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    Top Online Personal Trainer Certifications and Courses

    Welcome to the ultimate guide to online personal trainer certifications/courses in 2020. I will discuss:

    • The top 5 online PT certs
    • The top 4 online PT courses
    • The differences between the two

    Being certified by all of these certifications, I will help you decide which one is right for you.

    Make sure to take the quiz to get a good idea of which certification is right for you.

    Let’s dive right in!

    Online Personal Trainer Certification

    Post Content

      Online personal trainer certifications are what is required to be a credentialed trainer for employment (both online and in-person). In these certifications you will learn about exercise science, client assessments, how to program routines Etc.

      Online Personal trainer courses teach you how to become a successful online personal trainer, but they do not provide the knowledge of training like personal training certifications do.

      Let’s take a look at the top 5 online personal training certifications.

      1. NASM (National Academy Of Sports Medicine)

      NASM

      Do you know why NASM has become a top contender among personal trainer certifications?

      I’ll unravel what makes them tick below.

      Save big on the NASM certification here.

      Before we get started, I have three important things to tell you:

      1. I have free study guides and practice tests for most of the PT certifications talked about in this article.
      2. Trainer Academy has fantastic study materials and they offer an exam pass guarantee.
      3. My Running Start course is 100% free and will guide you A to Z to starting your PT career.

      In the world of personal training, only a handful of certifying agencies give the same level of familiarity and reputability as NASM.

      When asking what personal trainer certification is most respected, NASM is far from an uncommon answer.

      Certification information

      NASM is one of the top dogs so to speak, and for good reasons.

      Reasons which we will introduce to you so you can decide if this is the way your career is headed.

      NASM is an NCCA accredited online personal training certification program started in 1987 with an emphasis on corrective exercise.

      Its reputation as a certifying agency increases daily thanks to its unique Optimum Performance Training model.

      NASM CPT enjoys wide acceptance and popularity in the United States by employers.

      Over 500,000 personal trainers have received their certification from this great body owing to the prestige attached to it.

      NASM offers 4 varieties of the program to fit into the goals of everyone interested.

      Whether you want to choose the self-study program, the premium self-study program, the guided study program, or the all-inclusive program, I assure you the body has you in mind when they were crafting their programs.

      Cost and Study Materials

      Here are the current prices and my discounted price. Readers of my site can use my personal discount code PTP25 to save 25% on all NASM CPT certifications.

      • $699 $524 (25% off) – Self-study package
      • $1099 $824 (25% off) – Premium self-study package
      • $1499 $1024(25% off) – Guided self-study package
      • $2199 $1649 (25% off) – All-inclusive package
      • Check the current NASM prices here

      The resources you will receive in your study pack will depend on the program you have chosen. Generally, this includes the following:

      • A digital textbook of 20 chapters and 720 pages
      • Video lectures
      • A wide variety of exercises and cueing library which contains everything suitable for your clients
      • Practice exams and quizzes which helps to test retention of knowledge level
      • An official study guide for monitoring progress while studying the textbook
      • Anatomy memorization and learning activities to make it easy to understand the anatomy section of the textbook and other sections
      • Use of webinars to prep for exams and to explain difficult concepts
      • Students have access to a coach and mentor to guide them
      • You get to receive a hard copy of the textbook which is great for people who love to read from printed copies
      • To cap it off is the CPT development program which is an 80-hour practice time working with real clients
      • Introduction to the NASM business accelerator program which teaches the business angle of personal training

      I also have my own free NASM study guide and practice test here.

      For premium study materials and ticket your study time in half, check out the NASM study materials from Trainer Academy.

      Exam information and Recertification

      Once you’ve settled on your preferred package, it’s time to get busy and prepare for the exam.

      NASM offers a reasonable amount of challenge when it comes to exam difficulty. Not too hard, but certainly not too easy.

      While originally administered through various select physical testing centers, the exam has become 100% online-based.

      Consisting of 120 multiple choice questions, you will be shooting for success against a 64% pass rate.

