the OTA is that the program is overwhelming. There is a textbook, video lessons, four modules, four mini-modules, templates, a study guide, and thousands of articles available on the PTDC website. That’s a lot of material to read through, especially if you are new to personal training.

Next, the OTA is an expensive program coming in at a minimum of $799 if you pay for the course and certification in full. It is even more expensive if you want to divide the cost into twelve monthly payments.

Another downside is that this program is set to run at your own pace. This is great if you are self-motivated, but can be a major downside if you need a set schedule for reading, studying, and taking the exam.

Finally, the Online Trainers Academy focuses solely on online training. If you want to work with clients face-to-face, you may not get the education you need. While there are many similarities between online and face-to-face personal training, there are also differences.

In summary, the OTA program and certification can be a good option for personal trainers who want to start or expand their online training options. This program can provide CEUs or CECs for certified personal trainers, but it is costly. It would be advised to obtain an accredited personal trainer certification before completing the OTA program.

Another important consideration for personal trainers is having optimal gym management software to help manage their fitness business. If you are looking for workout software built for personal trainers, Exercise.com has what you need to give your clients the best online training experience. Get your free demo today.

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