Frequently Asked Questions


Is AAPT accredited by the NCCA? Does a personal fitness training school have to be?

No. AAPT is not accredited by the NCCA and a personal training school doesn’t have to be.

The NCCA evaluates exam-based certifications only

Including online certifications like NASM and ACE, to make sure their testing methods are valid and fair.

AAPT is accredited by the COE which has a much higher standard of evaluation.

AAPT was the first personal training school receive COE (Council on Occupational Education) accreditation in 2011, putting us
in the same category as applied associate degree-granting postsecondary occupational education institutions.

Unlike the less-intensive NCCA, the COE process of accreditation is rigorous and comprehensive, involving approval of every aspect of the school’s operation – from courses to facilities to instructor qualifications to job placement outcomes, and more.

State Licenses:
Massachusetts and New York

Along with AAPT’s national COE accreditation, AAPT is also licensed by the states of New York and Massachusetts.

Learn more about AAPT’s licenses and accreditations.

Why should I spend $5000 on tuition at AAPT when I can get an accredited certification online for a lot less?

Accredited or not, an online or exam certification is still just a test. There will be study guides and textbooks to read in order to prepare for the exam, but you will not get a hands-on education, opportunity to ask an instructor questions or practical experience.

AAPT offers a complete education, which includes both classroom study and practical hands-on training. Our instructors and evolving curriculum prepare and equip students with the knowledge and experience to be safe, effective, and successful personal trainers – something an online exam certification cannot and does not offer. Personal trainers who have graduated from AAPT tend to get hired quicker, build a sustaining client base faster, and have higher long-term earning potential than trainers without the educational foundation and career support provided by AAPT. Choosing to attend AAPT is an investment in a successful and lasting personal training career.

How does AAPT differ from other personal trainer certification schools?

We are trailblazers – a passionate group of fitness professionals, paving the way for higher standards and better educational options for the industry’s next generation of personal trainers. We know that in order to achieve lasting success in the increasingly competitive training market, a focused educational foundation is essential.

Here are some things that set AAPT apart.

AAPT is:

  • the first US personal training school to achieve US Department of Education recognition as a nationally accredited institution
  • 100% on-site, instructional, and hands-on
  • fewer locations and smaller class sizes
  • privately owned and operated
  • personalized experience and individual attention higher faculty standards resulting in better mentorship structured lesson-planning – every classroom minute is value-packed
  • industry-relevant course content
  • continually current with latest technologies and best practices
  • customized career guidance and real industry networking. AAPT’s placement rate was 81% from 2012-2013

AAPT is not:

  • a “quick cert”
  • an overpriced exam
  • an online course
  • an exam-prep course
  • a degree program
  • a franchise
  • NCCA-accredited (this standard is for exam-based certifications only)
  • a “work out while you’re in class” program – every hour is an instructional hour – no fluff allowed

Tuition and Expenses

Do I need to buy textbooks?

AAPT students are not required to buy textbooks. We provide all students with the textbooks used during the course but they must be returned at the end of the course in good condition. Students interested in purchasing their own copies of the textbooks can do so, either through AAPT or through the external source of their choosing.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. AAPT students have access to a vast array of financial aid options to help fund their education:

1. State-Specific Assistance Programs

AAPT participates with a variety of state-level government programs that offer funding to students in need (such the VESID program in NY, the MRC program in MA, state unemployment assistance programs, etc.),

2. Military Assistance Benefits

Provide tuition funding options available for active military, veterans and military spouses and dependents.

3. AAPT Payment Plans

Are flexible and interest-free. They help students manage any tuition balance leftover after government funding, and provide an option for students who are not eligible for federal, state, or military aid.

For more information on payment plans, discounts, and other tuition assistance options, please see Tuition andFees and Military Benefits. You may also contact your local AAPT Admissions office in NewYork or Boston to schedule an individual financial aid consultation.

Residency Requirements and Lodging

Does AAPT assist in processing student visas?

AAPT cannot assist in processing student visas for incoming students. However, most of our foreign students come to the United States with a visitor’s visa. This allows them enough time to complete the full-time day program, which is only 12 weeks long. For more information on foreign student enrollment, please contact an AAPT Admissions Advisor in New York, or Boston.

Does AAPT provide lodging for students?

Although AAPT does not offer lodging, we are happy to provide guidance to students who are planning to relocate for class. If you are exploring housing options and would like some tips on local resources, contact your AAPT Admissions Advisor in New York and Boston and we will do our best to point you in the right direction.

Curriculum and Course Requirements

How often are classes offered?

AAPT offers a variety of class schedules throughout the year. Full-time and part-time, day, evening, night and weekend classes are available during our winter, spring, summer and fall quarters. Please check our class schedules for more detailed and up-to-date information. Note: Class schedules differ on each campus; be sure to check the correct schedule for your location.

Does AAPT teach group fitness, yoga, or other specialty training techniques?

Within the core curriculum offered at AAPT, we incorporate the majority of practices, hands-on experience, and science behind group training. We also cover a baseline level of knowledge around various specialized training methodologies. Specialty techniques like yoga, spinning, Pilates, BodyPump, etc. generally require additional training and certification beyond what is covered at AAPT.

Does AAPT certify students in CPR?

We offer CPR/AED training with 2-year certification through the American Heart Association (AHA). Because many of our students come to AAPT with CPR certifications already under their belts, we have not made this a required component of the curriculum, but rather an optional add-on. The CPR/AED course and certification fee is $65 for those who need it.

How do I graduate from AAPT? Do I need to take a test at the end to become a personal trainer?

In order to graduate from AAPT, students must achieve an overall course grade of 70% or greater, fulfill the course attendance and participation requirements, and be in good financial standing with the school. Each student’s course grade is determined by his or her performance on midterm and final written exams, midterm and final practical exams, and a final written project.

Are credits for AAPT courses transferrable? Does AAPT accept course credits from other institutions?

Credits for completed AAPT courses are transferable at the sole discretion of the accepting institution. AAPT does not accept course credits from other institutions.

After Graduation

Does AAPT offer job placement assistance?

Yes, absolutely. AAPT maintains an exceptionally high job placement rate – 86.3% in 2014-2015 – with graduates working throughout the United States and internationally. Our goal at AAPT is to send highly skilled and knowledgeable professional trainers into the industry, so we take our role in job placement assistance very seriously. Through individual career guidance, employer networking, and AAPT Job Fairs, we strive to ensure that AAPT graduates have ample opportunity for placement into fulfilling and engaging positions. Even years after graduation, we like to stay in touch with our graduates in order to provide ongoing career support whenever needed. Nothing makes us happier than seeing our graduates succeed!

Where do AAPT graduates typically work?

Most of our graduates are employed in gyms, health clubs, group fitness facilities, athletic training facilities, private studios, corporate wellness centers, boot camps, and/or contracted independently. Geographically, we have graduates working across the globe, from New York to San Diego to Rome. As an AAPT graduate, we want you to think of the world as your oyster, and it is our job to help you discover personal training opportunities wherever you land.

How much do personal trainers earn?

Income can vary significantly based on location and whether the personal trainer is self-employed or on staff at a health club, gym, fitness center, etc. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for full-time personal trainers is $46,000 to $63,000.

Do you offer a refresher course?

We do not offer a refresher course. However, AAPT plans to launch a range of continuing education offerings in the future.

How do I request a transcript?

Please submit your transcript request to: