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Personal Trainer

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to become an NCSF certified personal trainer?

The NCSF requires you to be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and successfully pass the NCSF Certification Exam.

Do I need CPR/AED?

No, you do not need a valid CPR/AED certification to enroll in the program and take the certification exam. However, we highly recommend having current CPR/AED certification prior to working with clients. We do require CPR as part of recertification every two years.

How does the Home Study Course operate?

Our Home study course has become increasingly popular in both professional as well as university settings. Offering the convenience of self-paced learning, the NCSF Home Study Course covers all the same topics as both the Workshop course option and the Personal Training School course option in an easy to follow home-study course format.

Upon registration for the NCSF Home Study Course, each candidate is sent a course materials package consisting of the Course Textbook, access to the NCSF e-Learning platform and complete instructor support. As the candidate progresses through the lessons they build a knowledge base that is applied during the practice and performance of the outlined training activities.

Upon completion of all the readings and practical activities outlined in the course materials candidates should be well prepared to take the personal training exam.

What does the Home Study Course materials package consist of?

The course materials package consists of the Course Textbook, access to the NCSF e-Learning platform, one year professional membership and complete instructor support.

What does the certification exam cover?

The certification exam covers topics including exercise science, program design, nutrition, weight management, training instruction and special populations. You can view the specific exam content areas here:

How does the examination process work?

Once a candidate completes their course they should be adequately prepared to take and pass the NCSF Certified Personal Trainer Exam.

The examination is administered by appointment at over 1,000 test center locations operating in 83 countries as well as online. To take the exam, candidates must first register using either the online registration process or by calling 1-800-772-NCSF(6273). The exam is comprised of 150 questions and students need to earn a passing score to earn the NCSF Personal Trainer credential. For more information visit the Exam Policies and Procedures section of the website.

Taking the Exam Online (System Requirements)

To take the certification exam remotely you will need to ensure your computer meets the following system requirements:

What is the passing score for the certification exam?

You need a score of 70 or higher to pass the NCSF personal trainer certification exam.

How long does it take to become a certified personal trainer?

The time it takes to become a certified personal trainer depends on the student, with some students completing the program in 2-3 weeks and some using the full 6 months. Most students complete the course within 2-3 months. Total study time can be estimated at 80-120 hours.

What do I receive after I pass the NCSF Personal Trainer Exam?

Upon successful completion of the NCSF Personal Trainer Exam you will receive a complete certification package. Included in your package will be a certificate suitable for framing, which indicates that you have met the certification standards set forth by The National Council on Strength and Fitness Board for Certification and have earned the title of NCSF Certified Personal Trainer. You will also receive an accompanying wallet sized professional membership card signifying your certified status, and CEU information. This package will be forwarded to you within two weeks of passing the Personal Trainer Exam.

How often do I need to renew my certification?

The NCSF personal trainer certification is valid for two years. You must complete ten (10) NCSF CEUs prior to your expiration date in order to renew for another two years.

What jobs can you get as a certified personal trainer?

Certified personal trainers are qualified to work in gyms, fitness centers, client's homes, corporate wellness programs, colleges, and medical facilities. You can be self-employed as well.