      The NASM final test is online and proctored via webcam so that you have the structure of a real-world exam experience in the controlled safety of your own preferred environment.

      Remember, though, you must go along with a proof of identification and CPR/AED certification.

      Accreditation

      NASM is accredited by the NCCA, being one of the most popular certifications with this seal of approval.

      Pros:

      • Assurance of a job offer after training
      • It has a rich training module
      • The customer service is top-notch
      • The exam is conducted online

      Cons:

      • It has very limited international reach

      Final Thoughts

      NASM has a great reputation, and this reputation certainly matches its value as a useful and practical way to equip yourself with the necessary tools to be an awesome fitness instructor.

      We rate NASM as the best all-round option for any fledgling trainer who wants to learn and certify online.

      The support and applicability of its training principles make it a great fit for trainers and their prospective clients.

      Be sure to check to price regularly as the listed package prices often get discounted.

      Check out NASM for a special PTP discount here.

      2. AFAA(Athletics and Fitness Association of America)

      AFAA

      In this section, I’ll be unveiling how AFAA has been a leading force in functional mobility and movement-based training for over 35 years.

      Certification Information

      Founded over 35 years ago, AFAA has taken a path less trodden by other certifying agencies.

      The emphasis they place on their scope of focus is to instill a sense of enjoyment through the training and programming their certified trainers to prescribe.

      Because of this AFAA are a leading force in functional mobility and movement-based training, creating a platform for both trainers and clients to enjoy their respective sides of the fitness journey.

      The AFAA institution is actually a subsidiary under the same umbrella as NASM.

      While different, it shares many resources and traits with NASM, albeit as a more rudimentary introduction to health and fitness prescription.

      Cost and Study Materials

      The study materials you get with AFAA kick off with the exam-only option which costs $199.

      You can also grab the  AFAA study guide of their official site.

      The official course text “Fitness Training,” costs $69 as a stand-alone purchase. 

      Other prep materials include the assessment DVD and practice exam which each cost $20

      Overall, you should expect to be set back about $600 for the complete study materials suite as well as the workshop.

      Exam information and recertification

      As an outlier, AFAA’s exam comprises a practical component as opposed to the regular multiple-choice format you will see with the other exams in this list.

      The only other cert to have had such a variegated structure was ISSA, which has since adopted the typical multiple-choice only format.

      This is what gives AFAA its 120 multiple choice and 20 research/case study questions format.

      You have 120 minutes to complete the test. To pass, you must score at least 70%.

      Accreditation

      AFAA is another NCCA accredited certification, albeit one of the lesser-known ones.

      Pros:

      • Great workshop
      • NCCA accredited
      • Delivered online

      Cons:

      • Not the most accurate study materials for the test
      • Not very well known by employers

      Final Thoughts

      AFAA is definitely adequate from an educational perspective. It’s very moderate in terms of its field of focus, which allows you to gain a firm grasp of the fundamentals of fitness.

      What AFAA isn’t is a very popular cert. It’s just not in the same league as the big fish such as ISSA, NASM and ACE, but at the end of the day, it’s NCCA accredited and allows you to certify completely online.

      That still sounds like a great deal.

      3. ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association)

      ISSA

      Here, you’ll get to understand why ISSA is a leading international certification.

      Check out the ISSA cert here for a special PTP discount.

      Many traditionally administered certifications have made the jump to an online format, but ISSA has been leading the charge as the ruling online personal trainer certification.

      Because of this, ISSA has been a global name in fitness education, making it a highly recommended personal trainer certification. Let’s have a look at what that actually means.

      Certification Information

      So ISSA stands for International Sports Sciences Association, and as the name entails, it is one of the truly international certifying agencies out of the top tier certs.

      It positions itself this way and has successfully branched across the world through its online-only approach.

      Unlike other US-based certifications, ISSA has a massive international contingent, making it the most popular of all the big certs we currently have on offer.

      ISSA leans significantly into the fundamentals of fitness and nutrition, not only the science and coaching application, but also the business of nutrition.

