If you draw a passion for fitness and want to help others accomplish their health goals, you may need to choose personal training as a career. But becoming a personal trainer is not as easy as it seems. You have to pursue a long path that requires dedication and struggle. You have to study nutrition plans and first-aid techniques as a part of your job responsibilities. The most important articulate that fulfils your dream of becoming a personal trainer in 2024 is PT training certifications. These certifications help you learn specific skills and accomplish your pilgrimage. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate of fitness professionals and trainers is expected to increase at a rate of 1.9% between 2021 and 2031. Moreover, there are about 65,000 job openings for fitness experts and trainers yearly, as per the Bureau study. 

Personal training certification programs are an investment that you made in your career. So, it is important for you to research whether the certification you choose aligns with your fitness goals. To help you with this research, we have shortlisted the 5 best PT training certifications that aid you in achieving your pilgrimage. 

Factor to look for when choosing a PT certification

In doing research on PT certifications, as a fitness professional, you need to consider certain factors as selection criteria. These factors enable you to select the best option among the top PT training certifications. Moreover, with all these factors, you can also acknowledge the feedback of the existing trainers in the fitness industry.


To achieve your pilgrimage, you have to choose a certification accredited by a reputed institution. In checking the credibility of the certifications, accreditation serves as a benchmark that promises quality and legitimacy. Moreover, accreditation by a well-known institution also ensures that the program designed meets the standards of instruction, curriculum and assessment. 

If you want to be selected by the reputed gyms as a personal trainer, you have to choose a certification accredited by a well-known institution.  Most gym owners select personal trainers who have done certification from NCCA, DEAC or NBFE. Moreover, as a trainer, you can gain the trust of clients seeking expertise from a certified trainer. 


Price acts as an important consideration factor when researching the best PT training program. The price of each program varies under the influence of other factors like curriculum, the organisation’s reputation and the study material’s cost. For example, NASM and ACSM institutions are known in the fitness industry for their reputation and the toughness of the curriculum. 

If you want to be part of these institutions, you have to pay a higher price for the certificate. Similarly, if you have been admitted to AFPA, you have to pay a lower price. AFPA is known in the industry as a budget-friendly alternative that offers a top-notch curriculum at an affordable price. Thus, investing in a reputed institution offering affordable pricing enables you to meet the industry standards for long-term success. 

Pass rate 

In selecting the right PT training certification for your career, considering the passing rate is also essential. It indicates the effectiveness of the program in a number of the candidates who passed the exams. Thus, it reflects the quality of the curriculum, the teaching style of the instructor, and the dedication of the institute towards the fitness industry.

As per  PT pioneer research, the passing rate is around 65% to 70% in the NCCA exam.  Moreover, in the AFPA exam the number of students that have the probability to pass the exam is around 93%. However, it is also important for you to understand that the passing rate can vary depending on each person aptitude and preparation. So, you have to choose the certificate that enables you to improve your skills with your preparation. 

Focus on innovation

Another important factor that influences your selection of a PT training program is its focus on providing education about technology. Technology has become an important aspect of the fitness industry. For continuous success in your career, you need to have knowledge about fitness-related technologies like wristwatches, virtual reality workouts, etc. Moreover, you also need to know about the PT studio software that easily consolidates all the fitness studio operations. As per the PT pioneer research, ACE and ACSM certifications include technological innovation in the industry as part of the curriculum and offer students practical application opportunities. So, you have to choose a certification that gives you knowledge about the technologies used in the fitness industry. 

The 5 best PT training certifications

Considering factors like price, innovation, passing rate, etc., here are the 5 best PT training certifications in 2024. All these top PT certifications enable you to fulfil your dream of working as a personal trainer. So, you can help others achieve their dream of having a healthy body and sound mind. 

ACSM personal trainer certification 

Personal trainer certification by the ACSM is the top candidate among the top five PT training programs. This program is specially designed for fitness professionals who want to train both healthy clients and those having health stability challenges. This fitness program covers all the essential factors like passing rate and technological innovation in the fitness industry. 

Moreover, this well-reputed institution offers a curriculum that covers all the important topics, including biomechanics, nutrition, physiology and behavior-changing analysis. As a fitness professional, this certification enables you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills that aid you in client management and designing personalized programs. Furthermore, with these skills needed, you are also able to provide motivation to your clients in a healthy environment. 

