NPTI Review 2023 - The Value of NPTI Certification

Hi and welcome to PTPioneer and the ultimate review of the NPTI and their CPT study program(s)!

Within this article, I will be going over:

The Essential Personal Training Information Coverage of the NPTI CPT cert
The Certification Exam Information
Comparisons With Other Top Organizations

After reading this NPTI review, you will know if this is the perfect PT training certification to suit your career needs.

If you want to see if this is the right certification for you, make sure to take the PTPioneer quiz to find out which is best for your future career!

Let’s dive into this certification!

NPTI Review - NPTI Cost vs Value, Is NPTI worth it?

Quick Breakdown: NPTI CPT General Info

6out of 10

Exercise Science Foundations6
Behavioral Coaching6
Client Health Screening5
Movement Screening5
Resistance Training6
Special Population Training6
Aerobic Fitness Training8

  • Certification and Diploma programs offered
  • Use of hands-on programs tops other online certifications
  • Partnered with NASM
  • More similar to a college course instead of a certification program (could be a con for some)
  • Confusing online layout
  • Lesser-known name in the fitness industry
  • Pricey when compared to other certifications
  • Not NCCA accredited, which is the gold standard in exercise
  • Actual information about the certifications is hard to find without contacting them and actually buying the certification

NPTI General Information

NPTI General Information


  • Study program cost: $795 – $7,000+ (location and program dependent)
  • Prerequisites: High School Diploma, CPR/AED certification, 18 years of age
  • Exam passing score: 70%
  • Average completion time: 6 months

What is NPTI?

General Information on the NPTI

NPTI is a rather new personal training program in the fitness industry, and it sets itself apart from the competition in what it offers. 

The acronym stands for National Personal Trainer Institute, and it is a newer organization when it comes to personal training schools.

This is different from the personal training certifications that most organizations offer.

For a more comprehensive breakdown on the top CPT organizations, take a look at my article on the best personal training certifications.

The objective of NPTI is to provide more hands-on experience to ensure that personal trainers can do the job to the best of their ability and make sure they are optimally prepared with experience from actual professionals teaching new trainers. 

This can be an excellent way to look into the career options for personal training as a new learner.

The outlook of personal training careers is constantly growing, and there is a place for all types of certifications in the industry.

While they do offer a more hands-on approach to learning, they also offer online personal training, which would be a more standard offer for certification and becoming a virtual fitness coach.

The courses offered from NPTI seem more like a college course than certification for personal training. It changes the more normal way we think of how to become a personal trainer.

These programs also offer a more standard and followed answer to the question: how long does it take to become a personal trainer?

This is especially true for their personal training NPTI diploma, which will have the pricing of a college course. The personal training salary promises will be in-line with the typical views of certifications.

But, I will mainly focus on the CPT certification they offer while touching on some of the other programs. 

Keep in mind that NPTI is partnered with another top brand in the fitness industry, NASM. NASM is a highly regarded force within the industry, and that partnership carries some weight with employers. 

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A key feature of all of the programs with NPTI is that your learning experience will always be accompanied by a fitness professional. That can be very valuable, as some other programs cannot give future trainers hands-on experience. 

Experience is something that sets personal trainer salaries apart, and this means it can be quite a beneficial addition to the standard program to have hands-on experience from a well-versed trainer.

On top of these certifications and programs that NPTI offers, they are also a great force in the continuing education realm.

Many people use their classes to recertify in other organizations, so it is something to keep in mind there, too. There will be many options from them in regards to continuing education classes.

Some of the CEU courses from the national personal training institute will be very similar to specializations in other organizations.

Now, let’s look individually at the CPT certification and the diploma courses.

NPTI Programs, Details and Costs

NPTI Curriculum

Here I will be breaking down the three main packages that are offered through NPTI.

Keep in mind that the NPTI personal training institute prices are very dependent on the city that someone is going for their certification in.

These will give you a good idea of what they cost in a city like Nashville, TN, which I used.

