Online Certificate Programs in Personal Training

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: Professional certification programs in fitness training may require anywhere from a few days of training to several hours of training, depending on the program. Most programs also require a high school diploma, and some positions require an associate or bachelor’s degree program in addition to training and certification.
  • Professional Prerequisites: Personal trainers usually require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in addition to certification.
  • Average Program Length: Two years (full time); One week (part time)

Online certification programs in fitness training prepare instructors to teach exercise routines through proper technique and to create schedules and goals for each client, including nutrition and weight control requirements. While some certification programs may be suited to prospective instructors with prior education in nutrition, fitness, or training, several certification programs are designed for prospective trainers with no prior experience. However, professional and advanced certification programs in personal training may require knowledge of human physiology, anatomy, and nutrition.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Personal Training

An accredited online certificate programs may require several hours of training and examination with both written and practical tests to measure knowledge of proper exercise techniques, anatomy and physiology, and exercise philosophy. Prospective personal trainers may receive instruction in fitness assessment, anatomy, kinesiology, biomechanics, and nutrition. An online certification program may offer self-paced study and require written examinations while traditional certification programs may require practical demonstration of physical fitness and knowledge of exercise techniques.

Both traditional and online certification programs may offer the opportunity to intern and gain practical experience in personal training. Certification programs may also offer CPR training as a part of the personal training curriculum, though some may require students to gain CPR training separately. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) several certification programs in personal training are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Traditional and online certification programs usually offer training for NCCA-accredited examinations, such as the ACE Certified Personal Trainer Certification Examination.

What Your Online Certificate in Personal Training Can Do for You

Passing accredited traditional or accredited online certification programs may offer more job prospects in personal training. A personal training certificate may also provide introductory training for the pursuit of advanced education required by other fitness positions like athletic training, recreational therapy, and physical therapy. Advanced positions in fitness training usually require a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree in a related field like physical education, kinesiology, or exercise science. Certificate course work may transfer to these advanced programs.

According to the BLS, fitness trainers and instructors earned a median annual wage of $31,090 in 2010. Athletic trainers earned a median pay of $41,600 annually, and physical therapists earned a median pay of $76,310 in 2010. The BLS expects fitness training and instruction positions to increase by 24% between 2010 and 2020. Keep in mind that personal training salary and employment figures depend on individual factors like employer, area, experience, and position.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.