Can A Personal Trainer Take The Pta Exam


Personal Training is an important profession in the fitness industry. It involves working with clients to help them reach their desired fitness goals, whether that is losing weight, building muscle or improving overall health and wellness. Personal trainers are required to be certified professionals who demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired through special training and education. Passing the Physical Trainer Assistant (PTA) exam is an important step for personal trainers who wish to become certified. This exam evaluates a trainer’s understanding of anatomy, physiology and exercise science related topics as well as his or her ability to provide safe exercise guidance and instruction.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to take the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) exam, you must have completed a minimum of an Associate’s degree in Physical Therapy or an approved PTA program from an accredited institution. You must also meet additional prerequisites set by the state where you will be taking the exam that may include completion of a minimum amount of hours in clinical settings. Depending on the particular state, these requirements may vary but typically there is a requirement for fieldwork experience as well.

If you are a personal trainer, you would not meet all the qualifications needed to take the PTA exam as most states require applicants to have undergone and completed a certified physical therapy program or academic program sponsored/approved by APTA. Personal trainers cannot gain licensure as PTAs without formally completing at least an associate’s degree or higher in physical therapist assistant (or similar physical therapy related) studies.

Preparing for the Exam

Studying for the Personal Training Association (PTA) exam is a sure way to get a comprehensive understanding of personal training theory and practice. It is essential that a trainer take the necessary time and invest in study materials, such as textbooks and online resources, to give them the best chance of success when taking the exam. Seeking advice from experienced trainers can be highly beneficial in preparation; they will have valuable insight into what areas MUST be studied in order to pass. Some trainers will even provide sample tests or practice exams to familiarize oneself with the structure of the real test. Such practice exams can be immensely helpful for strengthening knowledge or outlining weak spots that may need further study effort. Taking ample time studying prior to taking the PTA exam is crucial for obtaining a proper understanding of personal training knowledge areas and practices so that results on the actual exam are excellent!

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Benefits of Taking the Exam

Taking the PTA Exam may allow a personal trainer to become a qualified physical therapy assistant (PTA). This would open up many medical and therapy jobs as a member of an allied healthcare team. Having this certification would allow the personal trainer to work in settings such as clinics, hospitals, private practices, and rehabilitation centers. It could also lead to better employment opportunities and higher salaries, since PTAs are paid more than many other healthcare professionals. Furthermore, becoming certified through the exam could strengthen the professional by furthering their knowledge of anatomy and therapeutic treatments for all types of patients. This means that their ability to help individuals with health-related goals would be enhanced significantly. In addition to potential career benefits, there is also a pride associated with knowing that one’s skills have been officially recognized and certified by this important exam.

Taking the Exam

When arriving for the PTA Exam, it is important to be prepared with all of the appropriate documents such as an up-to-date photo ID, registration number, and confirmation of payment (if applicable). It is also helpful to arrive a few minutes early to provide extra time for check-in. On the day of the exam, candidates will need to sign a standard consent form as well as answer some basic questions about their identity.

Once this process has been completed, candidates are then directed to a testing center where they can begin their actual Computer Based Exam (CBE). The CBE consists of 200 multiple choice questions that are divided between three categories: Musculoskeletal Analysis & Evaluation, Clinical Interventions & Pathology, and Neuromuscular Respiratory Scenarios. Questions range from knowledge-based questions such as anatomy and physiology to more scenario-based questions that require a deeper analysis. It is important that each candidate takes his/her time answering these questions accurately in order to ensure properly completion of the exam.

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After the Exam

After taking the PTA exam, the results are made available within 4-5 weeks. If the test taker passes, they will receive an official notification of their passing grade and a certificate of completion. If the test taker does not pass, they will be sent a letter informing them of not passing along with helpful feedback as to where they need to focus more attention.

If the results are not satisfactory, the test taker can retake the exam. Depending on what certification program the personal trainer is enrolled in, help may be available from instructors or mentors in finding areas to further improve their knowledge and practice before retaking the exam. Further study and extra support is necessary for a successful retaking of the PTA Exam and it is highly recommended for those who do not attain their desired results to seek additional assistance prior to resitting.


In conclusion, a personal trainer can take the PTA Exam if they are accepted by an accredited program and meet the testing requirements. The personal trainer will need to demonstrate knowledge of physical therapy diagnosis and treatment techniques, patient management, and professional ethical practices. Taking the PTA Exam is a great way for personal trainers to further their competency in physical therapy assisting. However, it’s important to remember that taking the test requires dedication and hard work. Anyone considering taking this exam should consult with an advisor or mentor to ensure that they have the right skills, readiness, and resources to pass the test.

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