NPTI CPT Certification

The NPTI Certified Personal Trainer certification comes in at $795, which is pretty high for a CPT certification without the brand recognition of the top companies. 

The course is expected to take 100 hours, which is pretty hefty sounding but rather normal for any certification course when all things are considered.

Let’s break down why this is, and where the value is in this course. 

Included in your purchase of $795 will be a hands-on course that involves the application of real-world scenarios, a CPT certification exam, free final retake on the exam, business tips and education, and live instructors for pretty much all activities.

They also offer various audio guides and many supported languages, which is very helpful for the diverse groups of people who wish to become trainers. 

The breakdown of the online study materials has over ten sections made up of 61 lessons and 19 quizzes spread throughout to guarantee you continuously understand the new information.

The CPT certification is done online, although they hardly mention it on their website, so it is good to know that going in.

They emphasize their hands-on experience but never really nail down talking about their certifications in detail.

This layout is a little more unusual than other certs, as they are generally in a textbook layout, even in the online portals. So, this certification does feel like a fully online college course instead of certification programs in the fitness industry. 

So, if someone were looking for a personal training certification online with some hands-on experience and working with experienced trainers, this would be the ideal setup for them.

NPTI Level II Integration

This Level 2 certification prides itself on expanding on the CPT certification while giving you the same hands-on level of experience offered by their master training program.

The program here is going to come in at a high price of $1918.

Again, this is another 100-hour course offered through NPTI. The difference here is the amount of hands-on training experience you get when participating. 

Outside of the hands-on experience, there are 11 lessons and four quizzes that take around seven weeks to complete. The lessons are more advanced than what is within the lowest-priced CPT certifications

So, the price for this PT certification may be at an absolute premium level. Still, it is because you are getting an invaluable amount of experience from trained professionals in a gym setting. You can’t enter a job any more prepared than that. 

This certification would be a great addition after you have completed the first CPT program and for anyone who feels the need for more hands-on experience. But, it is a very pricey offering. 

It’s hard to put a value on hands-on experience, as this depends on the trainer you are paired up with, but it is good for making a successful fitness trainer. 

NPTI Master Training Diploma Program

This last program is one of the most expensive ones in the fitness industry, and it basically is a college program you are signing up for. 

This program is a 500-hour program packed full of lessons and hands-on experience. 

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It would be best if you looked for the pricing options for your specific NPTI branch near you. But, to give an idea of the price, you should take Nashville, for example. 

In the Nashville NPTI branch, it is going to cost you $6,900 for the master training program. 

This is without a doubt far and above what other certifications charge for their programs, but this is because it is a college course you are taking. 

There are 500 – 600 hours of knowledge and experience to get while you are in this program, and it is truly only meant for the future professionals who have quite a bit of money to spend or someone who wants the most hands-on experience possible. 

Again, this is hard to assess the value, as it entirely depends on the person you do your hands-on experience with. 

I have heard from trainers who found it well worth their while, and I have heard from some who were a little let down with the teaching. This is what happens when these NPTI courses rely more on hands-on experience and outside teachers.

When you complete the 500-hour master training program, you will receive a diploma of completion, which is possibly better than a certification.

That wraps up the information regarding the three programs offered by NPTI. Going further, I will just be discussing the online study portal/e-learning course materials. 

NPTI CPT Content Coverage

NPTI Review [year] - The Value of NPTI Certification 4

The content is not the best in the business, and that is because so much of the focus is on providing internships for future trainers to experience and learn from other trainers. 

There is a specific type of learner they are targeting with their certifications due to this emphasis. You must remember how well programming and other concepts are taught when hands-on.

Regardless, let’s dive in and see what they have provided with these certification programs from NPTI. 