      This business-minded approach is what sets ISSA apart from many other certs.

      ISSA is very accessible not just in its online-international approach, but also in how it administered its exams as well as its value for money, making it one of the most cost-effective certs you could hope for.

      Cost and study materials

      ISSA has a very straight forward, value-added package when it comes to their CPT course.

      No crazy tiers to choose from, just go with the standard CPT package that comes bundled with the Sports Nutritionist course free of charge!

      That will set you back $799, but be sure to check for discounts.

      The materials you’ll find include:

      I also have my own free ISSA study guide and practice test here.

      For premium study materials and ticket your study time in half, check out the ISSA study materials from Trainer Academy.

      Exclusive PTP Offers


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      The Top PT Software
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      Exam information and recertification

      If there is one thing ISSA is known for, it’s having the most passable exam in the game.

      With a pass rate of 90%, it got the highest ratio of qualifying trainers.

      This is mainly due to the open book nature of the exam.

      Many would argue that this makes the exam too easy and limits the amount of necessary challenge required to incentivize candidates to apply the knowledge.

      It also has many people questioning the quality of ISSA certified trainers if almost everyone manages to pass.

      But if you really look at it, ISSA’s testing model is designed to teach and not to challenge. You can only pass by going through the motions of learning and applying the principles and concepts you will be introduced to.

      Recertification occurs every two years from initial certification.

      You will of course be required to produce CEU credits as well as a $75 recertification fee. A whole lot cheaper than most of the other certs out there.

      Accreditation

      Because of its online/distance learning structure, ISSA is accredited by DEAC, an accrediting body that is the gold standard for distance learning institutions.

      Recently, in 2020 ISSA gained their NCCA accreditation!

      This is great since the NCCA is the most authoritative and trusted accrediting body out there.

      Pros:

      • You can take the test at any time, any place, completely online
      • It is an international and national personal training certification, which is widely accepted
      • It has a good pass rate
      • It offers a wide range of training
      • Flexible payment plans
      • Excellent instructional videos
      • NCCA Accredited

      Cons:

      • Open book, self-paced exam may leady to a lower entry barrier and quality of certified trainers in some instances

      Final Thoughts

      The ISSA certification comes highly recommended by everyone that has done the course.

      It has more than enough study materials that are focused on imparting practical skills so you can become a great trainer.

      Like others who have passed the ISSA certification, I also strongly recommend it given that, among other things, it continues to support you after training with a free website to promote your services.

      Check out the ISSA website here to learn more.

      Check out ISSA here for a special PTP discount.

      4. ACE (American Council On Exercise)

      ACE

      Come along, let’s talk about the benefits of being a certified personal trainer with ACE.

      Check out the ace website here for a special PTP discount.

      This is one of the online personal training certification programs that are NCCA certified.

      It allows you the benefit of a general fitness certification which would, in turn, enable you to work with people that have weight issues.

      Certification Information

      ACE stands for American Council on Exercise and is one of the leading organizations when it comes to delivering knowledge and research in the field of health and fitness instruction.

      ACE has a global reputation, with a robust international network of certified trainers and affiliated organizations.

      This certifying agency has a history spanning all the way back to 1985 making it two years older than NASM.

      This similar timeline has seen ACE develop a top-tier reputation that gives its trainers the same degree of leverage and access as NASM when it comes to job opportunities and business development options.

      As far as ACE’s field of focus, we would place it as a generalized certification, one that encompasses just the fundamentals of all important pillars of health and fitness.

      This makes ACE a very broad spectrum training system, and one without a unique focus.

      This isn’t to say ACE has an inadequate approach, rather than its approach is adequate for most people.

      It can be described as a “one size fits all” approach to health and fitness prescription through its own integrated fitness training model.

      The impact of ACE with respect to online administered personal trainer certifications shouldn’t be ignored, so far, it has certified over 85,000 health and fitness professionals.

      ACE has two personal trainers’ programs. 

