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How to Become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Do you have a passion for exercise and helping others? If so, then parlay those skills into a career as a certified personal trainer. Though it’s not mandatory to begin working as a personal trainer, holding a certification opens doors that may not have otherwise been available. A common example in this industry is two trainers applying for the same role, but one has a certification and the other doesn’t. For your best advantage, consider taking the National Academy of Sports Medicine, NASM, exam to get certified, and if you choose a program like  Bryan University’s Personal Trainer Undergraduate Certificate, an exam attempt is included in your tuition.

Below, we will look at the NASM exam as a whole. What it is, what it includes, and how it can help you in your career as a personal trainer both now and in the future. 

Here is everything you need to know about becoming a NASM-certified personal trainer in the United States. 

What is on the NASM Certified Personal Trainer Exam? 

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) prides itself on providing the very best tools and information for any health and wellness professional looking to break into the industry. As such, the exam covers questions that will allow you to gain deeper knowledge to further your skills. 

The exam includes 120 questions, but only 100 of them are scored. The other 20 questions on the exam are not scored, however, you won’t know which ones are excluded until it’s graded. These questions are broken down into sections: 

  • Nutritional Concepts and Basic & Applied Sciences
  • Assessments
  • Behavioral Coaching and Client Relations
  • Exercise Techniques and Training/Instructions
  • Professional Development and Responsibilities
  • Program Design

Each category accounts for a percentage of the exam, with exercise training and techniques being the highest at 24% followed by program design at 20%. The topics covered across all sections, include but aren’t limited to ethical standards, proper and safe spotting techniques, exercise programs for various populations, mobility/medical risk assessments, communication, and hydration. 

Each question posed to you will be multiple choice. The total time you have to complete the exam is two hours. 

Where to Take the NASM Exam

This exam is available online, so there’s no need to go to a campus, library, or testing center during your already busy day. However, if you prefer to take the test in person, all you have to do is click here and select your local test location. This submission form will also allow you to enter your preferred month to take the exam, giving you further flexibility. 

Keep in mind that in-person exams are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. So if this is the route you want to take, try to book something as soon as possible. 

Can I Take the NASM Exam More Than Once? 

Yes, you can take the NASM exam more than once. If you don’t pass on your first try, you will have to wait one week before trying it again. 

If you fail the second time, you will need to wait another 30 days. If you fail a third time, you will need to wait a year to take it again. 

What Does a Personal Trainer Do?

Now that we’ve covered some insight into what you can expect on the exam, what exactly will your day-to-day look like once you begin working as a NASM-certified personal trainer? 

As a personal trainer, you will be responsible for helping clients achieve their fitness goals on a one-to-one basis. Once a new client registers with you, you will then need to conduct an assessment of their current fitness, health, and mobility levels to determine achievable goals and set up a proper exercise regime and nutrition plan. 

In addition to these tasks, a NASM-certified personal trainer will also provide advice when needed, as well as utilize their training to keep clients motivated. Reaching personal fitness goals is a challenge, so clients often look to their personal trainers for encouragement, especially when they’re not seeing results as quickly as they may have wanted. It’s the personal trainer’s job to reinforce the importance of the goals and make adjustments when needed. 

Where Can I Work as a Personal Trainer? 

The good news is that, once you become a certified personal trainer, you’ll have your pick of where you can work. A NASM-certified personal trainer can find employment at their local gyms and fitness centers, rehabs, nursing homes, recreational centers, and more. 

Best of all, personal trainers can work a variety of schedules including both full and part-time, as well as on a contractual basis if they’re hired to come to an individual’s residence. There’s a ton of flexibility in this profession!

How to Prepare to Become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer

The personal training industry is expected to see phenomenal growth in the coming decade, with the current job outlook 14% higher than other industries. This means that over 45,000 new personal trainers are anticipated to emerge in the industry through 2032. 

As such, you may face competition when it comes time to obtain employment. This is why earning your certification is crucial to your career path and finding success. It will help your resume stand out among the competition, giving you an edge over other applicants. 

To get started on becoming a NASM-certified personal trainer, you’ll want to enroll in a college that offers this type of training, like Bryan University.

While you’re obtaining your certification, you’ll study courses such as physiology, kinesiology, sales, client fitness screenings, and more. All of these will help you develop the skills you need to begin work immediately following completion. Furthermore, through your coursework, you’ll also have an opportunity to prepare for the NASM CPR certification exam. 

Want to Become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer? Bryan University Helps You Get Prepped!

When you enroll in BU’s Personal Trainer Undergraduate Certificate program, one NASM exam attempt will be included in your tuition, meaning, if you pass, you won’t have to pay an additional $600 for the exam upon graduation. This is a huge advantage to jumpstarting your career. 

Getting started down this career path is easy. Just give the admissions team at Bryan University a call at 1-888-768-6861 or request info online. Our online learning program can help you develop the in-demand skills employers are looking for in a NASM-certified personal trainer. 

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