You have a passion for fitness, and you want to do something in this field professionally. Your goal is to become a personal trainer, but you have to keep in mind that being fit and being physically active are not the only requirements for being successful on this career path.
If you want to do well in your chosen career, you have to ensure you strengthen yourself with the necessary skills and qualifications. In this particular case, if you want to become a professional personal trainer and if you want to find a good employer, you must have a certificate from an accredited institution.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) offers a high-quality Certified Personal Training program to improve your personal training skills and open lucrative career opportunities. NASM courses are based on scientific, evidence-based research and will ensure you acquire the necessary expertise to provide the best services to your clients.
The NASM Certification is a comprehensive program because it is designed to increase your knowledge and ensure that the trainers who successfully complete the course meet the standards of qualification. Keep in mind that the effort is worth it because the NASM certification is one of the most well-recognized and prestigious certifications in this particular field.
In order to qualify to even sit for the NASM exam, you must be at least 18 years of age and have completed high school or a GED. The NASM also recommends that interested candidates have a CPR/AED certificate from recognized organizations such as the American Heart Association, American Safety and Health Institute, American Red Cross, to name a few.
If you want to become a certified personal trainer, you must pass NASM’s personal trainer certification exam. Before COVID-19, this exam could only be given in-person. However, due to social distancing measures, NASM has offered candidates the opportunity to take the NASM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam online through a remote proctor.
In order to take the exam, you can register online and choose from four different CPT programs. Candidates who purchase a package have access to 1 or more practice exams during the duration of their enrollment period. You can access the practice exam through your NASM student portal. You can also use the CPT Study guide for helpful exam study tips.
The NASM certification program is a 10-week course followed by a two-hour NASM exam. The exam has 120 test questions. Twenty of these questions are research questions but do not count towards your final score. Candidates must achieve a score of 70 or more to successfully pass the NASM-CPT exam.
NASM offers four CPT programs to choose from. These include:
• NASM-CPT Self-Study Program offers you the flexibility to learn at your own pace and study when you want. There are no fixed schedules as long as you complete all modules and pass the exam.
• NASM-CPT Premium Self-Study Program gives you access to premium content and also comes with a job guarantee.
• NASM-CPT Guided-Study Program offers one-on-one coaching and a mentor.
• NASM-CPT All-Inclusive Program gives you the opportunity of a Gymternship as well as the ability to recertify for life.
All packages vary in price depending on the services their offer, but the average price is $799 for the self-study package and $2698 for the all-inclusive package. However, these courses are often available at a discount, so it might be a good idea to keep an eye out for any potential bundle offerings. You can also use the option of interest-free payment plans in case you cannot pay the entire fee upfront.
Once you have successfully passed the NASM-CPT exam and now possess a NASM Personal Trainer Certification, you will have access to many opportunities in this particular field. Some possible options include:
• Finding Employment at a Gym
If you’ve just cleared the exam and are looking to gain some experience, the best place to start would be a gym. When you work for a gym, you are guaranteed clients, and you can also benefit from the guidance and experience of other trainers at the gym.
You can also develop greater understanding and skill with respect to the different equipment that is typically available at a gym. The pay may be less in the beginning but remember, you are going to gain experience and hone your skills so that you can increase your value in the long-run.
• Find Private Clients
This is also a good path to take once you have your NASM Certification. You can set your own hours, determine if you want to train your clients at home, online, or in your own commercial rental space. You don’t have to share your fees with anyone either.
However, in order to establish a reputation to be able to generate demand for your services, you will need to build your network. Working at a gym can do that for you initially, and you can then move on to doing both or establishing your own client-base.
• Conduct Group Fitness Classes
This is also a feasible option where you can teach group exercise classes as a personal trainer.
• Provide Services for Corporate Wellness
This is a rapidly growing market as more businesses realize the importance of staff wellbeing and health. You could either approach them personally once you have solid experience and a good reputation, or you can offer corporate wellness classes through the gym or fitness center that employs your services.
Overall, this is a high-growth and stable career path. If you have an interest in personal fitness and have the necessary qualification and skills, you can make a successful living in this field.