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  1. #31
    Registered User cthulhupun's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CertifiedMuscle View Post
    The ISSA is accredited by actual educational organizations such as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Distance Education and Training Council, both of which are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    While CHEA has a shaky past and is no longer a DoE recognized accreditor, these are actually accreditation granting organizations. That said, the bar for DETC accreditation isn't all that high. All it really means is that it actually grants the certifications it says it grants (it isn't a scam, and it doesn't just give people a certificate for "life experience" without requiring some sort of test).
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  2. #32
    Starting the Slow Cut CertifiedMuscle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cthulhupun View Post
    While CHEA has a shaky past and is no longer a DoE recognized accreditor, these are actually accreditation granting organizations. That said, the bar for DETC accreditation isn't all that high. All it really means is that it actually grants the certifications it says it grants (it isn't a scam, and it doesn't just give people a certificate for "life experience" without requiring some sort of test).
    Thanks for sharing.
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  3. #33
    Registered User soren_xavier's Avatar
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    Well, it's 9 months later (and I kind of put my CPT aspirations aside for a little while), but I finally made a decision here and figured I'd update my thread.

    I decided to go with the NSCA and ordered the study kit a few days ago. WOO!

    Can anyone give me any ideas on how long I should expect to have to study before taking the test?
    "I must find the truth which is true for me; the truth for which I can live and die." -- Soren Kierkegaard
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  4. #34
    Registered User a1rj0rdanz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CertifiedMuscle View Post
    Wow....do you have an ISSA cert? How do you even know?
    I researched all of the main certifications very thoroughly and found ISSA to be the best all-around package.
    so does ISSA salary better than other cert
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  5. #35
    Registered User Paulie_G's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by a1rj0rdanz View Post
    so does ISSA salary better than other cert
    What?

    ACSM, NSCA and NASM are probably the "top tier" certs, followed by ACE, ISSA, and a few other second tier, but still reputable organizations. All of these first and second tier organizations are leaps and bounds above YMCA certs, and all of those "get your certification in a weekend" type deals.

    With the top 3, you will have more job opportunities. However, when I was ACE certified some years ago, I was hired for every PT job that I applied for in NY and Virginia. So, I'm not sure how much being in the top tier group really matters.

    I never notice a difference in salary between certifications. It's just a matter of more opportunities, from what I've seen.
    Last edited by Paulie_G; 05-23-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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  6. #36
    Registered User oregonpanthers's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Exam Prep Time

    Originally Posted by soren_xavier View Post
    Well, it's 9 months later (and I kind of put my CPT aspirations aside for a little while), but I finally made a decision here and figured I'd update my thread.

    I decided to go with the NSCA and ordered the study kit a few days ago. WOO!

    Can anyone give me any ideas on how long I should expect to have to study before taking the test?
    As a CPT myself I took the exam after 1 semester of college course work in AP and Kinesiology. I had also done some self study on nutrition and exercise program design. Having been a college athlete helped some to. I read the whole CPT book and watched the exercise technique video and took a practice exam before the real deal. Took me about 18 weeks of time to do all this. I passed with a 87%.

    I would take at least that long and review at least that much material to pass this exam.

    Doing so is perhaps one of the best choices you can make to giving yourself the knowledge and competnency to becoming a establishing yourself as a credible trainer worldwide. Good choice with taking the NSCA as your personal trainer pathway.
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  7. #37
    Registered User oregonpanthers's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Paulie_G View Post
    What?

    ACSM, NSCA and NASM are probably the "top tier" certs, followed by ACE, ISSA, and a few other second tier, but still reputable organizations. All of these first and second tier organizations are leaps and bounds above YMCA certs, and all of those "get your certification in a weekend" type deals.

    With the top 3, you will have more job opportunities. However, when I was ACE certified some years ago, I was hired for every PT job that I applied for in NY and Virginia. So, I'm not sure how much being in the top tier group really matters.

    I never notice a difference in salary between certifications. It's just a matter of more opportunities, from what I've seen.
    I agree 100% the top 3 stated above are your best bets for getting hired and showing solid credibility and hireability. What you make in terms of salary wont matter based on certs alone. Thats more on you and the business side of how, who, where you run your PT services through. I have taught the ACE PT course at my last job, taken the NSCA CPT exam myself and both are of similar content and difficulty. Either would do well to demonstrate comprehensive PT KSA in my opinion. I just happen to be a bit biased to the NSCA since I started with them and have never turned away since becoming a certified professinal member back in winter 2007.
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  8. #38
    BittyBro dreahere's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by soren_xavier View Post
    Well, it's 9 months later (and I kind of put my CPT aspirations aside for a little while), but I finally made a decision here and figured I'd update my thread.

    I decided to go with the NSCA and ordered the study kit a few days ago. WOO!

    Can anyone give me any ideas on how long I should expect to have to study before taking the test?

