What is the first step for personal training certification? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What is the first step for personal training certification?

Taking the first step to becoming a certified personal trainer requires a CPR certification, first aid certification, and learning the safe use of use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Learning how to become a certified personal trainer in easy steps starts here.

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: May 14, 2021

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Get the Basics...

  • The first step to getting certified as a personal trainer is obtaining your certification in CPR, first aid, and, to be safe, in the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
  • Many schools will not allow you to enroll until you have these certifications.
  • The next thing that you will want to do is ensure that the certifying body you are considering obtaining your certification from is nationally accredited.

Surprisingly, the first step to getting certified as a personal trainer isn’t finding a school but is actually getting your certification in CPR, first aid, and, to be safe, in the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).

After that, you can start looking for certification programs! Click here to learn which personal training certification programs are the best or how to become a personal trainer for free (including how to get certified for free).

The reason that you need to take these courses first is that many schools will not allow you to enroll until you have them.

Even if you can enroll in classes without these certifications, you cannot take the personal training certification exam if you aren’t certified in these other areas.

Once you’re certified, check out our platform for online personal training. Did you know that you can start selling workout plans and training online right away? Contact us today for more information!

How Should I Choose a School for My Personal Training Certification?

The first thing that you will want to do is ensure that the certifying body you are considering obtaining your certification from is nationally accredited. An NCCA accreditation is your safest bet, but there are a couple of others out there as well.

If you aren’t sure if the accreditation is nationally recognized, check it out. All you have to do is enter the accreditation in your favorite search engine and go to their home page. You should be able to tell if they are accredited pretty quickly. In fact, any nationally accredited program is going to announce that they are in big bold letters!

The next thing that you will need to consider is the school’s location. If you live in Tampa, Florida, for example, and the nearest course for the school you are considering is in Kissimmee, Florida, then you might want to consider other options.

There are some schools, such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine, that have their main offices in Mesa, Arizona, but offer courses all over the country. You just need to check their website regularly to see where the next scheduled courses will be.

Do I Need to Go to School to Get My Personal Training Certification?

The answer here is no. This surprises many people, but the truth is you can sit for an exam at any accredited facility. All you need is a high school diploma and the first aid certifications we mentioned above.

However, without any formal training, it is unlikely that you will be able to pass the required exam for certification. This is because the certification test is going to have a wide range of questions based on different aspects of personal training.

For example, you may have considerable knowledge about the type of equipment used for personal fitness; however, do you know how to address a health screening? What about testing a client for their fitness level? This is just a small part of the information that you need to have before you can pass the test.

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Can I Get a Personal Training Certification From a College?

When you attend a college, you are working towards a degree, not a certification.

You can, however, successfully pass the certification test if you are going to college for degrees in areas such as:

  • Exercise Science
  • Health and Fitness Management
  • Health Fitness Specialist
  • Physical Fitness
  • Sports Medicine & Fitness Technology
  • Massage and Physical Fitness
  • Health and Exercise Science

There are plenty of other degreed programs that will prepare you for a personal training certification as well.

Some colleges will even allow you to take the certification test as part of your education, which can save you a step in the process.

The benefit of going to college to become a personal trainer is that you will be viewed as an expert in your field.

Does a Degreed Personal Trainer Make More Than Someone With Just a Certification?

There is no simple answer to this question. The reason for this is a personal trainer with 10+ years of experience will probably make more than a personal trainer that just graduated from college.

Over time, a degreed personal trainer has the potential to make far more money because they should have more diverse education and the ability to work with more specialized groups, such as people with special needs, kids, pregnant women, and so on.

Whether this has value is really up to you, but in either case, you need to get educated so that you can work with your clients safely.

Once you’re certified, contact us for a demo of our All-In-One Fitness Business Management Software so that you can organize your clients and training business in an effective and organized way and get started generating revenue.

Learn more about Exercise.com Fitness Business Management Software.

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