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Online Personal Training Certifications

Online personal training certifications are growing rapidly in popularity. The
Internet has made distance education practical and even efficient. If you live
in a remote area or don't have time to attend workshops, online personal
training certifications are an attractive alternative.

Just look at the costs

You can save hundreds of dollars by choosing one of the online certifications available today. In addition to the actual workshop
costs, you will save on the travel to and overnight accommodation costs.
For a three day workshop you can easily spend $750 before you pay for
your flights.

The cost savings can be very significant. The Penn Foster online personal
trainer certification program costs a little more than $900 including all your
books and exams. ACTION can get you certified for $45. While neither
one of these is a premium certification, they get you up to speed quickly.
You just need to be sure to devote ongoing study time to improve your

act certification online

Certified Personal Trainer


Online Course

ACTION Certification is making a bold statement by offering FREE Personal Trainer Certification. You can download their 300 page textbook, study and take the exam, all without paying them a cent. But most people will benefit from their package of extras they offer for $65 which includes unlimited online training classes, practice exams, instructor email support and more. (Read our ACTION Certification Review) (ACTION Web Site)


Personal Trainer Diploma


Online Course

Another online personal training course that allows you to self study at your own pace. All exams are taken online and the curriculum uses a mixture of audio and video programs to compliment the textbook. The overall program including materials and exams is available for around $900 making it an economical choice and a quick way to get started in the industry. (Receive More Information)


Make sure its right for you

The hard reality is that there is very little "online" in the major certs online
offerings. They like to claim that you can do their programs online, but
that really just means self study their textbook. No online classes, no
online tests.

If you like to learn by seeing and doing, then online personal training
certifications may not be for you. You are much better suited to a workshop
environment where you work hands on with trainers. But if you have a good
Internet connection, book learning doesn't scare you, and you have the time
to study on your own and figure things out, then you might be a good
candidate for one of the online personal training certifications.

This page contains a summary of the online options offered by the major
certification organizations. You can view our full certification table which
includes information about workshop and training programs for each certification.

Each of the links in our online personal training certifications database will take
you to our information page for each program.


Personal Training Certification School ACTION ISSA AFAA
Certification Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT) Personal Trainer
Established 2010 1988 1983


Program Cost $45 or Free Option $595 $469
Materials cost Included Included $59
Industry recognition Med-High Med-High Med
Accreditations NCCA Accreditation DETC NBFE, NOCA, CHEA
Prerequisites None High School Diploma, 18 years old, Adult CPR/AED Certificate Unavailable
Exam Questions 150 168
Exam Time 3 hours
Exam Cost $60 Included Included or $199 (without program)
Retest Cost $60 one free online, $149 at seminar, ($50 charge for each additional attempt)
Exam deadline   2 years
Exam locations Online, U.S. and Canada Online plus Major U.S. cities
Time to Complete (Approx.) 2-3 months 13-16 weeks
Recertification every 2 years every 2 years yes
Recertification Cost including CEU (Approx.) $65 $600 (20 CEU and $75 fee) $600

Updated: January 2022

While I have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this online personal training certifications comparison table, please let me know if you think there are any mistakes. Organizations offer many similar programs and options. All of my information and cost estimates are based upon the base personal trainer certifications.

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