Let’s look at the breakdown of the sections in the online study system:

  • Section 1: Introduction
  • Section 2: Avoiding Comfortably Uncomfortable
  • Section 3: Culture Is King
  • Section 4: Establish Control and Understand Your Money
  • Section 5: Section Conclusion
  • Section 6: Health and Wellness Introduction
  • Section 7: Foundation – Introduction
  • Section 8: The Human Movement System
  • Section 9: Kinesiology
  • Section 10: Biomechanics
  • Section 11: Program Design
  • Section 12: Foundations Conclusion
  • Section 13: Sleep/Recovery and Stress Coping
  • Section 14: Nutrition/Diet and Activity
  • Section 15: Detoxification and Communication
  • Section 16: The Rubric
  • Section 17: Business Integration
  • Section 18: CPT Conclusion

The entire certification begins with a few weeks worth of business and client relations discussion, which is unusual for a certification program, but perhaps because the hands-on experience will come into play at a later time. 

There are many lessons in behavioral coaching and client screening, be it health screening or movement screening. 

So when it comes to an NPTI trained employee and anything on the domains of screening and teaching business fundamentals, I can guarantee the information is there and taught well early on in the program. 

It is not until nearly halfway through the text that the trainer begins entering into exercise science with the human movement system information. 

Each lesson is devoted to a particular aspect of its section, and the quizzes at the end will allow you to see if you are fully grasping the materials. 

The foundations of exercise science and the basics for the essential program design fundamentals are all throughout this halfway point of the online platform. 

The hands-on experience will come into play starting here, and this is where it would become challenging for us to give a solid score. The hands-on experience is going to depend on the person you have and are training under. 

NPTI Review [year] - The Value of NPTI Certification 5

But, as far as the information provided, there is a lot of the basic sciences from any certification program you find out there. 

The online learning portal then wraps up the study materials with some sections on the creation of exercise programs, as well as how to bring all of that information into your own personal training business. 

I believe that this program gives all of the required materials to become a good personal trainer. Still, the hands-on experience on which the NPTI primarily relies will vary depending on where you to your internship and hours. 

None of the categories that I rate study materials on will stand out as the best in the industry with this NPTI CPT certification, but they do not miss out on any of them. 

NPTI Nutrition

NPTI Review [year] - The Value of NPTI Certification 6

NPTI has a good amount of info on nutrition, and specifically coaching for behavior change and nutrition.

Their online program does nutrition fundamentals well, even if they aren’t one of the bigger names in fitness.

This nutrition focus comes within the basic sciences sections. It is basic but covers all of the foundational aspects that would then be expanded on in a nutrition specialization.

There isn’t a huge focus on the personal trainer scope of practice, as some other CPT certs thoroughly establish.

So, is NPTI worth it?

As I mentioned, this is a certification with specific types of people in mind.

It will be for someone who wishes to do an expensive college-like course with the diploma program, or it will be a trainer who would like to prioritize the use of hands-on experience. 

For those two styles of trainer and learner, this should be their top fitness certification.

I would recommend going with a bigger name certification for anyone else, as this will likely land you more credibility with employers. 

This may not be the best personal trainer certification, but it is still of great value to certain learners.

NPTI Certification Exam(s)

The NPTI CPT certification is different from other programs, as I have touched on a bit. 

The exams for this cert are going to have multiple stages. You will have some mid-term tests, final exams, and practical exams to go through. 

The exams are done within facilities throughout the nation, and some are found outside of the US in select places. 

The final exam, where most of the examination focus should be, will come in at 150 total questions, and this should be completed in 3 hours.

PTPioneer Review Methodology

This PTpioneer NPTI CPT review is based on an expert opinion and these criteria:

  • Gathered opinions of successful personal trainers within the fitness industry
  • Comparisons between other top personal training certifications to verify quality and pricing
  • The usual information coming from new trainers that have passed the NCSF certification exam
  • Many other CPT certs and entry-level fitness programs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


NPTI may not have the best certification on the market to suit everyone’s needs, but it still has a strong focus on learning from doing the tasks and working with NPTI graduates and other fitness professionals.