    Depends somewhat on what your background is. I just passed the NSCA-CPT after about 6 weeks total of studying--a month of reading and studying the manual and then a couple weeks of intense reviewing and taking practice tests right before taking the exam--but I'm also an LMT, so I already knew all the anatomy and physiology and was just brushing up on it, rather than learning it for the first time.
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  9. #39
    Registered User Paulie_G's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dreahere View Post
    Depends somewhat on what your background is. I just passed the NSCA-CPT after about 6 weeks total of studying--a month of reading and studying the manual and then a couple weeks of intense reviewing and taking practice tests right before taking the exam--but I'm also an LMT, so I already knew all the anatomy and physiology and was just brushing up on it, rather than learning it for the first time.
    6 weeks? That's pretty good. I'm in the midst of studying for both ISSA and ACSM. I'm going to take the ISSA in July, then the ACSM in September. This is after letting my ACE cert lapse in 2008, after a few years of burn out of the fitness field. Ready to go back to it now, after getting my Master's out of the way.
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  10. #40
    Registered User JoeCannonMSCSCS's Avatar
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    If you think at some point you may want to train clients - and that entails getting a job in a gym, then Id say either get NSCA or ACE. Both are very well respected organizations. If I had to pick, Id say NSCA edges them out in some aspects but but both organizations have strong points. you cant go wrong with either of them.
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  11. #41
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    The other two should not be on the same list as NSCA. Any one who can read can obtain the other two.
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  12. #42
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cthulhupun View Post
    Recognized as what? The Department of Education doesn't accredit anything. They just certify the regional accreditation organizations. It's the regional accreditation organizations that do the accreditation.
    ***
    I did some looking and found these meaningless sentences.
    "Listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized agency"
    "...association that has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for over 50 years."
    Anyone who knows how accreditation works in the USA knows that these statements mean absolutely nothing in regards to their accreditation. In fact, by including them on their website, it makes them look even less reputable.
    Very true. I totally agree. They think you are stupid and so they stretch the truth beyond recognition.
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  13. #43
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    Ace

    Sort of related... I recently, perhaps ignorantly, did little research prior to ordering my ACE study packet for PT and membership a couple days ago. My question is... did I make a dire mistake, or is this a solid certification?
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  14. #44
    Registered User JoeShorty84's Avatar
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    Jobs??

    Why is everyone worried about which places will hire you? You are a Certified Personal Trainer! You know what that means? You are a business, which makes you the boss, which means you make 100% of the profit that your business makes. I get that it's easier to "work" for a gym, they set up clients and you have a paycheck, but doesn't it suck when you know how much the gym is charging for PT sessions compared to what you are making per session?
    I know of CPT's that work at a Planet Fitness, they make $8/hour. Are you kidding me? As a CPT, you are worth $50-$100 or more/hour, depending on your clientele and where you live.
    As long as you stick with the top certification programs out there, you are going to learn what you need to learn to become successful. How do you run your own PT biz? Easy, open your mouth, post it on facebook, build a free website, discount family and friends so you have practice, referrals, success stories, etc. Just research other PT's out there and follow their lead, most will even give you tips and advice if you ask.
    Unless you work for some high end gym and make crazy money, get into business for yourself!!!

    Good luck on your cert!!
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  15. #45
    Peanut Butter Enthusiast slbross's Avatar
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    Don't forget you also need to carry your own insurance and -- most difficultly -- find out where you're going to train. If you can train in clients' homes or in a park or something, that's great.
    Most gyms will kick you and the client out for training there if they have their own CPT staff, and probably even if they don't; there is too much liability. That leaves you needing to own your own studio ($$$) or to independently contract with other studios in your area. Contracting with a studio or otherwise renting time there will cost somewhere between a moderate amount to a ****load of money. Also, a lot of places (from what I can tell ALL of them where I live) require that you come in with a certain number of existing clients when you start. You can't just sign a contract and then go recruiting clients. So, you'd have to collect your pack of workout-at-home/outdoors clients, then magically have at least like five of them all agree to start working at a studio instead of their home starting whatever week you want to start; and then you have to decide if you are a salesman enough to convince them to pay more or if you're just going to take the hit on paying the studio with the goal of being able to train more diverse clients.
    Once you get rolling and are regularly serving clients at a studio that you are contracted with, then it's no problem. But understand the investments of both money and time, and clever planning and good fortune involved in getting to that place.
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  16. #46
    Registered User Tucc1's Avatar
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    Issa, ace, nsca

    I'm not sure why all the focus on meaningless accreditations? Only ACE and ISSA are in good standings with the Better Business Bureaus. You should look at that. ISSA is frowned on only for using the DEAC and not NCCA when neither really do anything other than make you think you are buying into something more secure. The true test of a company is recognized on BBB.org. Now with that being said, ISSA has a great program, very well outlined, and you will know your stuff but if you plan on working for a club, then ACE will probably get you the job quicker only because the guy hiring you doesn't know the difference and is on the NCCA bandwagon.
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  17. #47
    Banned SCfitness7's Avatar
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    In my opinion I think that the ACE certification is the best of all three of them currently. I also think that NASM is a decent option as well. I have a lot of certification comparison articles on my website. It really comes down to the type of individuals that you would like to train once you become a personal trainer. Here's my article on ISSA vs NSCA: http://www.ptpioneer.com/nsca-vs-issa/ and my article on NSCS vs ACE: http://www.ptpioneer.com/nsca-vs-ace/. I hope you find these helpful let me know what you think
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