Which Personal Training Certification Is Best In Australia?

MAY, 2021
Personal training is a regulated industry in Australia that requires certification. The best personal training certification in Australia is from the Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF). There are, however, many certifications that are worth considering depending on your individual circumstances!

In Australia, the main 2 Certifications that serve as a gateway to the Fitness Industry are the Certificate III in Fitness and Certificate IV in Fitness.

The Certificate 3 in Fitness is required to be a Group Fitness Instructor, while a Certificate 4 in Fitness is required to be a Personal Trainer. The Certificate 3 is a pre-requisite for the Certificate 4, and as such most courses include both.

Once these are acquired, personal trainers generally need to continue their fitness education through CEC Courses


certificate 3 and 4 in fitness

Which Personal Training Certificates Are Most Respected And Why?

1. Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF)

AIF provides a comprehensive Certificate III and IV in Fitness course that is nationally recognised. One of the oldest and most well-known players, AIF is well respected by employers as one of the best in the business. Typically, students go for the Master Trainer AIF course, which offers the Certificate III and IV in Fitness bundled together. This course will set you back about $5,000, but can be subsidised by government funding. The subsidised course only costs about $1,000.

AIF also offers the certificates separately and also has some online options, although it’s always best to the course on campus. The Master Trainer course is 6months long, 2 days per week. AIF is great because if you’re not able to attend a certain day, there are catch up sessions that can be organised.

The AIF course offers a relatively detailed look into anatomy, physiology, business, and has a large practical component which will prepare you for your fitness career.

2. Australian Institute of Personal Trainers (AIPT)

Australian Institute of Personal Trainers (AIPT) is another well regarded personal training academy. AIPT offers both the Certificate II and IV in Fitness, as well as a bundle that includes both fitness certificates as well as a diploma in business. This bundle costs $10,000 unsubsidised, which for some people, may be hard to justify. Business qualifications can make you a more well-rounded trainer and can help if you ever choose to change career.

However, at this price point it is hard to justify. Generally business knowledge can be learnt outside of formal education, and given its not required to become a personal trainer, it’s probably best to do the Fitness Certificates separately if you’re only interested in becoming a personal trainer.

AIPT also offers a nutrition course, however this does not qualify you to give nutritional advice any more than a personal trainer. Nutritional degrees are generally required for this.

3. Australian Fitness Academy (AFA)

Australian Fitness Academy (AFA) is an established personal training course provider that has been providing fitness courses for over 30 years. They provide great networking opportunities and an internationally recognised personal training qualification. Like other providers, they also offer flexible, interest-free payments on their courses. AFA also offers First Aid, Mental Health First Aid and Professional Development courses.
fitness qualifications (1)

How Much Do Personal Training Courses Cost?

The average cost of personal training certifications in Australia is $4815, based on a study by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. This figure depends on course duration, online vs in-person and whether the Certificates in Fitness are bundled with our certificates.

This may seem like a lot, but based on how much personal trainers make, you will easily make your money back within 1 month. 

Often government funding can be secured, especially if upskilling or if you’re currently unemployed. Sometimes the Australian government will subsidise up to 80% of your personal training certificate.

Usually, longer courses that are done in person, and that are bundled with other certificates cost more. Some online courses start as low as $99, but don’t expect much from these courses. You get what you pay for.

How Long Are Personal Training Courses?

Typically, well respected personal training courses are 6 months long. The Certificate III and Certificate 4 in Fitness are typically 3 months each. Online courses can be much shorter than this, but again, the shorter the course the less you will learn.

It’s important to know the reason you are doing your Fitness Certificates: are you wanting a quality education, or do you just want a piece of paper that allows you to become a personal trainer? Even if you know fitness inside out, there are bound to be business, legal and government requirements and considerations that you probably won’t know.

Online Vs In-Person Personal Training Certificates – Which Is Best?

In-person personal training certifications are unquestionably better. Personal training requires knowledge about how the body works and moves. This can only be effectively taught in person. Personal training skills need to be practiced face to face. As such, a practical component in these courses is necessary.

You need to know how to complete exercises yourself before attempting to teach them to others. You need to know how to conduct a postural assessment, quantify a heartbeat and measure blood pressure. Online personal training courses just aren’t practical.

Written by Vic

Melbourne-based Personal Trainer, Calisthenics Athlete and the Founder of Street Workout St Kilda. Super passionate about bodyweight training and the art of movement.
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