      Cost and Study Materials 

      ACE CPT is priced based on 3 study package tiers. Basic, which goes for $599, Plus, which goes for $799 and Advantage, which goes for $1299. Check the current price of the ACE certification here.

      The differences, as you’d expect, lie in the study materials included in each. Let’s take a look:

      Basic

      • ACE Academy Elite 
      • ACE Answers 
      • ACE Certification Exam
      • 1 Practice Test
      • ACE Personal Trainer Manual
      • ACE Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals
      • ACE Study Companion

      Plus

      • ACE Academy Elite 
      • ACE Answers 
      • ACE Certification Exam
      • 2 Practice Tests
      • ACE Personal Trainer Manual
      • ACE Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals
      • ACE Study Companion
      • ACE Applied Exercise Science Workbook
      • Getting Started Video

      Advantage

      • ACE Academy Elite 
      • ACE Answers 
      • ACE Certification Exam
      • 2 Practice Tests
      • ACE Personal Trainer Manual
      • ACE Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals
      • ACE Study Companion
      • ACE Applied Exercise Science Workbook
      • Getting Started Video

      I have a free ACE study guide in practice test here. For premium ACE study materials, check out trainer Academy here.

      Exam information and recertification

      The ACE exam is as straightforward as they come. It is administered online with live remote proctoring.

      It consists of 150 questions that span the various study topics.

      You will need to score 500 points in order to pass, and with a pass rate of 65%, your chances are great, but still pose an adequate level of challenge.

      As with most certifications, you will also need to recertify every couple of years.

      In the case of ACE, that means retaking the exam every two years as the cost of recertification along with 2 continuing education units (CEUs).

      The recertification fee is $129.

      Accreditation

      ACE is accredited by the NCCA, making it one of the gold standard certs you can get.

      Pros:

      • It helps to understand all aspects of personal training
      • It is designed to be flexible so as to meet the needs of individuals

      Cons:

      • The exam is conducted at a brick and mortar computer-based-testing center
      • ACE is generally accepted because of the easy pace of the program which makes it easy to understand.

      Final Thoughts

      ACE is a solid grounding when it comes to all-round knowledge resources for health and fitness.

      It helps you deal with the average man, woman, and child, and is a good direction if your career goal is just to promote health consciousness and good lifestyle habits.

      One major attraction to ACE for candidates is its discounts and special offers which serve as a motivating factor.

      It also maintains its certified trainers by giving them current information via its monthly fitness publication which they receive in a digital format.

      Check out ACE here for a special PTP discount.

      5. NCSF (National Council on Strength and Fitness)

      NCSF

      Below I’ll be sharing insights on why NCSF might be a better option if you love the academic approach to fitness.

      National Council on Strength and Fitness is a reputable certifying agency and has been around since 1996.

      It is widely accepted and is known for its deep academic approach to health and fitness, peering into the effective use of program design.

      Certification Information

      The NCSF CPT certification has the standard requirements you’d expect from most other general PT certs.

      You’ll need to be at least 18 years old.

      Cost and Study Materials

      The NCSF CPT cert is available in 5 tiers based on material included.

      The first one is just the exam($299), which will leave you to your devices as far as prep is concerned.

      This one is only advisable if you already have a strong background in fitness science principles.

      If you’re just starting out, we advise you to go for one of the other two complete packages.

      The first is the Home Study Course ($688).

      This one includes the following:

      • Digital textbook
      • Lesson notes
      • Online practice tests
      • Q&A
      • Review quizzes
      • Support and a one-year membership
      • Video lectures

      The next package is the Home Study Plus ($757.95). This includes all that you get in the Home Study package, plus a hard copy of the textbook.

      Next, we have the Workshop + exam package ($728). This one is great for getting a practical feel of the course material which helps you prepare for real-world personal training.

      Last we have the Workshop-Plus package ($797). This includes everything you’ll get in the Home-study Plus package as well as workshop access.

      Exam Information and Recertification

      With no solid data on pass rates, we can say based on anecdotal accounts that the NCSF CPT exam is relatively easy in comparison to other certs in this list.

