National Credential
Credential: Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT)  In-Demand resource  GI Bill resource  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT) certification recognizes fitness professionals who use research-based techniques to help people of all fitness levels reach personal fitness goals. The ACSM-CPT facilitates motivation and adherence as well as develops and administers programs designed to enhance muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and/or any of the motor skill related components of physical fitness. ACSM-CPTs have the practical and scientific knowledge to work in a variety of facilities, including health clubs, gyms, university, corporate, and community or public fitness centers, and hold positions ranging from freelance to full-time. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or the equivalent, and possess Adult CPR/AED certification to take the ACSM-CPT exam.

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

Renewal Period: 3 years

Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-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 37F Psychological Operations Specialist MOS some          
Enlisted 56M Religious Affairs Specialist MOS other          
Enlisted 68F Physical Therapy Specialist MOS some          
Enlisted 8J Master Resilience Trainer-Facilitator ASI some          
Enlisted 94M Radar Repairer MOS other          
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 (ACSM-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: Adult CPR/AED Certification
  • Experience
  • Education: High School Diploma/GED
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

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

Renewal Period: 3 years

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

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
401 West Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN  46202-3233
Phone: (317) 637-9200
Fax: (317) 634-7817
Contact Page

Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT)

Applicants must possess current Adult CPR/AED certification.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

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

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT)

  • Initial Client Consultation and Assessment (25%)
    • Provide documents and clear instructions to the client in preparation for the initial interview.
    • Interview the client to gather and provide pertinent information prior to fitness testing and program design.
    • Review and analyze client data to identify risk, formulate a plan of action, and conduct physical assessments
    • Evaluate behavioral readiness and develop strategies to optimize exercise adherence.
    • Assess the components of health- and/or skill-related fitness to establish baseline values, set goals, and develop individualized programs.
    • Develop a plan and timeline for reassessing physical fitness, goals, and related behaviors.
  • Exercise Programming and Implementation (45%)
    • Review the client's goals, medical history, and assessment results and determine exercise prescription.
    • Select exercise modalities to achieve the desired adaptations based on the client's goals, medical history and assessment results
    • Determine initial Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type, Volume and Progression (i.e., FITT-VP Principle) of exercise based on the client's goals, medical history, and assessment results.
    • Review the proposed program with the client, demonstrate exercises, and teach the client how to perform each exercise.
    • Monitor the client's technique and response to exercise, providing modifications as necessary.
    • Recommend exercise progressions to improve or maintain the client's fitness level.
    • Obtain client feedback to ensure exercise program satisfaction and adherence.
  • Exercise Leadership and Client Education (20%)
    • Optimize participant adherence by using effective communication, motivational techniques, and behavioral strategies.
    • Educate clients using scientifically sound resources.
  • Legal and Professional Responsibilities (10%)
    • Collaborate with health care professionals and organizations to create a network of providers who can assist in maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risk of an exercise program.
    • Develop a comprehensive risk management program (including an emergency action plan and injury prevention program) consistent with industry standards of care.
    • Adhere to ACSM Certification's Code of Ethics by practicing in a professional manner within the scope of practice of an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer.
    • Follow industry-accepted professional, ethical, and business standards.
    • Respect copyright laws by obtaining permission before using protected materials and any form of applicable intellectual property.
    • Safeguard client confidentiality and privacy rights unless formally waived or in emergency situations.

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-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 Pearson VUE. The test centers are located in the U.S. They also have some test centers on military bases.

To find out more, use the following links on the Pearson VUE website:

For more information on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) testing process, visit the agency website.

Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT)

Renewal Period: 3 years

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

  • ACSM-CPT certification is renewed every three years by accumulating 45 Continuing Education Credits (CECs), maintaining current CPR certification, and paying the required recertification fee.

    Additional information can be found on the ACSM website.