Aspiring Personal Trainers: What’s the Best Personal Trainer Certification?

So, you’re excited about a potential career in personal training?

You’re attracted to a flexible schedule, helping interesting people reach their personal and fitness goals each day, and making a living doing something you love.

Here’s the catch. There are literally dozens of personal trainer certifications out there so which one do you choose?

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Below, we’ve provided an infographic to help you choose which certification body is right for you. We’ve dissected the main factors many people consider as well as some factors that you may not have considered.Here’s a brief summary of what you’ll learn:

  • NCCA Accreditation: The employers you are seeking may have specific requirements for certifications. This is important to know before you apply for a job as you don’t want to spend the time and effort getting a certification only to be told you need a different one.
  • Price: Obviously, you’ll want to know how much your certification will set you back. This outlines the cost of the test as well as cheapest study package.
  • Pass Rate: The pass rate is an indication of how easy an exam will be.
  • Expected Study Time: Most certification bodies will give you an idea of how much time is allotted from the day you purchase their study materials until the day you must take the exam.
  • Number of Test Questions: All these exams are multiple choice, so don’t worry about having to do essay-type responses like you did in college or high school.
  • CEU Requirements: All certification bodies require their trainers to take continuing education. Some more than others. This is important because it will set the tone for how much time, and money, you’ll have to put in to maintain your certification.
  • Average Income: The average income varies as much as $6,000 per year from the highest certification body (NASM) to the lowest (NCSF). This is a major factor if you want to be associated with a certification that makes a bit more coin.
  • Retake Fee: All the certification bodies will charge you to retake the exam should you fail. NSCA charges upwards of $200 more than the next closest body.

Rigor Fitness Best Personal Trainer Certification Pick

There really is no best personal trainer certification as this is a purely subjective decision. However, knowing, for example, that you have a limited budget may sway you towards a certification that has cheaper upfront costs.

Additionally, the CEU requirements may push you towards something a bit easier to maintain if you are doing training part time. Weigh your personal decisions and then talk to some other trainers to help make a final decision.

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