T Nation

ACSM/PT Qualifications

I dont know if this is the right forum… but i know there are a few really good trainers here who’s opinions i respect much.

Now, i currently have one of the top “recommended” PT qualifications in the UK with the Premier Diploma in PT, and it served me well as a decent qualification to write on my resume/CV.
Before you all start a heated debate, i have become a good trainer SINCE earning this qualification, it doesnt prove i am good or experienced, all it proves is i can sit an exam.
My CV speaks for itself, and as most of you know, we need a qualifaication to work in the first place. Even if it is just a piece of paper, as it is a matter of insurance.

ANYWAY, my question is this;

I am moving back to the States in a few months, this time with the correct visa to live and work and be with my little family at last. I have looked into my working over there with the qualification i have and most companies (assuming i would work in a gym to start) would request that i held one of their “recognised” qualifacations. I do not mind re-certifying if necessary, shit - its all learning.

So my question at last is, should i go for a big one like ACSM or one of the smaller ones just for the bit of paper? (I have been studying the “ACSM’s Advanced Exercise Physiology” manual, and it is very very deep, very very difficult, but challenging and enjoyable - the bits i can understand are at least! :wink: - i do not think the PT qualification goes into anywhere near this detail though, as i have seen the prospectus briefly).
If i went for a more renound one it would surely open more doors wouldn’t it? It looks better to begin with and that does actually count when there are 50 resumes to skim over.

Also, of those who are qualified in the States (Derek… who else), what qualifications do you have, and what do you recommend for myself and why? :slight_smile:

Also if one of you could give me the top 5 qualifications, as i am aware there are about 20 (i saw this when insuring myself over there last year to PT and when looking them up on the net) and i really do not know where to start. It isnt a matter of searching on Google as they ALL say they are the best! And i have done this i promise, but i wanted YOUR views on the best, from some people i trust and respect in the industry.

Thankyou in advance,


Hey Joe,

In the US, ACSM and NSCA (CSCS) will be your gold standards and will set you apart from the crowd, simply by looking at a resume.

ACE, while it may not be looked at as highly by some PTs, from the gym perspective it is just as widely accepted.

NASM is another organization that has been gaining a lot of credibility in the past few years, though the prior 3 will be your best choices.

Beyond those 4, the only other one that I can think of that hold as much water would be Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research (Dr. Cooper)

ACSM and NSCA (cscs), you will need a 4 yr degree in any area of study to get certified through.

Personally, if it were me just starting out again, knowing what I know, I’d go for the CSCS hands down.
If you plan on working with athletes at some point sit for the CSCS.

This isn’t just me talking as a trainer, but also as an Assistant Fitness Director who does hiring.

good luck, any thoughts on where you’ll be moving?