Before deciding to get certified and pursue your career, or part time work, as a personal fitness trainer, here’s some things that we hope will help you to make your decision to make the next move into a professional service industry of fitness enthusiasts taking their passion to the next level!


Personal Trainer Scope of Practice

A personal trainer is a fitness professional who possess the knowledge, skills and abilities for safe and effective exercise, fitness program design, instruction and assistance for the purpose of reaching personal health and fitness goals. Understanding your scope of practice as a personal fitness trainer is key to continued success.

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Salary Infographic

Personal Trainer Salary Trends

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 24% continuous rate of growth between the years 2010 and 2020 for personal trainer and group instructors. The demand for personal training services is on the rise as mainstream media has made our industry a more popularized and more attainable service – you don’t have to be rich to have a personal trainer! Personal trainer salaries of course will vary based on many factors. For example, where you live will contribute to how much you are paid on the average for training services in your area.

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Health club staff

How to Become a Personal Trainer

There are many reasons why a fitness enthusiasts decides to become a personal trainer. A couple of those reasons will no doubt include good earning potential and job satisfaction. But after deciding that you want to be a personal trainer, then what? It starts with certification from a reputable source.

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personal trainer black shirt

Where Can You Work as a Personal Trainer?

So, where is the work? Gyms and private fitness studios are obvious answers. However, a recent survey of NFPT trainers revealed that the list of places to include in a search goes way beyond gyms and private fitness studios.

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After you’ve decide that it’s time to get certified, the next step is to decide on the cert organization that is right for you, and get certified! Most successful trainers have more than one certification, keep this in mind as you grow in your profession. Aspiring trainers start with NFPT certification because we’re well-rounded and fundamental, we show you the ropes and we help you to achieve the credential that you need to get started in this profession.

comparison chart

Know the Major Players: Compare Companies

NFPT is happy to provide you with a snapshot of the major certifiers in our industry and compare their costs and processes to our own. We did the research so you don’t have to. The organizations listed in our comparison chart offer accredited certification programs and demonstrate a range of credentialing levels, from entry level to clinically advanced certifiers.

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2014 NFPT Fitness Trainer Manual

NFPT Trainer Education

NFPT offers its own independently researched, fundamental education for goal-oriented training that ranges from weight loss to bodybuilding. For over 25 years, NFPT has been a leader in comprehensive fundamentals. In the words of NFPT’s Founder, Ron Clark, “you have to learn to add and subtract before you multiply and divide.” NFPT training methodologies, and our unique approaches to learning otherwise difficult concepts, will be refreshingly clear as you go through the education material. But note, NFPT education is optional, you can take the NFPT-CPT exam without reading the NFPT education (because maybe you have learned these concepts from other sources, and that’s okay!)

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Exam voucher

Exam Prep and Planning

NFPT provides you with tools to help you feel better prepared for the exam. We give you the NFPT Exam Content Outline which can be your checklist for test prep, no matter what educational source/s/ you are using. This exam outline will help guide you through the concepts and subject matter that you will find on the exam.

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test sites

Exam Locations

NFPT has over 350 exam locations to choose from. You pick the location, date and time of your test appointment. Results are provided to you immediately after you test!

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Hands-On Workshops

NFPT workshops are available nationwide. The workshop is a full 2 days in a gym class setting. This is an optional offering for aspiring trainers who want to learn from an expert instructor. A webinar version is also available.

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Brochure and Application

Do you prefer a hardcopy, printed brochure and application? We have them! You can download our complete brochure and the certification application to fill out and mail back to us if you prefer. You can always apply online to the Standard Package or Premier Package (or just the Exam Only if you don’t need education material), or use this brochure and application to complete by hand and return anytime.

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Before signing up to any certification program, understand the policies and procedures. For example, it is important to know how to keep your certification credential after you get it. Understand recertification policies.

trainer certification

Maintaining Codes of Conduct

Understand that, as a professional fitness trainer, you are upheld to a higher standard because of your work with the public. It is important that you maintain a code of conduct that is worthy a professional in our esteemed industry. Personal training services are ‘personal’, and with that comes an additional layer of understanding what your boundaries are as a trainer. You are a provider of professional fitness training services, conduct is crucial.

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Certification Handbook

This handbook is for the purpose of understanding policy and procedure related to certification eligibility, test administration, recertification requirements and all terms and conditions of NFPT-CPT certification. Please be familiar with the expectations of NFPT certified personal trainers and what is required for program entry as well as certification maintenance.

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certification certificate

Recertification Requirements

Before you get certified, do your research on recertification requirements. For example, every credible certification requires continuing education, you should know how it is done before you commit. With NFPT we make it easy to understand, convenient to submit, and, above all, affordable!

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NFPT provides tools and resources for putting your personal trainer credential to work! Whether it be with our affiliated partners, or with the client assessment forms and professional documents, we want to equip you with the things you need to succeed!

Trainer Assessment

Client Assessment Tools

Use our consultation and assessment forms for an easy to follow step-by-step approach to implementing the right goal-oriented program. As a NFPT certified personal trainer, you have access to these forms and docs in your Online Account: Client information & Consultation Forms, CVD Risk Profile & PARQ, Body Composition Instructional Form, Movement Assessment Instructions and Professional Document Samples: Informed Consent, Physician’s Release & Liability Waiver

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Program Design: Charts & Tables

Use our charts and tables for Recommended Exercises, Rep Ranges, Activity Expenditures, RHR and Movements & Total Sets to design the goal-oriented program that is right for your individual client needs. You also receive the Master Food List, Dietary Advice Chart and Supplement Table for an emphasis on healthy eating. These charts and tables are available to you as part of your certification package in your NFPT Online Account.

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Find Jobs and More!

NFPT partners with IDEA Health & Fitness to help you start or build your trainer career. IDEA members earn 74% more money, and stay in the industry 60% longer than the average. NFPT-CPTs get a free trial of IDEA member services, like IDEAfit TV, Workout Builder and an extensive Job Board! As a NFPT-CPT, we auto-verify your cert status in IDEA’s FitnessConnect portal, and encourage you to build your profile for maximum exposure and online promotion of your services. Take advantage of the many career services available to NFPT certified personal trainers.

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Certified Trainer Listing

This NFPT Certified Trainer listing allows potential clients and employers to quickly and easily verify that you are certified from NFPT’s site. It also acts as a great tool for potential clients to look for a trainer in their area, and contact you! This listing allows you to add the information that you want about yourself, you’re in control of what people see in your profile. NFPT will, by default, include your name, city, state, zip and certification status – the rest is up to you. Include your contact information so that potential clients and employers can reach you!

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Professional Liability Insurance

NFPT partners with CPH & Associates for discounts on liability insurance.

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Trainer Pulse

NFPT’s e-Newsletter for Trainer News and Special Announcements. As a NFPT certified trainer, you will automatically receive Trainer Pulse e-news…but anyone can subscribe! Keep your finger on the Pulse! Subscribe to Trainer Pulse and start receiving your monthly NFPT news by email.

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Medical Fitness Network

This partnership helps connect consumers to qualified fitness and complimentary healthcare providers who are interested in working with those with medical conditions through MFN’s online network.

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