I would not recommend this certification before the bigger names like NASM or ACE, but it is still a solid certification with some room to stand on its own.

I rate this certification as a 6/10. It will teach you everything you need to know, but it will not go past the basics. I can’t fully grade how hands-on experience will go, as this will be different from person to person. Make sure to keep that in mind.

I hope you enjoyed our NPTI certification review. Make sure to check PTPioneer for more reviews like this, and also take the quiz to find the perfect personal trainer education experience for yourself. I also offer study guides on PTPioneer to utilize for free.

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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11 thoughts on “NPTI Review 2023 – The Value of NPTI Certification”

  1. PTPioneer User

    I did not have a very good experience with NPTI (Portland). The hands-on portion was not very hands on. It consisted of 6 training sessions during the first half and another 7 training sessions during the second half, and one group training session. So you could put an exercise session together, but not really progress anybody or have any qualitative evidence that you could help someone lose weight, gain muscle, etc.

  2. PTPioneer User

    Went with my son yesterday to NTPI in Philadelphia.The price is $6599.Try to figure out if it’s worth it. Yes you get 500 hours.Saw another course at University of Dr for $1800 for 120 hrs.I also a few that have all online courses. I feel it’s a better training if you do work hands on as opposed to strickley online. Any opinions?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Tony,
      Hands-on experience is definitely an important part of being a personal trainer. In terms of the overall material that you will learn, a lot of them are very similar. There are a lot of freeways to get hands-on training for example working with friends and family while practicing the book knowledge that you have learned is a great way to do this. I know that iit is a fantastic program but the price point is incredibly steep in my opinion.

  3. PTPioneer User
    Reginald Best

    I have been into fitness since I was in little league, however, I got serious about all aspects of health and fitness after power lifting and leading up to my first natural bodybuilding competition. I am no stranger to the gym and NPTI has already given me more knowledge than anything I have ever done. This school is the real deal and it has only been two weeks. NPTI gives you what you need to succeed, but it’s up to the person to succeed like everything else in life.

  4. PTPioneer User

    My name is D.Jack an my time at NPTI was worth it, at the time I had just buried my grandfather the very next week I was attending NPTI, now I’m a graduate, and currently preparing for training camp overseas playing basketball. MR. Dave and Ms. Jocelyn alongside other colleagues are the best staff ever, their knowledge and experience gave me the initiative to finish school. They’re the best trainers/professors I’ve had, very courageous and motivating.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Donovan,
      I’m glad to hear that you had such a positive experience with NPTI. They have great curriculum and are very hands-on overall which I love. I’m glad to hear that you are now a graduate and that super cool that you are playing basketball overseas. I’m sure that you will become a very competent and successful personal trainer Good luck and best wishes!

  5. PTPioneer User

    Hi my name is Reubina Carty and I did not have a good experience at my school in Pittsburgh PA. The hands on was great when I was attending school. But they did not help me find a job and I did not receive any of my final grades. I spoke with the President of the school and his response was we are not charity this is business. And the director never responded to my emails.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Reubina,
      I’m sorry to hear that you have had such a bad experience with NPTI. That seem super strange that you were not able to get your final grades from their institution. It seems like bad business practice in general and overall I have heard some bad stories about personal trainers going through their program besides you.

  6. PTPioneer User

    I am an instructor as well as a former student at the New Jersey location. NPTI runs a little different, depending on the school district as well as the owner. We in particular have partnership with NASM and our students get the NASM curriculum and text book. We also provide outside tuition cost, NASM certified KB classes and strap classes to NPTI students and outside professionals. We have have partnerships with local gyms, corporate or private owned. UFC gym, lifetime, equinox, la fitness, quest fitness, blink fitness etc, all request our graduates. We’ve developed a network to supply gyms with our trainers, some being bumped up to hire tiers upon being hired. Many of our students also open gyms within a year of graduating as well. Many of our students also find jobs prior to graduation.

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