How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer:
Start Your Personal Training Career

Interested in becoming a personal trainer?

Good for you!

It’s one of the most exciting and satisfying careers you can have.

A good first step is earning a personal training certification. And NASM is the right certification company to choose. After all, we’ve been the top choice with fitness pros around the world for more than 30 years, with over 500,000 enrollments and counting. Plus, employers agree that NASM Certified Personal Trainers (NASM-CPTS) are better prepared to actively start their fitness career.

Interested in becoming a personal trainer? Good for you! It’s one of the most exciting and satisfying careers you can have.

A good first step is earning a personal training certification. And NASM is the right certification company to choose. After all, we’ve been the top choice with fitness pros around the world for more than 30 years, with over 500,000 enrollments and counting1. Plus, employers agree that NASM Certified Personal Trainers (NASM CPTs) are better prepared to actively start their fitness career.2

In 10 to 12 weeks you could be an NASM Certified Personal Trainer— setting your own hours and enjoying the job security of working in an industry that’s expected to grow by 10% through 2026.3

Make sure you’re eligible.
To be eligible for the NASM Personal Trainer Certification Exam, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Have a high school degree or GED
  • Hold a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
  • Hold an automated external defibrillator (AED) certification.

No CPR and AED certifications?
No problem.
You just need to get them at some
point before your personal trainer certification exam. Try your local Red Cross.

Research your options

You’ll find many options for certifications, but only a handful are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), a nationally recognized third-party agency that helps to ensure certification companies are working at the highest standards.

Choose a Certified Personal Training Program

If you decide on NASM – and we hope you do – there are many CPT packages to choose from. There are no wrong decisions – all will help prepare you for a career in personal training and the NASM-CPT exam!

Make sure you’re eligible.

To be eligible for the NASM Personal Trainer Certification Exam, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Have a high school degree or GED
  • Hold a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
  • Hold an automated external defibrillator (AED) certification.

No CPR and AED certifications? No problem. You just need to get them at some point before your personal trainer certification exam. Try your local Red Cross.

Research your options

You’ll find many options for certifications, but only a handful are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), a nationally recognized third-party agency that helps to ensure certification companies are working at the highest standards.

Choose a Certified Personal Training Program

If you decide on NASM – and we hope you do – there are many CPT packages to choose from. There are no wrong decisions – all will help prepare you for a career in personal training and the NASM-CPT exam!

NASM’s exclusive Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT™) model

NASM’s Personal Trainer program is developed with NASM’s exclusive Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT™) model, an industry-first comprehensive training system based on scientific, evidence-based research, making it easier to design fitness programs to help clients achieve their goals.

Additionally, NASM’s Personal Trainer program is developed with NASM’s exclusive Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT™) model, an industry-first comprehensive training system based on scientific, evidence-based research, making it easier to design fitness programs to help clients achieve their goals.

We’ve Got The Perfect Program For You

NASM offers 4 CPT programs to select from based on your learning style and level of desired preparation. Compare NASM-CPT programs.

The ultimate in flexibility, as it will allow you to learn at your pace, and study when you want with no set schedules.

LEARN MORE

Provides the flexibility of the Self-Study Program and valuable premium content. Plus, comes with a job guarantee!

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Offers all the resources of the Premium Self-Study Program accompanied by 1:1 coaching and a mentor who will be your guide, answering questions and offering assistance. Plus, comes with a job guarantee!

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Offers premium study resources with guided support. You’ll receive onsite, hands-on experience with the NASM Gymternship. Plus, comes with a job guarantee!*

LEARN MORE

Our comprehensive programs and dedicated support team will empower you with all the tools you need to become a Certified Personal Trainer. Offered in a variety of formats, the NASM-CPT programs, from Guided-Study to All-Inclusive, can help you successfully prepare for the exam, and can be completed in as few as 10 weeks.

NASM helps to make you exam-ready through such methods as video lectures, application-based modules, and practice exams. You’ll also receive exceptional support as part of the Guided Study and All-Inclusive programs, including coaches, content mentors and interactive learning activities.

Once you successfully pass your exam you will be an NASM Certified Personal Trainer—ready to embark on a rewarding fitness career!

Gym? Health club? Boutique studio? Self-employed? After you pass your exam, you’ll find there are many employment options. You’ll have to decide which best suits your lifestyle. NASM has resources to help you land your first gig, including our job board featuring the latest openings.

Whether you get certified as a personal trainer through NASM or another company, you have to renew that certification every couple of years. And in order to recertify, you’re required to maintain your current CPR and AED certifications, as well as earn 1.9 CEUs, or Continuing Education Units. You can earn CEUs through several NASM programs and specializations.

Each time you recertify, there’s a fee. However, NASM offers a one-time Recertify For Life fee of $329. So you never have to pay those recertification fees again. Recertify For Life comes with lots of amazing extras too. If you’re fully committed to fitness, it’s an amazing deal! Recertify for Life is included in the NASM-CPT All Inclusive program. Learn more about it here.

Expand your skillset even further with an NASM Specialization. Specializations are a fantastic way to broaden your clientele, thereby increasing your employment opportunities.

As part of the All Inclusive program, NASM guarantees you’ll find a job within 90 days of your CPT certification, or your money back.4 Learn more.

Whatever you decide to do, whichever path you take, NASM will be with you every step of the way!

We hope you found this guide helpful. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to NASM’s Customer Service today.

Want to see what it’s all about?

Want to see what it’s all about?

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  1. Since 2005 across all programs and specializations.
  2. Results of study conducted by MarketLab, a third-party researcher, in May-June 2016, sampling U.S.-based Club Managers.
  3. IBISWorld, Personal Trainers in the U.S. – Industry Market Research Report, 2019.
  4. Learn more about the job guarantee