How Long Does It Take To Become A Personal Trainer? (2022)

Becoming a personal trainer is a huge step in the world of helping people reach their goals and dreams. Usually, at the step of personal trainer you can begin working at gyms and selling your services online for a good income.

But, how long does it take to become a personal trainer? On average it will take you around 3-5 months to become a personal trainer at most credible certification courses like ACE, NASM, and ISSA. However, you may be able to finish these courses in just a month depending on how much you already know- since most of these classes are self-paced.

Let’s cover this in-depth, and show you how long it takes to become a personal trainer no matter where you go for licensure and tell you how it can be completed in less time depending on your current knowledge.

Many Personal Trainer Courses are Self-Paced, Meaning You Can Finish Them In Little Time

How Long Does It Take To Become A Personal Trainer?
How Long Does It Take To Become A Personal Trainer?

So, if you’ve been in the fitness world for a long time and you’re really familiar with movements and body physiology- you may be able to finish a personal trainer class in just a month or even sooner.

So, don’t worry if you decided to become a personal trainer after you’ve been working out for a while, your current knowledge is essential for the course and test.

However, a personal trainer course can still be really vigorous and difficult even if you have been working out a long time. There is a lot to learn about assessing clients, building personalized workout programs, and building these programs with safety in mind.

Furthermore, there is mandatory education in CPR/AED- which can be confusing to someone who has never done it before.

Although, if you have been working out for a long time and you know many movements and exercises well, a lot of the personal trainer coursework should come as familiar to you and be easier compared to other people.

Again, it won’t be a breeze- especially considering there is a lot to cover with mobility and rehab work which most people often don’t go regularly. But, rest assured if you are very knowledgeable in the gym, you will be able to coplete the course a little earlier.

The CPR/AED Certification and The Standardized Test Are What Really Takes Up Your Time

The thing that takes the most time in my opinion is the CPR/AED certification and the actual standardized test you take to become a personal trainer. The reason for this is because you can’t just ‘rush’ those- they often have set dates you have to pick from, which can often be inconvenient.

(This, unfortunately, happened to me when I finished Emergency Medical Technician school to work on an ambulance, I passed- but had to wait 2 full months before being able to take the test for my license!)

So, try and plan your test dates ahead of time. If you plan on finishing the course in one month, make sure there is a test date for you soon after you finish so you have all of the information fresh in your head when you take the licensing exam.

You definitely don’t want to finish the course in one month, then have to wait a full month before getting your license- you’ll forget a ton of things!

How Long Does It Take to Become an ACE Certified Personal Trainer?

On average, it takes 3-6 months to become an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. Personally, I think if you know a lot about the gym this should take you closer to about 2-4 months.

For instance, you may finish the coursework super fast- but still have to wait 3 weeks before taking your test as it’s the only day the testing center has a spot for you.

How Long Does It Take to Become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer?

To become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer it takes around 2-3 months of coursework. They have very straightforward modules and I think most people can finish it in around 2 months, or about 10 weeks.

The downside to the NASM certification is it just has a much smaller timeframe, for instance, you have to test within 6 months from the day you start taking your classes- so basically by the time you finish you don’t have much time at all to test for your license.

This one is better for someone really trying to get a personal trainer certification in a short amount of time- but maybe not the best for someone who is already really busy with work/college.

How Long Does It Take to Become an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer?

To become an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer it takes roughly 10-12 weeks of coursework. I think most people can finish it in 10 weeks, but in my opinion, studying for the final exam is the toughest as the ISSA test has 200 questions- way more than the other certification tests.

How Long Does It Take to Become a NPTI Certified Personal Trainer?

To become a NPTI Certified personal trainer you’re probably looking at 6-8 months due to the physiology textbook information and the fact that you need to plan a test at a testing facility. This can really make the schedule difficult.

How Long Does It Take to Become an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer?

To become an NSCA certified personal trainer, you’re probably looking at 4-7 months of hard work and studying, as it is one of the most difficult and extensive personal training courses there is.

These personal trainers are often those working at high-end rehab facilities, sports facilities, or those in the healthcare field.


Is It Difficult To Be a Personal Trainer?

Yes, it is difficult to be a personal trainer. It takes a lot of studying and practice in the gym to be good at the job. Furthermore, you are affecting real people’s lives, it is to be taken with the upmost seriousness and respect as what you tell them to do will affect them for the rest of their life.

Furthermore, personal trainers are often built up by reputation. If you do bad things to a client or cause them to get injured, people will hear and will no longer use your services- rendering your license useless.

On the other hand, if you are a great trainer, you will get clients out the door who will pay you a lot of money. It’s a difficult job, but if you take it serious and treat your clients with respect it will pay off.

Conclusion of How Long Does it Take to Become a Personal Trainer?

So, there you have it. A lot of this stuff can be done faster if you have extensive knowledge of the gym and human body already, and a lot of it is online.

The bigger obstacles are the CPR/AED courses and final tests as those can really be difficult to schedule- especially if you’re planning on doing an online personal trainer course during college or if you have a busy work schedule.

Hopefully this article answered your question- please let me know if there is anything else I can help with!

Leave a Reply