National Credential
Credential: Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT)  In-Demand resource  GI Bill resource  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Personal Trainer Certification is designed for fitness trainers providing one-on-one or small-group fitness instruction. This is an entry level certification and requires applicants to pass the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer Certification exam. Personal Trainer Certification exam validates the applicant's knowledge of risk factor screening, fitness assessment, nutrition, exercise science, exercise programming and progressions, instructional and spotting techniques, lifestyle modification and professional scope of practice. The applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, be at least 18 years of age, and hold current adult CPR and AED certificate.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 2 years

Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 11B Infantryman MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 11C Indirect Fire Infantryman MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 13B Cannon Crewmember MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 13M Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)/High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HiMARS) Crewmember MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 68F Physical Therapy Specialist MOS some          
Enlisted 8J Master Resilience Trainer-Facilitator ASI some          
Enlisted Soldier Common Core MOS some          
Enlisted P5 Master Fitness Trainer ASI most          

Army Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience
  • Education: High School Diploma/GED
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 2 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

American Council on Exercise (ACE)
4851 Paramount Drive
San Diego, CA  92123
Phone: (800) 825-3636
Fax: (858) 576-6564
Email: support@acefitness.org

Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT)

Applicant must have completed high school (or the equivalent).

The Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Applicant must hold a current adult CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) certificate including live skills check.

Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT)

  • Client Interviews and Assessments (31%)
    • Obtain health, medical, and exercise history and lifestyle information (e.g., personal, physical, environmental, nutritional, and occupational factors) using questionnaires, interviews, and available documents to determine risk stratification, identify the need for medical clearance and referrals, and facilitate program design.
    • Assess clients’ current attitudes, preferences, goals, and readiness for behavior change using questionnaires and interviews to identify potential barriers, motivators, and expectations necessary to set appropriate program goals.
    • Identify and evaluate the quality of client movement (e.g., balance, stability, and mobility) through observations and assessments, to develop appropriate exercise programming designed to improve movement efficiency and enhance activities of daily living, overall physical performance, and injury prevention and recovery.
    • Select and conduct physiological assessments (e.g., cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, body composition, heart rate, blood pressure) based on client interviews, questionnaires, and standardized protocols to facilitate safe and effective program design and to monitor changes over time.
  • Program Design and Implementation (33%)
    • Interpret the results of the client interview and assessment data (e.g., client goals, attitudes, motivations), define program goals, and design safe and effective exercise and lifestyle programs.
    • Apply appropriate exercise parameters (e.g., frequency, intensity, duration, type) and principles (e.g., overload, specificity, progression) for cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility using current guidelines to develop safe and effective exercise programs.
    • Incorporate skill-related exercises (e.g., stability, mobility, coordination, balance, power, speed, agility) and appropriate equipment into client programs, in accordance with scientific research, to improve movement efficiency and enhance activities of daily living, overall physical performance, and injury prevention and recovery.
    • Instruct clients on safe and effective exercise techniques (e.g., intensity, breathing, tempo, movement patterns, postural alignment) and equipment use, using a variety of cues (e.g., verbal, visual, kinesthetic) to achieve program goals.
  • Progression and Modification (19%)
    • Promote program adherence through reinforcement of client motivators, education regarding the benefits of exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle, and modification of program parameters to achieve program goals.
    • Recognize and respond to lapses in program adherence by identifying client barriers and helping to establish and
      implement support systems and/or solutions.
    • Routinely evaluate client exercise programs by using assessment data, observations, and client feedback to progress and modify programs as needed.
  • Professional Conduct, Safety, and Risk Management (17%)
    • Apply risk-management strategies in accordance with recognized standards, guidelines, laws, and regulations to protect the client, personal trainer, and other relevant parties in order to reduce the risk of injury and liability.
    • Document client-related data, communications, and progress using a secure record-keeping system in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements to maintain confidentiality and continuity of care, and to minimize liability.
    • Use credible resources to maintain and enhance competency by staying current with scientifically based research, theories, and practices in order to provide safe and effective services.
    • Conduct assessments of the exercise space, equipment, and environment in order identify potential hazards and undertake necessary modifications to provide a safe environment for clients and the personal trainer.

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing for this credential is handled by Castle Worldwide. The test centers are located in the U.S.

To find out more, use the following links on the Castle Worldwide website:

For more information on the American Council on Exercise (ACE) testing process, visit the agency website.

Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT) credential has the following recertification information:

  • ACE certifications are valid for 2 years, and must be renewed through submission of 20 hours or more of ACE-approved continuing education, current CPR/AED certificate, and applicable renewal fees.

    Additional information can be found on the ACE website.