      The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions spread across the different principles you’ll encounter through your studies and prep.

      The emphasis will be on the prescription of health and fitness, so learning how to collect data and process it into comprehensive, results-driven programs is your strategy.

      Recertification occurs every 2 years at the cost of 20 hours of CEUs as well as a recertification fee.

      Pros:

      • NCCA accredited
      • They offer lots of practical experience
      • NCSF is well known and accepted in the fitness industry

      Cons:

      • A considerably barebones textbook
      • Lacking in program design

      Final Thoughts

      NCSF is a solid introduction to the principles of health and fitness science. Even though it isn’t quite as recognized as the other big cats, it holds up pretty well and is priced attractively in comparison.

      The Best Online Personal Trainer Courses

      Best four online PT courses

      Unlike online personal training certifications, personal training courses teach you how to become a financially successful online personal trainer.

      You will not learn about exercise science and routine programming here. These are not accredited certifications that are necessary for employment.

      Out of the many out there, this lot stand out.

      Now that you have taken the quiz to see which personal trainer certification is right, for you to gain your trainer credentials, let’s talk about the best online pt courses so that you can have success with training clients online.

      For this, I’ve picked 4 of the best, let’s check them out.

      PTDC Online Trainer Certification

      PTDC online trainer

      First off, let’s dig in to see why PTDC is one of the most popular Personal Training online courses in the industry.

      Check out the online trainer academy here for a special PTP discount .

      PTDC or Personal Trainer Development Center is a vast platform dedicated to the furtherance of good quality health and fitness prescription on the foundation of success-driven entrepreneurship.

      Founded by fitness business icon, Jonathan Goodman, the company provides one of the industry’s leading educational experiences for online trainers, a market segment that is rapidly taking over the way fitness is sold and administered.

      Certification Information

      The PTDC Certified Online Trainer Course is administered by the company’s online trainer academy or OTA.

      It focuses more on the fundamentals of running a fitness business online rather than the science and application of programming and health and fitness prescription.

      That’s because it’s done under the assumption that you will have gained enough experience and general credentials to understand health and fitness concepts and are now rounding off your skillset with some business acumen.

      Cost and Study Materials

      The PTDC COTC is available in two packages, priced according to what comes included with regards to study materials.

      The cheapest option is the Essentials package which costs $799. Check the current price here.

      It comes with:

      • 1k Extra Success Guarantee 
      • CEC Approval Guarantee 
      • Certification Exam
      • Digital Graduation Certificate 
      • Digital Textbook 
      • Facebook Group Support 
      • Legal Forms and Sales Scripts 
      • OTA Answers
      • OTA Success Center 

      Next up is the Advantage package, which costs $217 and  includes:

      • INCLUDES ALL ESSENTIALS FEATURES
      • 12-Months Personal Breakthrough Coaching
      • Facebook Ads Minicourse ($199 Value)
      • Free Worldwide Shipping
      • Instagram Mastery Minicourse ($199 value)
      • Physical Graduation Certificate 
      • Physical Textbook
      • Unlimited Founding Client Challenge Access 
      • Website Design Minicourse ($199 value)

      Exam Information 

      The assessment process of the Certified Online Trainer Course doesn’t have you writing one big final exam.

      Instead, you will do a worksheet assignment at the end of each chapter.

      According to PTDC OTA, the assessment process goes as follows:

      • Step 1. Read a chapter in the textbook (each chapter takes 20-40 mins).
      • Step 2. Watch a corresponding video in the online portal (5-7 mins).
      • Step 3. Complete a worksheet assignment (10-15 mins).
      • Step 4. Reach out to a mentor to break through any barriers or answer any questions.

      The aim of this certification is to progressively equip you with the skills to run a successful online PT business. You are actually encouraged to apply what you learn as you learn it.

