In part 1 I gave you my opinion on certifications for personal training.  This post will act as an overview of the couple main options you have in getting certification in personal training.

Here is a list of what you should look for in a certification in personal training:

What knowledge will you gain from that certification in personal training?
What doors will open by holding that cert?
What other opportunities will the cert or organization give you? (Conferences, workshops etc.)
How well known is the certification and is it valued by potential employers?
What networking opportunities may present themselves as a results of having the cert?

If you want a great comparison chart, refer to the best personal trainer certification chart Canada <--

Can Fit Pro -

Great conference
Good starting point to get foot in the door
Cheap and accessible

CPTN (Canadian Personal Trainers Network) -

Large/growing organization
Good conference and lots of symposiums throughout the year

CSEP (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiologists) -

Science based
Relatively cheap
Requires a college or University degree in a related field
Recognized as being an advanced certification in personal training in Canada

NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) -

Offers two certifications that can be used by personal trainers, the PTS (personal training) and CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist)

Well established and widely accepted internationally
Focus on human performance
Science-based information / journal
Good textbook
Good conferences and workshops

ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)-

Scientific approach focusing on health
Nationally recognized

Ace (American College of Exercise) -

Widely accepted and been around for a long time
Good textbook

NASM (The National Academy of Sports Medicine)

Everything is in house
Lots of educational oppurtunities

We've also produced a list the top personal trainer certification in the United States

This is not a conclusive list. That having been said be weary of fringe companies that pop up on the internet. The fitness business is not monitored closely enough and anybody with a couple hundred dollars can certify themselves through an internet test. I strongly urge you to steer clear of these options.

The knowledge that you'll gain from studying for the more difficult tests will provide the foundation to which you'll build off of.

No matter what certification you choose it's imperative that you have mentors. Perhaps the best way to gain experience, knowledge, and a start in developing your network is through internships. In part 3 Sam Leahey will be talking about internships.  While you're waiting for that article to be posted.  Check out Mark Young interviewing Sam here

In Part 3 Sam Leahey speaks about the importance of internships. Check it out here.