Certified Personal Trainers (CPT’s) are fitness professionals who help their clients to develop, implement, and follow exercise programs to reach their fitness goals. They also help to motivate their clients as well as to coach them on lifestyle changes, including diet and nutrition that must be made in order to live a healthier lifestyle.
For people that have a real passion for fitness, love to work with people and want the freedom of being in control of your own work schedule, then becoming certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) can be a solid career choice to make.
The following article goes over the importance of earning a training credential and why NASM may be the right choice for you, including a review of the NASM-CPT certification exam.
Personal Training: A Career with Endless Opportunities
Personal Trainers have a wide variety of choices that they can make regarding career path. Your certification is only the first step in what will be a long, rewarding, and satisfying career. Once you are certified you can choose to work in a health club or a gym setting with potential roles as a personal trainer, group instructor, program director, club manager or even the owner.
On the other hand, many CPT’s prefer to work independently or become entrepreneurs, with the freedom to set their own schedules and be their own boss. Opportunities that are available to an independent personal trainer include being the owner and operator of a fitness studio, working as a virtual trainer (an expanding field thanks to the advancements in technology), an online fitness store owner, a specialty trainer who trains in a specific sport or a trainer who specializes in a targeted and specific client base such as seniors or youth sports.
Some other career choices available to certified personal trainers include working in a hospital or corporate wellness center or working in the hospitality industry such as hotels, resorts and cruise lines.
Recession Proof: Amazing Job Outlook
As our nation becomes increasingly more health conscious, more and more people are looking to improve their health by eating better and getting physically fit. As a result of a growing population and continuing increase in obesity rates coupled with the growing concern over being healthier, CPT’s have a better than average job outlook. As a matter of fact, jobs for certified personal trainers are expected to increase by 30% in the next decade, making this one of the few careers that is expecting a high job growth in the current economy.
What Is The National Academy of Sports Medicine?
The National Academy of Sports Medicine is one of the leading programs that offer a certificate for personal trainers. The National Academy of Sports Medicine has teamed with the University of North Carolina to create a NASM Research Institute at UNC. This institute researches into the areas of fitness, sports performance, corrective exercise, special populations, nutrition, and behavior modification. If you decide to take the CPT certification through the NASM, it is good to know that what you’ve learned and will continue to learn is backed by one of the nation’s top schools.
Why Become A NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Becoming certified will undoubtedly open up more employment opportunities for you. Having a certification from one of the leading and most widely respected programs, such as the NASM-CPT program will give you an automatic leg-up on the competition.
In addition, having your certificate through NASM can earn you 20% more money than if you received your certificate through another program.
Not only do many employers prefer the NASM certificate, but you will also have access to the OPT (Optimum Performance Training) system – the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s own set of cutting edge personal training principles/methods based on the latest clinical research in exercise science and sports medicine.
NASM also offers exclusive business opportunities to its CPT’s and access to their research institute’s growing knowledge database.
What is on the NASM-CPT Exam?
The CPT exam is a multiple choice exam test consisting of 120 questions. The test is taken on-site and there are over 600 testing sites in the Unites States and some international testing sites as well. There will be questions covering physiology, anatomy, injury prevention, rehabilitation, nutrition, as well as other topics on the test. NASM has several pre-exam study guides, courses, and options available.
How to Prepare for the NASM-CPT Exam
The NASM CPT program includes a variety of ways to help you learn and prepare for the test, including textbooks, exercise library, online presentations and an online practice exam. There are optional additional study materials for a different price such as live workshops and various exam preparation materials.
Quick Look: CPT certification packages offered by NASM
NASM offers 4 different packages to choose from in signing up for their CPT exam. Here’s a brief overview of each:
CPT Exam Only – $599
Gives you access to take the NASM-CPT exam only. Recommended if you already have NASM’s study materials and good at self-preparation.
CPT Pro – $699
Gives you access to take the exam and includes access to online study resources in addition to their textbook. Recommended if you do not have any study materials and a good self-learner.
CPT Premier – $799
Gives you access to take the exam, including access to a live training workshop, online study resources and the textbook. Recommended if you’re mostly a hands-on learner.
CPT Platinum – $999
Gives you access to take the exam, in addition to offering a 90-day job guarantee, a free re-test, live workshop, online study resources and the textbook. Recommended if you’re ready to start working immediately and want the assurance that you will become certified with employment lined-up.
What To Expect On Test Day
To take the exam you must be 18 years of age, must have a current CPR and AED certification and your exam enrollment must be paid in full.
You are eligible to schedule your exam within three business days after enrolling at NASM.
You will need to bring your certificates and a valid photo ID to sign-in at the test center where you registered to take the exam. If you pass the exam you will be able to print a temporary certificate from your member page after 3 to 5 business days have passed and your official certificate will be mailed out within four weeks of passing the exam.
Taking The Next Step Towards Your Certification…
If you enjoy working with and helping people and you are passionate about fitness and health, being a personal trainer is a good career choice for you. Personal trainer job outlook is very optimistic with a solid growth projection. Taking that extra step to become a certified personal trainer will mean that you’ll set yourself up to make more money than those who aren’t certified. Becoming a NASM certified trainer can give you even more of an advantage due to the organization’s widely respected reputation as a leader in the field of personal training.
Right now the National Academy of Sports Medicine is offering an online course at a low introductory price called “Introduction to Personal Training”. It was designed for those of you who would like to learn more about personal training before signing up for the actual NASM-CPT exam. The good thing is you’ll be able to apply the full cost of the course towards enrollment in taking the exam. So, it’s basically a free course that will not only increase your knowledge needed to become a personal trainer, it will help prepare you for the NASM-CPT exam itself.
Now that you’ve had a chance to review this information, you can go here to learn more about NASM’s Introduction to Personal Training online course and take one step closer to becoming a highly-skilled, in-demand certified personal trainer!