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Want To Become A Personal Trainer? Here's How To Pass The ACE Exam


Thinking About Becoming a Personal Trainer header

Our society is more interested in achieving health and fitness goals than ever before. With a rising focus on healthier lifestyles, it's no wonder that so many fitness enthusiasts are looking into a job as a personal trainer. The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates employment in the field to grow 13 percent between 2012 and 2022, so it's definitely a career path worth considering. The perks are clear: personal trainers set their own hours, take on clients of their choosing, and earn a well-paying salary for their hard work. Before you find a job as a fitness trainer, though, it's a good idea to understand the education and qualifications that must be met in order to begin your career.

Personal Trainer Qualifications

Aspiring personal trainers need to select a certification program to begin in the field. Programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, or NCCA, are generally considered to be the best option. Your choice of program will depend largely on your area of interest. Those hoping to work as generalists will have no shortage to choose from, and people interested in training athletes or clients recovering from injuries should seek out programs specific to their needs.

While a college degree can certainly help a person looking for a job as a personal trainer, it is not strictly required. Many opt to pursue degrees in exercise science, fitness, biology or business. A high school diploma or GED, however, is required for anyone hoping to become a certified personal trainer.

Once a person has met the necessary education requirements, they will need to sit for a certifying exam. Many people opt to register for the Personal Trainer Exam offered by the American Council on Exercise, also known as the ACE exam. All registrants must be 18 years or older, have their CPR certification, and pay an exam fee.

fitness Trainer Necessary Skills

Before taking a job as a fitness trainer, it's important to reflect on the skills necessary for the position. An interest in health and fitness is a must, and a person's passion for exercise should be evident in their leadership style. Making changes to one's eating and exercise plans can be incredibly difficult, and it takes a determined and inspiring individual to motivate clients to make a lasting impact.

Personal training also requires a great deal of energy and commitment to goals. No matter how many clients a fitness trainer sees in a day, they need to bring their positivity and excitement to each appointment. A job as a personal trainer means hours of social interaction, verbal communication, and flexibility each day.

Career Trajectory

While many personal trainers are content to work with clients and build up their own fitness business through the years, there are alternative career paths for ambitious fitness trainers. Some opt to pursue master's degrees in health promotion program design, statistics in exercise science or health behavior program evaluation. Doctoral programs are an option, too – data analysis in kinesiology, for example, can go a long way to further a personal trainer's career.

The freedom to pursue your interests is part of what makes the fitness industry so appealing. With no one set path to success, fitness trainers can create their own way to professional fulfillment. Years of fitness training can inform a career in nutrition, physical therapy, health education and beyond.

Passing the ACE Exam

Before your career can truly begin, though, you'll need a passing score on the ACE exam. To achieve a passing score of 500, test-takers must answer 90 out of the 125 questions correctly. The ACE test shouldn't be underestimated – it's expensive and can be difficult to pass. With the right preparation, though, you'll earn the score you need.

One way to ensure a passing score is to take as many ACE practice tests as you can. While traditional study methods like notetaking and writing flashcards can help inform your studies, a practice test can highlight your weak areas and ensure you're not wasting time on subjects you've already mastered. Exam Edge offers practice tests for both the ACE personal trainer exam as well as the ACE group fitness trainer exam. Best of all, we have free sample practice exams for new users who are eager to learn more about our resources.

Exam Edge features hundreds of practice tests across a wide array of subjects. Our unique platform allows test-takers to familiarize themselves with the kinds of questions they'll face on the real test. The content of the test questions is helpful when preparing for the ACE exam, and the format of the practice test can be just as useful. Users can take a timed version of the test to see how they might perform if the test were today. Options to pause, take notes and restart the timer are also available.

Get started on your quest to become a personal trainer with Exam Edge!