NPTI is vey different than the other certifications programs. They do not offer a weekend workshop or a study guide.  The NPTI Personal Trainer Certification offers an in-depth curriculum that fully prepares you for your career in personal training! They are more similar to a personal training school than a certifying agency. They offer what is called a personal training diploma upon completion of their course. This diploma is state approved.

NPTI Personal Trainer Certification: general information:

NPTI was established in 2000. Their workshop length is 500 hours long. They are located in 30 US cities. Since they are relatively new, they have a rather low level of recognition in the industry. They are not NCCA accredited. However, because they offer a diploma program, they are approved by the state. The only prerequisites are that you are 18 years old, are a US citizen and have a high school diploma or the equivalent. The good thing about this diploma/certification is that you are never required to recertify.

NPTI Personal Trainer Certification

Tuition for the program is by location. The cost is generally between $5900 and $6300. This cost includes your study materials, exam cost, gym membership and your CPR/AED certification. They offer financial help through loan programs. These programs let you borrow up to 60% of tuition and living expenses during the time you are taking the program.

Going through the NPTI program requires you to train for 500 hours over the course of six months. Of these 500 hours, there are 50 hours of simulated training sessions with practice clients. 145 hours are dedicated to developing organized and progressive programs for clients with different needs. 100 hours are dedicated to the study of anatomy and physiology. And the last 100 hours are about proper nutrition.

I really like how NPTI puts people in real life situations to get hands-on experience. There is nothing more important. I know plenty of people who have gone through the certification process, gotten a job as a trainer, and finally realized that personal training was not for them. Most who come to this realization see that it requires a certain personality type to work one-on-one with an individual. This is a physical profession! There is a lot of touching involved when showing proper form. Some people are not comfortable with this. It is important to realize this about yourself early in the process.

NPTI offers many options for going through their course. Because so many hours are involved you will have to arrange your schedule, just like you are going to school. They offer six-month options. The first is Monday through Thursday 9 AM to 2:30 PM or 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM. The second is Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM and Saturday classes from 10 AM to 6 PM. There are also two one-year options. The first option is Saturday is from 10 AM to 6 PM for a year. The second option is Monday and Wednesdays from 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM for a year. There is also a full-time, four-month option. That option is only offered in Orlando, Florida and Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

This certification is much more in-depth than all of the others. For that reason I think it should be put in a separate category all on its own. I still think a four-year degree in Kinesiology from a university is more credible than this diploma. It falls somewhere between a certification and a four-year degree. Employers don’t really see it as more valuable than the other certifying agencies.  But they do see it as much less valuable than a four-year degree. For the sake of Getting employed, I would go with a regular certification that is well-known such as NASM or ACE. You will make just as much money as a trainer with these great certs!

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment about any of this…whatever you think! I would love to hear from somebody who has the NPTI diploma, and how you feel it has served you. If you’d like to read more about the wide variety of certifications check out my article that talks about the ten best personal trainer certifications! Also make sure to check out my ultimate guide on starting a career as a personal trainer!

photo credit: “PictureYouth” via photopin cc



  1. Jeff Waterman says

    I am finishing up NPTI and am looking to take the final test. I am terrible at taking tests but really want to pass. Are there any good study tools that would help me prepare?

    • Tyler Read says

      well studying right before I go to bed as well as 1st thing in the morning helps me retain information really well. It almost makes me dream about it haha. Also flashcards help. Just keep going over and over them

  2. Paul says

    Hey guys, I took the NOT I program and I am going to offer the counter side to the conversation because I found my experience to be severely lacking. Not because of the curriculum or anything like that, but because of the instructors at the particular location which I attended. Class started thirty minutes late every day and ended over an hour early on a consistent basis. The practical hours were zipped through and often times skipped altogether. A lot of the time, it seemed as though the instructor barely understood the material themselves enough to explain it, and not enough to answer my questions. I felt I was being prepared only to pass a test and not to train a client. Being at the end of my program, I am deeply disappointed. I have researched and watched videos of other NOT programs and I feel I picked a bad location. The hands on portion of my program was a joke and nearly non existent, and to top it off, the teacher had a poor attitude toward people.

    • Tyler Read says

      Hey Paul,
      Thank you for your personal experience and great information regarding these programs I’m sure it will help a lot of people out that are reading the comments

  3. says

    I’m an instructor at NPTI, and a NASM test voucher is indeed included in the course. I would agree that graduating from the program does not offer a significant [initial] financial advantage over just taking the NASM test, but it does a great job of increasing knowledge and building confidence. There is also the issue of placement. Graduates of the program often become local entrepreneurs and actively recruit current students. The standards of the course ensure a certain degree of practical competency. Our students can do more than tell you what to do; they can show you. I can not say the same of most big box trainers. The experience is well worth the money.

    • Tyler Read says

      Good to hear from an NPTI instructor here on my site. I agree that the practical experience and length of the course goes a long way versus just reading a book and taking a test. Overall I think the most important aspect is self-motivation to continue learning even after any course or certification is passed.

  4. Steve Young says

    I’m considering NPTI for the hands on training but it is quite costly. I’m doing the online ISSA certification and don’t feel I am learning a whole lot. The Textbook has a lot of information but it assumes the reader knows certain scientific terms. I work at the University of Maryland and NCSF is doing a training workshop in March. Any thoughts on the NCFS workshops? Thanks.

