ACE Personal Trainer Certification Review
Considering getting your CPT with the American Council on Exercise (ACE)? Here’s an ACE CPT review to help you decide if this certification is right for you.
First and foremost, ACE is NCCA accredited, meaning the National Commission for Certifying Agencies has identified their coursework as reputable and meets the criteria for what is considered a high-quality program within the personal training industry. This also means that this CPT gives you a high likelihood of getting you a job within a gym.
It is also one of the most popular of the personal trainer certifications, with our research indicating that there are over 13,100 tests taken each year, second only to NASM. Like NASM, the cost of ACE’s study materials and test are a bit higher than most. The cheapest study package and test sits at $599, whereas some of the other CPTs fall around the $500 range.
While slightly more expensive up front, ACE looks to be a good investment as the average income of an ACE personal trainer is amongst the best in the industry. ACE personal trainers, on average, make $41,546 per year, second to only NASM trainers. Of course, there are a lot of other factors that allow a trainer to earn more, and we recommend this online course for learning many of them.
ACE also has modest continuing education (CEU) requirements. Trainers are required to take 20 hours of CEUs and the current cost is $129 to recertify every 2 years.
The exam is comprised of 150 questions, and a 62.5% or higher gets you an ACE CPT. The focus of ACE’s education is Program Design, Implementation, and Modification, meaning you’ll learn how to design programs for your clients, help them achieve success within them, and modify them as necessary as their skillsets improve.
General Consensus on Difficulty of the ACE CPT Exam
In our analysis of personal trainer exam pass rates we found that ACE was sort of middle of the road at 65%. The exam with the highest pass rate is ISSA at 89.9%, but that exam is open book.
The consensus we have heard about the exam from actual test takers is that the questions are subjective and there always seems to be more than one right answer. Another thing we frequently hear is that the ACE study materials are somewhat inconsistent with the information that is provided on the exam, making some feel inadequately prepared after solely relying on these.
This is why we recommend learning how to study for the ACE CPT but also what to study to ensure you pass the first time. The Fitness Mentors’ free ACE Study Guide will help you along your path. If you really want to get serious, check out our Premium Study Guide that focuses on the subjects that are most important to pass the ACE CPT.
Eddie Lester is a personal trainer from Los Angeles and the Founder and CEO of Fitness Mentors. With over 10 years experience and 8 different certifications and specializations, as well as multiple years teaching training at a vocational college, Lester loves sharing his knowledge of practical training experience as well as how to study for PT exams. Lester is the author of Business and Sales: The Guide to Success as a Personal Trainer.