Pro and cons 

The following are the Pros that are related to ACSM certification: 

  • Offer high-quality study material for self-learning 
  • Also, have affordable recertification fees that are around $55
  • Provide necessary community support for exam preparation through an official Facebook group. 

Here are the cons related to ACSM: 

  • Offer the certification program for a limited time frame
  • It lacks live guidance and mentorship. 

Pricing of ACSM certificate

The starting price that ACSM offer for its personal trainer certificate is $649, which also includes the exam fee. 

NSCA strength and conditioning certification 

CSPS Certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association ranked second among the 5 best PT training certification programs 2024. This course is designed for personal trainers who want to create training programs for diverse clients. This well-reputed institution focuses on delivering strength and conditioning principles to its participants. 

So, if you’re going to work with athletes as their fitness trainer, this course prepares you for that. It enables you to perform through scientifically backed training methodologies. Rachel Tavel, a doctor of physical therapy and Forbes Health Advisory board member, says, “It’s one of the highest level certifications a trainer can get. It requires a thorough understanding of science and how it applies to athletic training and is very comprehensive. 

Pros and cons

  • The student has no time frame limit between the date of purchasing the study material and exam registration. 
  • It also offers a CPT certification. 

Following are the cons of the NSCA

  • Have a strict education environment, and they even disqualify the candidates. 

Pricing of NSCA certification

The starting price with the NSCA, which offers its certification, starts at $555.75. However, NSCA also charges a separate exam registration fee of around $475

ACE personal trainer certification

The personal trainer certification offered by the American Council of Exercise is another candidate that marks its place in the 5 best CPT programs in 2024. ACE designed its course for fitness professionals who want to deliver safe and personalized programs to their clients. This CPT certification is known for its focus on supporting behaviour and inclusivity. 

So, if you want to cover essential topics like anatomy, physiology, and nutrition, you should have to go for the ACE program. Moreover, it allows you to acquire knowledge of the fitness industry with an evidence-based approach. 

Pros and cons

  • You don’t require any experience to apply for ACE personal trainer certification. 
  • It also offers career support certification. 

The cons of ACE certifications are 

  • The course material offered by the ACE is more expensive than its competitors. 
  • The certification offered by ACE is valid for a few years and needs to be re-examined. 

Pricing of ACE certification

ACE offers three different pricing plans that cover study material and support. 

  • Basic: $979
  • Plus: $1149
  • Advantage: $1729


The National Academy of Sports Medicine CPT program is quite popular among the local gyms.  The CPT training program is designed for the fitness professional who wants to learn about essential topics such as nutrition, physiology and client assessment techniques. If you want to learn the functional training principles and corrective exercises, NASM CPtT is the best option to deliver long-lasting results to your clients. You are given hands-on practice in various fitness settings during your study at NASM. Moreover, if you want to start your own business after the certification or join a gym, NASM supports your career. 

Pros and cons 

  • Offers 8-week internship during the program
  • It also offers its candidates direct access to NASM fitness experts for mentorship. 

Here are the cons of the NASM CPT program: 

  • The CPT certification offered by NASM is valid for fewer years than that of its competitors. 

Pricing of NASM CPT 

It offers one pricing plan that includes the examination fee starting at $999

ISSA PT certification 

The personal training certification offered by the International Sport Science Association ranks fifth among the top five best PT training programs in 2024. The program is designed for trainers who want to launch their careers in Yoga and Pilates. If you want to start your career with Pilates studio, ISSA PT certification is the best solution. 

Moreover, it enables you to cover a broader spectrum of topics, such as anatomy, nutrition and client assessment. So, you are able to start your career and aid other fitness freaks to fulfil their dreams. 

Pros and cons 

  • Offer excellent resistant training techniques to its students. 
  • The aerobic program offered by ISSA is among the top 5 aerobic programs worldwide. 

Here are the cons of the ISSA program: 

  • The course covers limited corrective exercise 
  • The behaviour change analysis in the course is not up to date. 

Pricing of ISSA CPT 

This CPT program offers one pricing plan that starts at $599

Final takeaway 

If you want to excel as a personal trainer, you need to have certification from an accredited institution. Such accreditation enables you to acquire the necessary skills to help others achieve fitness goals. Here, we have discussed the top 5 PT training certifications in 2024 that allow you to learn client assessment and behaviour analysis. So you are able to gain your clients’ trust and foster long-term success.