Yes, the certifying agency should matter and there are many good ones to choose from… You want to go for a cert that holds high standards for our industry, and one that is NCCA accredited (the others have already mentioned many good ones that are nationally recognized). This not only helps you with employers, recognition and respect for you as a trainer, but also for all of us in the industry moving forward.
Good luck to you!
Hello Kerri Wilson,
A question about education for a career is never silly.
Yes, you want to be sure to go with NCCA accredited and back that up with who the gyms in your area prefer. Here is a list to help you compare. If you have more questions, the certifying agencies have friendly staff ready and waiting to help answer your questions.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
All of the afore mentioned certification program are excellent but I actually teach on the side for the World Instructors Training or W.I.T.S. out of Virginia Beach, VA. They are accredited as well and have a very nice comprehensive program that includes an internship program at a fitness club along with a practical and written test, plus CPR certification is a must. They have affiliations with many universities and colleges across the U.S. and I think they have a very strong program or I would not teach for them.
Also, having a degree in Health and PE, Exercise Science, Sports Medicine to name a few is also (in my opinion) tops a certification program because the student is will to get a BS or in some cases an AA in the field, putting in 2 to 4 years at a university rather than just a few weekends or on-line courses, hooah!
In my experience being NASM certified I’ve found that employers tend to prefer this organization. Then again I may be a little biased considering all of my certs are from NASM. At the same time some gyms will ONLY hire NASM certified trainers. They are the best in my book. Sure there are other great ones out there, just depends on what your focus is and where you are trying to work…hope that helps. Good luck!