What does it take to become a Personal Trainer?

What Certifications are required for Personal Trainers?

Is Personal Training licensed? How do I become a licensed Personal Trainer?

What CPT test should I choose?


If you have been researching how to become a Certified Personal Trainer, often known as “CPT”, you have likely realized that the fitness industry is confusing with a buffet of certifications and options.

All of this can be traced back to the fitness industry having little to no public or private regulation (yet). Anyone can technically call themselves a “Personal Trainer”. To put this into perspective: every cosmetologist needs at least 1000 educational hours, and are required to retain a state license to practice in Massachusetts. They may not practice as a cosmetologist without an active license. Personal Trainers are not required to obtain a license to practice in Massachusetts.

At this time, the most common credential to become a Personal Trainer is a Certification. A few examples of popular certifications are N.A.S.M and A.C.E. These certifications are available online in self-study form, and typically have a pass/fail test at the end. Certifications are materials and tests; they do not have hands-on or in-person learning requirements. Although these are well-known credentials, they are not necessarily the most desirable. With Personal Training being a hands-on occupation, employers and clients seek personal trainers with real experience and more than just a piece of paper.

So what do you do to get ahead in this industry? To get ahead, you do as much as you can to distinguish yourself. Anyone can purchase, study, and take a test. In fact, there are many people that already have. By joining a program like The American Academy of Personal Training, you are setting yourself apart from the rest. Upon graduation from AAPT you will have hands-on experience and a wealth of retained knowledge. Employers from gyms and studios prefer AAPT graduates based on the top level curriculum and extensive hands-on learning. You will feel comfortable and confident to begin taking clients. AAPT encourages students to practice and make all of the first mistakes here, so you are more than ready to go out into the real world as top level Personal Trainer right away.

You mentioned a few of the well-known Personal Training certifications. Will AAPT provide me with one of these?

American Academy of Personal Training is a Proud Academic Partner of both NASM as well as ACE.  AAPT will prepare you to sit for these exams as well as offer a discounted academic partner price to purchase them should you choose.

AAPT has raised the bar for all personal trainers. Learning concepts in the classroom then going out into their private gym and using these concepts with hands on training really helped me learn to be a great personal trainer. Their affiliation with NASM means Grads are educated and certified and will be in high demand in the quickly growing fitness industry.

Chris Connolly , 2012 AAPT Graduate