    • Tyler Read says

      I am not too familiar about the NCSF workshops but I have heard good things. ISSA does have complicated study material. You might want to get a hold of a ACE or NASM textbook to see if they progress you through the information better. I have found that they are very good at introducing new concepts.

  5. Michael says

    I have currently been researching what to do post graduation and I have stumbled across NPTI. I’m about to graduate in the May with a degree in Exercise Science (focused on Physical Therapy), but I have a passion for personal training. I’m curious if this is a smart option to go through NPTI if I already have a 4 year degree or if I should just get certified. Reading through the comments, I believe that the hands on training would be extremely helpful. Let me know your thoughts.

    • Tyler Read says

      Hey Michael,
      seems like we are very similar! I graduated with an emphasis on pre-physical therapy as well! NPTI is a very in-depth course and is kind of in a category of its own. It is halfway between a general certification and a degree. Since you are ready have a 4 year degree I would say you have much more experience than most people starting out. Coming from the exact same situation that you did I would not want to go through NPTI because it would be quite redundant. I would simply start studying for a well-known certifications such as NASM, NSCA or ACE. As you are studying through their textbooks you will realize that you know quite a bit of this information already. Passing the test should not be that hard for you. But a certification is great for your resume and is required in some gyms(even if you have a 4 year degree, stupid I know). Hope this helped!

  6. Dave says

    Just to let you know, NPTI and NASM have teamed up, and they pay for you to sit for the certification (with the book and online material), on top of Department of Education backed diplomas in personal training and nutrition. The NPTI diploma itself is NCCA accredited. The hands on learning and highly in-depth material is so much better than the NASM alone.

    • Tyler Read says

      Hey Dave good to know! I agree I really like the hands on approach of NPTI. It alone is better than NASM but for how expensive it is I would recommend obtaining a 4 year degree in kin over NPTI. It is still a great cert/diploma tho no question about that.

  7. steve says

    I think NPTI is above and beyond a cert of NASM or Ace! I don’t believe those two have a hands approach to training. Half the trainers are blown away when I talk them under the table with my knowledge. I really think it should be required to attend a classroom and actual training of Clients before you become a trainer. After attending NPTI I was able to explain in description the actual chemical elements it takes to contract a muscle, called the sliding filament theory. Feel free to YouTube the video and realize we were tested on this. Also feel free to research Golgi tendon, muscle spindles, motor neurons (I can go on forever with the knowledge I picked up). Muscle spindles are nerves that wrap around the muscle fibers as a reactionary reflex movements that cause your muscles to essentially snap in reflex. Golgi tendon is responsible for relaxing the muscle forcing the agonist muscle to relax this protects against damaging the muscle. These can be manipulated while training clients that desire explosive reaction movements(sports). If you’ve been to a Dr he hits your muscle spindle on your knee with a rubber mallet to cause it to jerk in reaction. He is basically testing that your nervous system is reacting. I talk with trainers at my gym go about this aspect of training. They just look at me like WHAT with a confused look on their face. Of course I get the usual where did you learn this. At first I was confused not knowing I was talking them down and why I couldn’t hold a conversation with them. That is when I realized online certs must be handed out like gumballs in a gumball machine. NPTI you are tested every other week with Mid-Terms and a Final. I don’t mean to cut them down because I know those with 4 yr degrees know a lot more then I. But I would be able to hold my own in a conversation with the 4 yr degree trainer. You would be hard pressed to find a certified trainer that can say the same. My Nephew attends College going for his Dr Degree and is blown away from my knowledge. Training to me is a passion that I want to know in depth everything I need to make my Clients get the most educational discussions while in a session. I actually heard a Client of a trainer ask what she needs to do to loose weight. His reply was don’t eat junk food!! Really!!!!! They pay these guys and hire these guys!?! This industry should be regulated and mandated class time to get a Diploma! The best about NPTI is I’m not a rocket scientist rather quite average educated person. Their Instructors, curriculum and small classroom envoiment made me the Trainer I am, that is excelled!!

    • Tyler Read says

      Hey Steve! Great comment. I am glad to see someone who actually holds a NPTI diploma speak up. It sounds like you are very knowledgeable about personal training. I completely agree that most “certified” trainers are unqualified and do not possess the depth of information that you do. I am knowledgeable about all the stuff you talk about because I do possess a four-year degree in kinesiology(pre-physical therapy was my concentration). I think that the quality of a personal trainer should not be judged based off what certification they have. I have seen excellent trainers be certified through ACE, while other trainers that have a Masters degree in exercise physiology seem lost when they are with the client. A lot comes down to the individual and how much they want to learn on their own. It seems like you’re very passionate about the subject and have done a lot of studying outside of NPTI.

      I was in no way knocking NPTI when I suggested that people should consider NASM or ACE.I was saying this purely because it is a cheaper way to go and I have seen excellent trainers that hold the certifications. But again, it comes down to the individual. On top of my four-year degree I’m also certified through NASM. The NASM textbook did talk about Golgi tendon, muscle spindles and motor neurons. I was glad to see that, it being me feel like it was a legit certification. They probably did not go as in depth as NPTI did but they covered the basics. But I agree that overall certifications need an upgrade so that peoples level of knowledge is raised. They kind of bums me out that having a four-year degree plus being NASM certified puts me on a similar playing field as someone simply holding a certification when it comes to getting a job. But then again I have seen VERY knowledgeable people that simply hold a regular certification.

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