You probably searched “How much does it cost to get ACE certified?” looking for a simple answer. The truth is that the exam cost is only part of what you should take into account here. In your journey to become an ACE certified personal trainer, you have to also consider the costs for prerequisite requirements, study package costs, and miscellaneous costs like study materials, networking memberships, and more.
ACE Prerequisite Requirements
Before you can even think about exam fees and study material costs, you have to ensure that you meet the ACE prerequisite requirements. If you’re behind in certain requirements, this may incur an additional cost in your budget to become a personal trainer. Obviously, there’s no amount of money you can pay to make yourself a legal adult (which is one of the requirements), but others do charge fees you may not have anticipated.
To be considered eligible for ACE personal training certification, you have to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. If you have a diploma, you can skip this section; it doesn’t apply to you. However, if you don’t have a diploma, you’ll need to get your GED. To find the cost of a GED in your state, go to GED.com/policies. Select your language and your state, then click “Learn [STATE] Policies.”
Once you’ve selected your state, you’ll click the tab called “Price & Payment.” For example, if you want to take your GED exam in Texas, the cost is $36.25 per module. There are four modules (Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science), so the total cost for a Texas GED would be $145.
CPR/AED Certification Costs
ACE also requires prospective personal trainers to be CPR/AED certified. If you already have this certification, no worries here unless your certification is due to expire soon. Make sure that the expiration date doesn’t fall before your exam date. If you don’t have this certification, then you’ll need to get it before signing up for the ACE certification exam. The cost is miniscule at $29.95, but even still it’s a cost to factor in when considering, “How much does it cost to get ACE certified?”
Government-Issued ID Costs
Most people have a government-issued ID, but if you don’t, you’ll need to get one before your ACE certification exam date. If you have a driver’s license, a state ID, or a passport, then you can keep scrolling. If you don’t, here are the costs for each:
- Driver’s License: $10 to $89, depending on the state you’re in.
- State-Issued ID: about $10 to $27.50, depending on the state you’re in.
- Passport: $145 for a new adult passport.
ACE Exam Costs
Unlike other personal training certification programs, ACE doesn’t allow you to pay the exam fee separately from a study package. You may think this isn’t fair at first, but consider this: ACE understands its exam structure better than any outside program. It knows exactly what material will be on the exam and the best methods for retaining that information. Rather than allowing you to purchase the exam separately, allowing you to potentially fail the first time and take the exam again, ACE sets you up for success by bundling the exam cost with the study packages.
ACE Study Package Costs
- Basic Personal Trainer Study Program
- Plus Personal Trainer Study Program
- Advanced Personal Trainer Study Program
The middle option, Plus, is the most popular option, according to the ACE website, but the least expensive option is the Basic plan. Let’s go over all three study packages, covering the benefits, cost, and payment plans for each:
This package covers the cost of your ACE certification exam as well as practice tests with answers and other basic study materials. You’ll receive access to digital versions of ACE Personal Trainer Manual, ACE Essentials of Exercise Science, and ACE Study Companion. With the New Year special, this package is just $359.40, which you can pay in $30 monthly installments.
With the Plus package, you’ll get all the perks of the Basic package and more. You’ll receive not just one practice test, but TWO, and you’ll also receive hard copies of all three textbooks. If you’re a tactile person, you might upgrade to this package. With the New Year special, it’s just $479.40 with $40 monthly payments.
The Advanced package offers all of the above and much, much more. You’ll get three practice tests, ACE Applied Exercise Science Workbook, video tutorials, personalized tutoring sessions, and a built-in option to retake the ACE certification exam. With the New Year special, this plan is just $779.40 with $65 monthly installments.
ACE Miscellaneous Costs
Outside of paying for the ACE-packaged study materials, you’ll also need to factor in miscellaneous expenses when considering, “How much does it cost to get ACE certified?” Some of these expenses will contribute to your studying costs, but for the most part, we’re factoring expenses that will help you get hired in the field and be a successful ACE-certified personal trainer.
Nearly all the study materials for ACE certification are online. That means that you’ll need a reliable way to access these digital materials like a laptop or desktop computer. You’ll also need access to wifi.
To be a successful personal trainer, you’ll want to maintain your own personal fitness routine. While you can be out of shape and be a personal trainer, technically speaking, it’s not very likely that your clients are going to listen to you when you’re trying to push them to their limit. That means you’ll have to pay the costs of a gym membership or a specialty membership. Here are some memberships to consider:
- 24-Hour Fitness
- Anytime Fitness
- Fitness Connection
- Lifetime Fitness
- Yoga Memberships
- Rock Climbing Memberships
- Cycling Memberships
- Kickboxing Memberships
- MMA Memberships
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Strong Education teaches personal trainers and service providers on how to adapt fitness and nutrition for children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities through our online adaptive special needs certification course.