Fitness Certification Advice for Aspiring Personal Trainers
If you are seeking a career as a personal trainer, the certification that you hold may be a major factor in your ability to land your dream job. However, if you have started looking at all the various personal training certifications available, you may not know where to begin as there are so many to choose from.To help you work through the major considerations of selecting the best personal trainer certification for you, we have identified five major criteria that you may want to research before selecting the one you want to invest your time, and money, in.
These five criteria include:
1. NCCA Accreditation: The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCAA) is the main certifying body in which the most prominent agencies are accredited. There are other certifying agencies, but they are not held in the same regard as the NCAA.
2. Price: In addition to the cost of the certification exam, you’ll also have to purchase study materials.
3. Number of Test Questions: Generally considered a minor factor, but the amount of questions is important to those who may be poor test takers.
4. CEU Requirements: Continuing Education Units are required for you to maintain your personal trainer certification. You’ll want to consider the amount and cost.
5. Average Income: The money question. How much, on average, do trainers with specific certifications make compared to others?
Now that you are familiar with some key criteria, let’s look at some advice of how these factors may influence your decision to go with specific certifications bodies over others.
You can consider an NCCA Accreditation to be something of the gold seal of approval for a certification body. This means that if you choose to get a personal trainer certification that has been approved by the NCCA, you are likely to be able to get a job anywhere.
For example, bigger brand name gyms, a place where many trainers get their start, will generally accept your personal trainer certification if it is NCCA-approved. You’ll still want to ask the potential gym (or workplace) what certs they accept, but if your cert is NCCA-approved, you are more likely to able to get your foot in the door.
Your initial concern may be the price of a specific personal trainer certification. Thus, you should consider not just the cost of the exam but all the study materials.
This will include, but is not limited to, the cost of the book. Often, certification bodies will sell other educational materials – study guides, test exams, audio books, etc. – that you may want to invest in as well.
Number of Test Questions
Most personal trainer certification exams have around 120 to 150 questions. These are all multiple choice. If you are a poor test taker, or take a long time to test, you may want to factor in the amount of questions as well as the allotted time for the test.
With the exception of one provider, all exams are closed-book.
This is probably the most overlooked factor in choosing a certification. Most aspiring trainers only consider the upfront costs of the exam, neglecting the cost of maintenance.
Before you select a certification based purely on upfront costs, consider:
· The CEU requirements
· How often you need to recertify
· How much it will cost to recertify
Using a site like PayScale.com, you can get an idea of how much you might make with a full-time position as a personal trainer. While a lot of certification bodies don’t publish this type of information, these third-party sites can help you get an idea of what you might make.
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