What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Personal Trainer?

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Personal Trainer

This post may contain affiliate content from which we earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read our full disclosure.

Ever thought about diving into the world of fitness as a personal trainer? It’s not just about lifting weights or counting reps – there’s a bit more to it. The big question is, “What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Personal Trainer?”

Well, buckle up because we’re about to explore the skills and knowledge that can set you on the path to helping others crush their fitness goals. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not a walk in the park either. Stick around, and let’s unravel the secrets to becoming a certified fitness guru!

Understanding the Basics

At the genesis of this odyssey lies the rudimentary requirement of a high school diploma or its equivalent – a passport that opens the gateway to the fitness domain.

Yet, the essence goes beyond mere academic credentials; a fervent passion for fitness coupled with an unwavering dedication to perpetual learning lays the foundation for a truly gratifying career.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Personal Trainer

Below, we’ll dive deep into the qualifications you need to be a personal trainer:

Age Requirement

To become a personal trainer, the first rule is that you need to be 18 years old to take the test. If you’re still in high school, do well in your classes, especially ones about the body, health, and gym. Joining school sports is a good idea too.

If you didn’t finish high school, try to get your GED, which is like a diploma. Some jobs might ask for it, even if you’re 18 or older.

Educational Background

Elevating the pursuit, a more profound educational background becomes a cornerstone. A bachelor’s degree in exercise science, kinesiology, or a cognate field emerges as the catalyst propelling a personal trainer toward a nuanced comprehension of anatomy, physiology, and the scientific underpinnings of exercise.


Here we’ll explore the finest personal trainer certification programs that you can choose from:


ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) stands out as our top recommendation for personal trainer certification, emphasizing success both within and beyond the fitness arena.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Personal Trainer?

This certification provides the flexibility of home-based study, accompanied by an open-book quiz. It remains valid for a two-year period, requiring 20 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) that can be earned through engaging online conferences and workshops.

With a solid money-back guarantee, ISSA confidently assures job placement opportunities post-certification. Beyond imparting fitness knowledge, ISSA goes the extra mile by offering courses that focus on honing effective business skills—essential for establishing a sustainable and thriving career in the fitness industry.

If you’re interested in trying ISSA, click here to get started right away! And for more information, you can check out our review Article on ISSA.

Checkout Code for an additional $100 OFF:

ISSA Certifications - 75% Off

ISSA Certifications - 75% Off

Save 75% and take ANOTHER $100 OFF. Start for ONLY $49.
On Going Offer
  • It Works 100% Success It Doesn't
  • NASM

    NASM’s Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification is widely recognized for its comprehensive curriculum and evidence-based approach. With a focus on exercise science and program design, NASM equips trainers with a solid foundation for success.

    The program’s Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model offers a systematic and effective approach to personalized fitness. Choosing NASM signifies a commitment to excellence in delivering science-backed training solutions.


    The Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is highly respected in the fitness industry. Tailored for those emphasizing strength and conditioning, the program covers advanced topics in exercise science and program design.

    Achieving CSCS certification indicates a dedication to excellence in training athletes and individuals seeking advanced fitness goals. NSCA’s emphasis on both practical skills and theoretical knowledge makes it a valuable credential for professionals in the strength and conditioning field.


    The ACE Personal Trainer Certification is a renowned program by the American Council on Exercise, providing a solid foundation in exercise science and client coaching. With a focus on evidence-based practices, ACE-certified trainers stand out for their comprehensive knowledge and practical skills.

    This credential signifies a commitment to excellence in the fitness industry, making it a valuable asset for aspiring and established personal trainers alike. Elevate your career with ACE and become a trusted fitness professional.

    For further information, you can read our article “Best Bodybuilding Coach Certifications”.

    Specialized Training Certifications

    Further amplifying one’s arsenal, specialized certifications carve a niche in the fitness tapestry. Be it yoga instruction, Pilates mastery, or sports-specific training acumen, these certifications metamorphose personal trainers into versatile professionals, broadening their appeal and diversifying their client outreach.

    Hands-On Experience

    Theory, while indispensable, finds its consummate counterpart in hands-on experience. Internships, apprenticeships, or practical training sessions supervised by seasoned mentors serve as crucibles wherein theoretical knowledge coalesces with real-world client interactions, forging a personal trainer of unparalleled efficacy.

    CPR and First Aid Certification

    Numerous personal training programs incorporate this prerequisite. However, if it is not included, ensure that you obtain certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator). A multitude of gyms and personal trainer employers often mandate CPR/AED certification.

    Even in the absence of an employer’s insistence on this credential, it is highly advisable. You might find yourself in a situation where your swift response can potentially save a client’s life. Additionally, contemplate obtaining a first aid certification.

    Soft Skills

    Being a good personal trainer is not just about knowing exercises and techniques. It’s also about having important people skills. These skills include being able to talk well, motivate others, understand their feelings, and adjust to different situations.

    When you work with clients, it’s not just about helping them get fit. They also want someone who supports and understands them.

    So, being good at communication, motivating people, being empathetic (which means understanding and sharing their feelings), and being able to adapt to different needs are really important. These skills help build a strong and lasting connection with clients.

    Networking and Professional Development

    What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Personal Trainer

    In the fitness world, it’s super important to keep learning all the time. Going to workshops, conferences, and events isn’t just something you can choose to do—it’s a really important part of getting better. When you meet and talk with other people in the industry, it helps you grow in your job.

    You learn about what’s new and popular, and you can make your group of clients stronger. So, going to these things and making connections is like a secret weapon for making your career better.

    Maintaining Accreditation and Continuing Education

    Working hard to earn qualifications is important, but it’s crucial to see them as starting points, not the end. In the fitness industry, things are always changing, and to be really good, personal trainers need to keep learning. This means taking classes or courses even after getting their main qualifications.

    It’s not just a rule; it shows how committed they are to staying up-to-date with new ideas and trends in fitness. Continuing education isn’t just something they have to do; it proves they’re serious about being at the forefront of what’s happening in fitness.

    Final Words – What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Personal Trainer?

    In the end, becoming a personal trainer requires a blend of education, like a certification from organizations such as ISSA, and practical experience. ISSA, known for its reputable certifications, can give you a solid foundation. So, go ahead, equip yourself with the right qualifications, and dive into the fitness world to help others reach their health goals.

    ISSA Certifications - 75% Off

    ISSA Certifications - 75% Off

    Save 75% and take ANOTHER $100 OFF. Start for ONLY $49.
    On Going Offer
  • It Works 100% Success It Doesn't
  • Areeb is a seasoned SEO Blog Content Writer for the past 4 years. He’s helping B2B & B2C blogs to rank on top of Google & increasing website traffic up to 3X 🚀
    Areeb Shaikh

    Disclosure: In the spirit of full disclosure, DIYactive.com may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain reviews or links on this website. View our full disclosure.