      Pros:

      • Provides practical insight into the step-by-step implementation of an online fitness business
      • Easy to digest and apply as you learn course material
      • Administered completely online and self-paced for maximum convenience

      Cons:

      • Does not provide you with any formal qualification, is simply an online course
      • Does not teach any principles of health and fitness science or prescription, purely a business course

      Final Thoughts

      The PTDC OTA Certified Online Trainer Course is a great knowledge resource that grants you insight into one of the most lucrative segments of the fitness industry, online coaching.

      However, it is not a qualifying credential, it’s not a prerequisite for any employment opportunity I can think of. It’s simply an information product that gives you technical knowledge of the online business.

      Check out the OTA here for a special PTP discount.

      Online Trainers Federation

      Online Trainer Federation

      Did you know that the fastest way to scale up your personal training career is by continuous learning.

      Read on to learn where you can do this optimally.

      Certification Information

      Founded by Canadian fitness icon, Dave Smith, OTF took two passions, online business, and fitness, and merged them into one resource base for fitness entrepreneurs who had already cut their teeth in the real world of coaching.

      OTF is aimed at the established fitness pro wishing to scale up its business to meet the ever-growing demands and opportunities of the online segment.

      Cost and Study Materials

      OTF is a coaching program and not a certification. Based on their website, you will undergo a series of live coaching sessions and seminars where you will be required to document and of course, apply what you’ve managed to learn.

      The course comes with two options.

      • The basic OC 101, is $199.
      • Elite which is $300 – $600 per month.

      Pros:

      • Hands-on learning and practical skills-based coach
      • You gain knowledge directly from fitness pros through live workshops

      Cons:

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      • You will need to prepare and organize your time. Not self-paced
      • Not an accredited qualification

      Final Thoughts

      OTF is a great way to scale up your real-world, in-person work towards the burgeoning segment of online training through live learning.

      For those who prefer sitting down and digesting course material and going through it in a self-paced manner, this one might not be your best option.

      PT Distinction University

      PT Distinction University

      This section talks about how PT Distinction does not only give you fitness education but also provide client management tools.

      Certification Information

      PT Distinction is well known for providing one of the online fitness industry’s greatest client management tools.

      I have a full review that you can check out here.

      Added to that, they also have a full educational platform aimed at helping you achieve success with your online fitness business.

      Cost and Study Materials

      There are various courses on PTD University, all of which teach you how to manage a valuable aspect of online coaching.

      They are as follows:

      • Foundations of Online Training: $515, which is a bundle of all other individual courses
      • Getting Started As An Online Personal Trainer: $195
      • Online Success using the Super System: $130
      • Sales and Marketing For The Online Trainer: $195
      • Webinars From The Industries Greatest Minds and Leaders: 150

      Bear in mind that these prices are actually conversions since the original listings are in British pounds sterling.

      The material itself comes in a great variety. You will gain access to:

      • Video lectures
      • Surveys
      • PDF Downloads
      • Course Text
      • Multimedia Content
      • Assessment Quizzes

      Exam Information

      PT Distinction University’s various courses include 3 quizzes which you will complete as part of your assessment.

      Other than that, there doesn’t seem to be any big final exam to prepare for.

      Pros:

      • Very well structured course material with a variety of study content
      • Offers a comprehensive insight into many important aspects of online training
      • Integrates with the well respected PT Distinction personal trainer software

      Cons:

      • Not accredited as is the case with most online trainer courses

      TribeFit

      Tribefit

      Are you interested in learning how to combine health and fitness services with great business skills?

      Stay tuned to learn more.

      Certification Information

      Founded in 2018, TribeFit is another entrepreneurial platform that takes fitness and scales it up for an online business application.

      In recognizing that most certifying institutions teach trainers to be great fitness experts but not great business owners, the emphasis is on merging the two concepts of health and fitness service with great business skills.

      One of the key concepts TribeFit works on helping you achieve is the perfection of your sales funnel.

      This places a stronger emphasis on marketing and sales strategy than the other courses in this category.

      Cost and Study Materials

      TribeFit is a coaching program, which means you will receive hands-on training from an assigned expert $3,500.

      It doesn’t require any prep material as the assessment is in real-time it would seem.

