Step by step

How to Become a
Certified Personal Trainer

Personal trainers are in demand.
Now is the time.

Step 1

Choose a study program

If you’re looking to become a fitness professional, your first step is to get your personal training certification. Getting started with ISSA is the easiest part!

First, look at your options of what materials you need to study for the personal trainer exam. Then compare that to your end goal as a fitness professional. You can always call and talk to an ISSA education advisor who can go through the process and help you decide which path is best for you to earn your certification. Then you can get started either by enrolling online or over the phone.

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Step 2

Study with your support team

ISSA is focused on helping our students achieve their goals by giving them everything they need for success, including a dedicated Student Success Coach who provides support and guidance before, during and after the certification process.

ISSA's personal training courses come with access to an online study guide and workbook, as well as online exercise demonstrations so you can see how each one is performed. This resource provides a "hands-on" experience to supplement your online learning. If you want to jumpstart your learning, ISSA's CPT Bootcamp provides you with the ultimate live guide to studying, understanding, and passing your course.

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ISSA exams are accredited by the NCCA
Learn more

Step 3

Pass your exam. Guaranteed

Between the textbook and ISSA’s online resources for the personal trainer certification exam, you will be fully prepared to pass. And while you have six months to complete the exam, ISSA can help you pass sooner – and we guarantee you will pass. When you become a trainer through ISSA, the final online exam is a mixture of multiple-choice, true or false, and matching questions. It also requires completing a case study to show that you can apply the information learned. Topics covered in ISSA’s personal trainer exam include:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Health and physical fitness
  • Injury and disease
  • Nutrition
  • Program design
Next Step

ISSA exams are accredited by the NCCA
Learn more

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Step 4

Select your specialty

Becoming a certified personal trainer is just the beginning. ISSA allows you to enhance your career – and your income – by adding Specializations to your fitness resume that will expand your opportunities. Adding a specialization like Nutritionist or Glute Specialist from ISSA to your skillset not only gives you deeper expertise in a specific area, but it can actually help you make an additional $4,000 a year for each specialization you achieve. With updated and more certifications, you can:

  • Explore new income opportunities
  • Provide additional services to clients
  • Charge more with increased expertise
  • Stay on top of the latest in fitness and nutrition
  • Expand the populations you can market to
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Step 5

Get a job. Keep your certification

ISSA guarantees you’ll get a job as a personal trainer when you complete your certification with us, or you’ll get your money back. We have exclusive partnerships with the nation’s leading gyms and health clubs, and we can even help you build your business and find your first 5 clients (Kickstarter program).

And because personal trainers are required to earn 20 hours of continuing education credits every two years for recertification. ISSA offers a number of certifications, Specializations, and CEU courses to help you fulfill those renewal requirements and build your expertise.

Ready to get started on your personal training certification?

To learn more take our free evaluation now!

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Take your FREE Online Evaluation now.

Thinking about earning your personal trainer certification on your own time? Get your free evaluation kit today!


  • What can I do with a fitness certification?
  • What have others done with an ISSA certification?
  • What qualities do I need to be successful?
  • How do I enroll with ISSA

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