by Damian Cox
I have to give kudos to the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association). They really make sure you know your stuff in the field. They educated me well in program planning, exercise technique, biomechanics, anatomy, special populations, safety and legal issues and so on.
I earned my certification through them, and although I am not yet employed in the field (working on it!), I feel comfortable with the knowledge that they supplied me. Go with NSCA if you can, it's not cheap (study materials and exam) but like all things in life, you get what you pay for!
I have a NSCA certification and I think it's a great cert. They state that only 57.2% pass the CPT test. So, if you are not on point with your knowledge you will fail. Their strength & conditioning research journals are awesome . You can't help but vastly improve on your education if you read them. It is definitely a strong Cert to have. Study hard if you are considering it.
The NSCA is the "Not So New Gold Standard"
I am a wellness director for a hospital and to tell you the truth the NSCA-CPT and especially the CSCS carries more weight than even the ACSM certifications. (I personally prefer them to the new clinical certifications by the ACSM).
The NSCA, at least in the midwest, is even taking over some of the college teaching philosophies and preferences of what is the standard. The NSCA however is too strict on what they consider an acceptable CEU and should broaden their acceptance and teachings into the fitness business and sales aspect better.