      Pros:

      • Hands-on approach coaching program
      • Helps you perfect your sales funnel and marketing skills
      • Highly regarded and well-reviewed

      Cons:

      • The most expensive option of the four
      • Non accredited.

      Final Thoughts

      TribeFit is great if you want to learn through a live coaching program and have access to knowledge resources that you can apply in real-time.

      But at $3500 for the entire program, it’s certainly one to think long and hard about before making the jump.

      And with that said, let’s dive right into it!

      Beware of Online Scams – We’ve Got You Covered Here!

      Where there is an opportunity, there will be opportunists.

      Those who are prepared to capitalize on a trend or lucrative market with little or no regard for providing authentic value.

      That’s a fancy way of saying there are tons of scammers out there, and in the world of online fitness certification and coaching, you won’t find a shortage.

      But how do you weed out the scammers from the legit certs and courses?

      One word. Accreditation!

      Accreditation is a seal of approval from a national body of organizations and experts that dictate the standards of quality and research in the fitness world. 

      In the US, we have two major accrediting bodies. These are DEAC and NCCA, which I’ll get into in more detail.

      There are other smaller ones here and there, which are legit but hold little leverage in terms of industry recognition as compared to DEAC.

      THE IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATION

      Below are the seven key reasons why certification is a really BIG DEAL!

      1. The essence of having a certification in a profession is to shield the public and to also ensure that the certified individual has met the required qualification for professional and ethical standards.
      2. Passing the credentialing examinations for your profession shows you have indeed studied and met the standard of practice.
      3. It also depicts an allegiance to the profession and devotion to keep updating your knowledge to uphold them.
      4. Nowadays, employers want their employees to possess the right certifications to show a level of competence, further boosting the company’s business profile.
      5. Possessing a valid national certification is proof of a wide and profound understanding of the profession.
      6. You also need these accredited personal training certifications to boost your earning potentials and advance your career at any time.
      7. Lastly, you also get to be ahead of your peers in terms of current knowledge in your field considering the continuous educational requirements needed for recertification.

      The online personal trainer certified programs we are focusing on got their accreditation from the two most recognized accreditation agencies.

      And as mentioned, it is this accreditation that actually lends credibility and confers legitimacy on the CPT certifications issued by these bodies.

      The agencies are:

      NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies).

      DEAC (Distance Education Accrediting Commission).

      Be that as it may, the direction you choose to take your career should be considered before deciding on an online personal training certification program that is accredited by any of the above-named bodies.

      5 Best Online Personal Trainer Certifications FAQ

      Why do you need a personal trainer certification?

      The need to be seen as an expert in the profession has made it necessary to acquire a certification from agencies that are nationally accredited, renowned, and recognized by employers, and would also give you a competitive advantage always.

      Which is the best personal trainer certification?

      It really depends on what you were looking for in a personal training certification. All five options on this list are fantastic choices.

      Are the best personal trainer certification NCCA and DEAC accredited?

      The best online personal trainer certified programs focused on having their accreditation from either of the two most recognized accreditation agencies. All certifications on this list have their NCCA accreditation.

      How much does personal trainer certification cost?

      • ISSA study-guide led certification costs $799.
      • NCSF’s certification program costs $688.
      • NASM has different packages such as $1649, $1024, $824, $524.
      • ACE Plus and Basic program cost $499 and $399 respectively with a discount of $100.
      • AFAA personal trainer certification costs $499.

      Are they all 100% online certification?

      Yes, all of the certifications on this list or 100% online.

      Do they all have personal trainer study materials and PT online quizzes?

      The 5 certifying bodies have study materials that are based on the packages you pay for during registration. The online quizzes and practice tests are available to prepare you for the final exams.

      However, PT Trainer Academy has study materials from each certifying body to give you a 99% pass rate.

      How much is a personal trainer salary for each program?

