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“NCCA Accreditation certainly makes the NFPT personal trainer certification worthy of your consideration. I had major writer's block when writing this review so be sure to see what other people are saying about NFPT below.”
(about me)

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NFPT Personal Trainer Certification

The National Federation of Professional Trainers, also known as NFPT, was established in 1988 and has been providing personal training certification ever since. The NFPT Personal Trainer Certification Program provides solid preparations for an entry-level position in personal training, and provides sufficient assurances to clients and employers who are looking to hire a well-qualified personal trainer.


The applicant must be at least 18 years of age and must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Because personal training is a hands-on experience, the NFPT also requires that the applicant have at least two years of experience with weight resistance training and/or cardio training. This requirement is obviously difficult to enforce but you have been working out regularly in a gym or with a sports team you will qualify.

Although it is not required, the NFPT also recommends that all applicants become certified in CPR. This is a requirement for many fitness jobs, including being a personal trainer and a staple requirement for most other programs. All personal trainers should have CPR training and in my opinion NFPT should just make it a requirement.

Getting NFPT Certified

In order to become certified by the NFPT, the applicant must be able to pass an exam that is related to personal training. Because the information on the exam is much more complex than just knowing how to exercise, it is up to the applicant to be prepared for the exam ahead of time.

The NFPT Board of Education offers educational materials on CD-ROM (along with a hard copy study guide and reference manual) and through their web site. While the materials should be sufficient to prepare you for the NFPT exam (there are no guarantees), it would be a good idea to supplement the materials to give you a broader preparation for your personal training career.

Of course, you don't have to use NFPT's materials at all. You can go ahead and take the exam if you feel you already have the required knowledge. The NFPT Board of Education developed the information for those interested in their certification program, but does allow applicants to prepare through their own methods.

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Program Costs

There are three different enrollment options for those who are interested in pursuing the NFPT personal trainer certification program.

The Standard Certification option is $425, and includes study materials to prepare for the exam as well as the sitting fee for the examination. The exam is offered in numerous locations around the United States with some limited international locations. Once the exam is passed, the applicant will receive a certificate and identification card, which are covered in the program cost. Members will also have access to the NFPT web site, where they can access a wide variety of information about personal training jobs and workshops.

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The second option offers a reduced rate membership for only $280, but is limited to those who currently work for a gym or health club, and are interested in getting certified through their employer. Some employer involvement and paperwork is required so this is not a feasible option for most people who are looking to enter the industry. At least one other staff member at your employer must be NFPT certified. This options includes the same elements as the Standard Certification, with the exception of the manual used for studying.

The third option is the Individual Membership which is only $175. This membership option is best for those who are not interested in taking the certification exam right away, but do plan to do so within about a year. The remainder of the membership must be paid before the examination can be taken, which is an additional $250. This plan includes everything in the Standard Certification, but allows the applicant to pay it in two separate payments rather than all at once. If the applicant does not take the exam within the membership term, they can choose to renew it for a small fee.

In addition to the program fees, each applicant will be required to pay some additional fees. There is a $20 proctor fee that must be paid when taking a paper exam, or a $44 fee for computerized tests.

Overview of the NFPT Exam

nfpt testAnd of course you must pass an exam before earning the NFPT personal trainer certification. The exam is a multiple-choice test, with 120 questions. Each applicant is given two hours to complete the test, and must get at least 750 out of 1000 points to pass.

There are six different categories that make up the test each with different weighted importance. Human anatomy 15%, human physiology 20%, professional and legal practices 5%, and understanding characteristics of wellness 10% take up half of the test, while exercise physiology 25% and identifying client’s goals and implementing an exercise program 25% takes up the other half.

The materials included in the program package will help prepare you to pass the NFPT exam, but it does require serious study and effort. You may also consider taking our Exam Review Course to ensure that you pass the NFPT exam on your first try. With over 750 practice exam questions, it is a good way to avoid the hefty exam retake fee.

Recertification Requirements and Costs

Every individual that is certified by the NFPT must renew his or her membership annually. There is a $75 renewal fee which gets you an updated certificate and membership card. Additional perks are also included in the renewal process, such as a subscription to a fitness magazine and the ability to post personal training listings online.

The NFPT also requires that members must continue education in order to keep up with current health and fitness issues. CECs can be earned through free web site courses which is a huge savings over many competing certs. Members are also required to self-test themselves every six months, but they are able to use any notes or study materials. This is to ensure that all certified members are up to date on current health information. This is to ensure that every certified member is fully capable of performing their job, no matter how long ago their certification was issued.

Vital Statistics: NFPT Personal Trainer Certification

NFPT Certification NFPT nfpt exam
Certification CPT - Certified Personal Trainer
Established 1988
Workshop length 2 days
Workshop Availability Major U.S. Cities
Program Cost $425
Materials cost included
Industry recognition Med - High
NCCA accredited Yes
Prerequisites High School Diploma, 18 years old, 2+ years fitness experience
Exam Questions 120
Exam Time 2 hours
Exam Cost $44
Retest Cost $60
Exam deadline 1 year
Exam locations 300 testing centers worldwide
Time to Complete (Approx.) 2 to 6 months
Recertification every year
Recertification Cost (Approx.) $85


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What do you think about NFPT certification?

Here's your chance to have your say about the NFPT personal trainer certification. Ask a question, submit a comment, or even rant or rave about NFPT.

NFPT Certification Discussion

Getting feedback about the NFPT personal trainer certification from people who have gone through the program is valuable. Click on each tip to read and rate the comments submitted by our readers.

NFPT exam is very hard 
I just went in to take the exam. It was extremely difficult and absolutely nothing on the study guide was mentioned anywhere on the exam. It was all about …

NFPT Certification Reviews 
I have been with the NFPT family for about a year now and have been impressed with how they treated me like family. They are quick to help when and with …

NFPT Master Trainers Course 
The master trainers course is all three cerificates, correct? Will the three be taught as one in a condensed course? If not will I have to take seperate …

NFPT Exam Study Tips 
I took my NFPT exam last week and PASSED!!!! I needed a 71 to pass and earned an 86. Although I would have preferred a higher score, I am happy to have …

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