Fitness Certifications »
Continuing Education »
Professional Resources »
About ACE »
ACE Store »
Sales and Promotions »
ACE Partner Account »
Need Help? Call Us » (888) 825‑3636
Follow ACE on
  • Personal Training Certification Comparison
Need Help? Call our experts at (888) 825-3636 or email them with questions.

Compare Certification Organizations

ACE vs. NASM? ACSM vs. ACE? To help you decide which organization to go with for your Personal Trainer Certification, we’ve decided to put all the information we could find on the table. Our goal is to help you make the smartest, most informed decision you can make. If you’re considering an organization that isn’t listed as a search option below, you should probably reconsider. Quality and reputation play a large part in how your certification will serve your career and how you’ll be able to serve your clients in the future.

Personal Training Certification Comparison

  • ACE

  • ACSM

  • NASM

Organizational ModelNon-ProfitNon-ProfitFor Profit
Accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)YesYesYes
Member of Coalition of the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP)™YesYesNo
Accredited by the European Health & Fitness Association (EHFA)YesNoYes
Currently Certified Personal Trainers38,84113,999Not Publicly Known
Currently Certified Fitness Professionals 1represents only NCCA Accredited certifications, 2includes non-NCCA Accredited certifications 60,000125,0002Not Publicly Known
Eligibility Requirements
18 Years of Age or OlderYesYesYes
CPR/AED 1requires practical skills component Yes1Yes1Yes
High School Diploma or EquivalentYesYesNo
Exam Price 1price dependent on exam method or member vs. non-member rate $399$219-$2791$599
Exam Format
Proctored by 3rd PartyYesYesYes
Time Allowed3 hours2.5 Hours2 Hours
Number of Questions150150120
Computer-Based Exam OptionYesYesYes
Study Material Packages
Price Range$599-$799$135.99- ˜$800$699- $1,999
Option to Include Exam VoucherYesYesYes
Voucher Expiration 1from purchase date unless otherwise stated 6 months12 months6 months
Study Assistance
Dedicated Student Resource StaffYesNoYes
Phone or Email AssistanceYesNoYes
Study Model
Online ContentYesYesYes
Live WorkshopsNoYesYes
Interactive Study GuideYesNoYes
Additional Study Resources Available
Online Courses or ToolsYesYesYes
Flash CardsYesNoYes
Practice Tests or AssessmentsYesYesYes
Standard Study GuideYesNoYes
DVD or CD MaterialsYesNoNo
Additional Reference TextbooksYesYesNo
Curriculum Taught at Colleges or UniversitiesYesYesYes
Certification Widely Accepted by Fitness FacilitiesYesYesYes
Professional Benefits
Career Tools
Employment Listings AvailableYesNoYes
Client Search FeatureYesYesYes
Client ResourcesYesNoYes
Business Forms or DocumentsYesNoYes
Career Development ResourcesYesYesYes
Liability Insurance DiscountsYesYesYes
Product DiscountsYesYesYes
Industry Resources
Access to industry researchYesYesYes
Expert BlogYesNoYes
Fitness NewsYesYesYes
Organization Conducts or Sponsors Industry ResearchYesYesYes
Continuing Education Information
Recertification Fee 1price dependent on recertification completed online or by mail and number of certifications held $49- $1391$30$99
Time Frame2 years3 years2 years
Number of Hours Required204520
CECs From Other Providers AcceptedYesYesYes
Additional Certifications
Group Exercise CertificationYesYesNo
Advanced CertificationsYesYesNo
Specialty CertificationsYesYesYes
Available Course Formats
Self-paced/Home StudyYesYesYes
Live WebinarsYesYesYes
Bundled CoursesYesNoYes
Fitness ConferencesNoYesNo

Notice something that needs changing or have something to add? Send an email to



Get Started Today

ACE-certified Personal Trainer by choosing a program of study materials

Choose Your Study Program

Take the first step in becoming an ACE-certified Personal Trainer by choosing a program of study materials to help you prepare for the exam. Our three options feature a variety of study aids – from flashcards to ACE Academy Elite, our interactive, video-led study experience.
Learn More »