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What’s the Cost of a Personal Trainer Certification? Full Breakdown & Money-Saving Tips

Aaron Tian
Mar 20, 2020 12:26:18 PM

Getting a Personal Trainer certification can be a huge boost to your fitness career. But how much will it cost you? We break it down here.




How much does it cost to get certified as a personal trainer? Programs vary in price and quality. Choosing the right one for your budget, goals and career can be tough. But the right certification can separate you from tons of competing trainers in your area (so can a marketing tool like ClickEasy).


Personal training is a growing field. The job outlook is expected to grow 13% by 2028 in the US, which is a lot faster than average. Soon there will soon be tens of thousands of new personal trainers to compete with.


So if you’re serious about taking your fitness business to the next level, read through this official ClickEasy guide for some super helpful guidance on personal trainer certification costs and comparisons.


What is a Personal Trainer Certification?


Certifications are proof that you’re a pro-grade trainer. Personal trainer certifications are offered by a variety of professional fitness organizations. They usually include a combination of fitness-related study materials and wrap up with exams to test your new knowledge.


Some even include additional resources, like internships, business programs, tax advice, etc.


Why do you need a certification?


Since personal training is an unregulated industry (unlike being a doctor or lawyer), it’s up to you to manage your own skills. Not only will a certification put you above other trainers in your area, it will take your sessions to the next level.


Certification programs teach you invaluable skills, from CPR and injury prevention to a unique set of workouts and styles. Even if you’re already experienced, taking a set of classes dedicated to your profession will help you improve.


So how much does it cost, and what do I get?


Every program is a little different, so let’s break it down:


Among the 12 most popular certification programs, prices range from $99 to $799 in total. Each certificate includes different perks and limitations. You will want to pick whichever programs best matches your priorities. But if you’re still on the fence, we will list our recommendations at the bottom:


From least to most expensive:


  1. ACTION - $99
  2. NFPT - $249
  3. Fitness Mentors - $399
  4. NESTA - $477
  5. NCCPT - $478
  6. NCSF - $499
  7. AFAA - $499
  8. ISSA - $499
  9. ACSM - $521
  10. ACE - $599
  11. NSCA - $713
  12. NASM - $799


And here’s a more in-depth breakdown of what you get, per program:


Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 11.41.31 AM


The ClickEasy recommendation:


Our #1 pick for best Personal Trainer Certification goes to NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). Yes it’s the most expensive, but that’s for good reason.


The NASM certification is the most recognizable name on this list. Not only is it popular among trainers and employers, but its model really works in helping clients build well-rounded, healthy fitness programs. They offer the largest amount of study materials by far, from textbooks to video webinars and expert coach advice. No matter what type of learner you are, there’s something for you in the NASM program.


For those on a budget:


If $799 is too much for you, our second pick is the ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association). The ISSA personal trainer certification offers lots of flexible online classes and is internationally recognized. It’s about $300 cheaper than the NASM on it’s basic plan, and offers tons of excellent learning experience.


Though there’s no exact figure on it, some estimate that the average PT salary for ISSA certified trainers is about $46,000. That’s an amazing return on your $499 investment.




If you take your PT career seriously, a certification is a must-have. As more and more trainers enter the fray, you need every advantage you can get to win over new clients.


If you’re a personal trainer looking to grow your business, be sure to try ClickEasy. ClickEasy is a platform that helps you build beautiful custom websites, blogs, social media plans and email newsletters. We have tons of templates and options built just for personal trainers and fitness pros, no experience required.


We hope this article was helpful, and wish you the best of luck in your certifications!


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