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Top 5 Best Personal Trainer Certification Programs in 2020

Marshay Clarke
Jun 10, 2020 7:15:28 PM

If you love staying active and would enjoy a career helping others obtain their fitness goals, becoming a personal fitness trainer is for you. After all, it's fun, energizing, motivating, and if you are business savvy you can really make a lot of dough. Becoming an expert in personal training is more than just knowing how to pump iron and cardio exercises. At ClickEasy, our community of personal trainers uses our service to market themselves. But, before you jump in, one thing you should obtain is your personal trainer certification.


While deciding that personal training is the perfect career for you may have been easy, navigating through the sea of personal trainer certification online programs can be overwhelming. The truth is there are hundreds of fitness certifying programs, but only a few of them can really help you build a rock-hard foundation for you to build your personal training business. Today, we are going to share some of the best personal trainer certification programs in 2020.


What to Look For When Shopping For the Best Personal Trainer Certification Program


As we mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of personal trainer courses to choose from. And while there are definitely some front runners it is important that you select a program that suits your needs. We can’t really say there is one online personal training course that is the absolute best, as each one offers some features that may resonate with you.


Some important things to keep in mind while shopping for the best personal trainer certification course are accreditation, cost, required time investment, exam information, Continuing Education Credits (CECs), and earning potential.


Here is a closer look at some of the best personal fitness trainer certifications that are available today.


Top 5 Personal Trainer Certification Programs


The following programs have established themselves as leaders in the fitness trainer certification business.


NASM - National Academy Of Sports Medicine


This is one of the best personal trainer certification available in 2020. Now in their 30th year, the National Academy of Sports Medicine has been world-renowned for the superiority of their personal fitness trainers and the scientific rigor of their program.

What Are The Benefits of Getting Certified by NASM?

The National Academy of Sports Medicine is unique in that it takes a scientific approach to fitness training. Below are some of the advantages of this program.

  • Sign up, complete the course and take the test in the comfort of your home
  • Multiple courses including a part-time personal trainer
  • Nutrition training
  • Continuing education courses
  • Re-certification
  • Guaranteed employment within 90 days or your money back
  • Accredited by National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)
  • NASM earning potential - $41,000

The NASM Personal trainer courses were developed using a patented Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT™) model, a program based on scientific, evidence-based research. Completing these courses will elevate your skills and capability to help your clients surpass ordinary expectations while also improving your job opportunities. If you want to become a personal trainer this is a wonderful course.


ACE - American Council on Exercise


The American Council on Exercise is one of the most known personal trainer agencies in the industry. Matter of fact, a personal training certification by ACE is considered one of the top certifications by every employer.

  • Sign up, complete the course and take the test in the comfort of your home
  • Multiple courses including a part-time personal trainer
  • Cost $599 - $1299 depending on the course chosen
  • Obtain knowledge of anatomy and physiology
  • Injury prevention and first aid training
  • Business strategies and legal guidelines training
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Accredited by National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)
  • Earning potential - $42,000

ISSA - International Sports Sciences Association


The International Sports Sciences Association is unique as it is an “international” certification that has trained over 200,000 personal trainers in 91 countries. The ISSA is considered a general certification that has a minor.

  • Internationally recognized
  • Self-guided study
  • Free professional website
  • Free business guide
  • Cost $499 - $999 depending on the course chosen
  • An open book test
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • DEAC Accreditation
  • Earning potential - $46,000

ACSM - The American College of Sports Medicine


ACSM was founded in 1954 by several doctors and educators who were concerned with American’s love for cigarettes and lack of exercise. Since then ACSM has certified over 45,000 personal trainers, making it one of the most recognized and trusted organizations in the business.


This is a great program that teaches you how to create an effective fitness program that is based on your clients’ medical history, health, and fitness goals.If you desire to work in the healthcare field, this could be the right program for you.

  • Leading pioneers in exercise science
  • Test takers report the exam is tough
  • Demands a much more in-depth knowledge of human body functions
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Accredited by National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)
  • Earning potential - $40,000

NSCA - National Strength and Conditioning Association


If you are a lover of sports and want to get into a career to work with athletes this program is for you. The NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) is considered by many to be the premier leader in performance-based training.


Hands down, this is the top personal trainer certificate that you can obtain if you desire to work with athletes that are trying to reach peak performance. You can expect an intense emphasis on power output, speed, and agility training.


The NSCA will help you obtain a career to work with, train, and prepare student-athletes for college sports or drive a marathoner to achieve their next personal record.

  • It is the leading certification used by colleges and universities
  • Offers live clinics for hands-on experience
  • Affordable costs
  • Requires re-certification every 3 years
  • Accredited by National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)
  • Earning potential - $41,000

Becoming a personal trainer is a very rewarding career, but it won’t come easy. It is not just about exercising and pumping iron. You will have to commit to investing your time in learning anatomy, nutrition, CPR, first-aid training, and more. Do your research to choose the program that is right for you, and jump in.


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