      • The average salary for an ISSA certified personal trainer is $46,000
      • The average salary for an NSCF certified personal trainer is $35,061
      • The average salary for a NASM certified personal trainer is $41,000
      • The average salary for an ACE certified personal trainer is $42,000
      • The average salary for an AFAA certified personal trainer is unknown.

      However, they are subject to the years of experience and state you reside in, it might be lower or higher. Conduct your own research!

      What is the average personal training certification pass rate for each?

      The average pass rate for each certification are:

      • ISSA (90%)
      • NCSF (79.15%)
      • AFAA (62%)
      • ACE (65%)
      • NASM (64%)

      How long does each personal trainer certification last?

      Each Personal Trainer body requires you to renew your certification every 2 years with a renewal fee, updated CPR/AED certification, and completion of 20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for safety and health reasons.

      How hard are the best online personal training certification exams?

      The exams form each certifying body are not difficult if you study the course contents, watch the videos, attempt the online quizzes and practice question, and also make out time for webinars and workshops.

      Do they all offer after training support?

      Yes, they do! Due to the competitive nature of the business world, each certifying body ensures it stays in touch with the students during and after the certification program though access to their professors, top-notch customer care services, websites, and even sending of emails on development and business tips in the personal training industry.

      Can these CPT certifications qualify you for continuous credits?

      Absolutely! These CPT certifications qualify you for continuous credits as long as you meet the needed criteria.

      Conclusion

      Conclusion on Online Personal Trainer Certifications

      That’s all you need to know to obtain an Online Personal Trainer Certification.

      It is a splendid opportunity to maximize during this season where most activities are being done online.

      The PT certs that you can do online are proving that technology wins, and you can get the same, if not a better quality education through online distance learning.

      The courses that also teach you to be an online coach are great too, and I would suggest as essential if you seriously want to take your online coaching to the next level.

      That’s because the certifications are what you need to know your craft, the online training courses are what you need to learn to turn that craft into a business.

      In this day and age, you really can’t have one without the other.

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      9 thoughts on “5 Best Online Personal Trainer Certifications in 2020 – Our #1 is”

        1. Hey Chris,
          What personal training certification are you trying to get. In terms of getting CPR and AED certified, I recommend going through the American heart Association as they have fantastic in person CPR and AED classes all around the United States.

      1. ACSM can also be included on here then if you’re including ones that don’t do online exams. PearsonVue has many more testing locations than PSI Prometric etc and ACSM is more highly regarded than ISSA, ACE, and most others other than NSCA or NASM.

        1. Thats true, but ACSM does not have a guided online course instruction. Also they do not have support for their students who enroll in their program once they are certified. It is the reason why a lot of ACSM personal trainers leave the industry after 6 months.

          1. I definitely agree with all of this Chad. The overall study materials from the American Council on Sports Medicine are pretty poor compared to their competitors especially in the last decade.

      2. Hi. You didn’t mention accreditation with some of your descriptions.

        You are nasm certified but Issa is the most popular u state. I want the certification with he most recognition. ?

        1. I would say that the certification that holds the most recognition is still NASM. That does not mean that the other certifications are not legitimate or well-recognized though.

      3. Hello,

        Is the American Sports & Fitness Association legit. I went on their website and took the test and passed it with flying colours. It was weird how they permitted me to take the test first then have me pay once I passed it. I’m Canadian and have a few other certs and don’t plan on working at a big box gym. I just want a PT cert in order to get a good rep. and to start my own business. I’m planning on starting a Speed & Agility business and my other certs are specific to this. But, everyone keeps telling me that I need a PT cert to when I don’t want to be a PT, but to work specifically as a coach in speed and agility. If I paid for this ASFA PT Cert. will I then lose credibility? I ask this, because, half the stuff I read says its decent and half the other stuff I read says its a rip off.
        Thank you,

        Anonymous

        By the way, love your site!!!

        1. Honestly I have never heard of the American Sports & Fitness Association I have never done a review about it on my website. I would definitely look into that and make sure to contact the gymnasiums in your area to see if they accept that certification or not. That would be your best bet. I hope you did not get ripped off.

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