Is ISSA Certification Worth It? [Meaning & Benefits]

Are you planning on getting an ISSA certification and wondering if it is actually worth it or not?

The International Sports Science Association (ISSA) is an organization that offers both education and certification to fitness trainers. These trainers include fitness coaches, nutritionists, and medical professionals.

The certification is pretty easy and affordable to get, making people wonder if it has value. Whether the certificate is worth it or not, read on to learn more and most importantly, find out how the ISSA certificate can benefit your job prospects.

What is the ISSA?

The ISSA, or International Sports Science Association, is a well know organization that provides certifications for fitness trainers. This organization was founded in 1988 and has since been well regarded in the personal training committee.

In 2008, the ISSA became the first fitness training organization to earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The DETC is federally recognized by the United State Department of Education.

What is an ISSA certificate?

The ISSA certificate is an individual license that shows an individual has completed the fitness training course. The course, which is a self-study personal trainer course, takes around 10 weeks to complete.

This course covers six sections of background information in sports and exercise science. These include nutrition, strength, kinesiology, metabolism, musculoskeletal, anatomy, and physiology.

Individuals will also get first-hand exposure to multiple fitness areas. Ranging from cardiovascular exercise to flexibility, powerlifting, and strength training. 

In order for you to be able to acquire this certificate, you must be 18 years or older and must be a high school graduate. You must also be certified in AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation).

You can get them from local providers around you or you can get them during your course training period through the ISSA.

Reasons ISSA certification is worth it

1. Job opportunities

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With an ISSA certification at hand, any gym or fitness organization is likely to hire you over applicants with no certification. This is because the ISSA certificate shows you have experience and you are equally dedicated to it.

It also shows just how professional and versatile you are, traits which are great for advancement in the job as well.

The ISSA guarantees that all individuals who have the ISSA certificate will find a job within the next six months of their completion. They further mentioned that if this fails to happen, they will give you a refund.

2. You can become your own boss

With the ISSA certification, you can become your own boss. A certification helps show clients that you are an expert at what you do. It also builds trust and loyalty.

For those looking to start their own fitness training center or work with clients personally, the ISSA certificate can help with that. The certificate acts as a license that enables you to operate or build your own training business.

3. You earn a lot

With an ISSA certification, you stand a chance of earning a lot from this profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual wage of fitness professionals is said to be around $ 45,870.

The BLS also stated that the demand for fitness professionals is set to increase by 2% over the next 10 years.

4. You get a chance to work with professional athletes

If you are someone who fancies working with professional athletes, then the ISSA certificate is right for you. Aside from experience, you will also earn more with such clients.

You can also work with some top teams with the ISSA certification. However, a sports management degree is often required along with the ISSA certification when working with teams.

How much does the ISSA certification cost?

The ISSA certification cost between $599 – $1200. However, the ISSA offers different discounts, so ensure you check for any available discounts before making payments.

The payment can also be made in full at once or pay it up to 11 times. Depending on the discount available, it could come with relevant study materials to help you study. In cases where it is not added, you can simply pay (around $299) for these materials.

How does ISSA certification work

The International Sports Science Association offers a wide variety of study materials. After your purchase, you will get a study guide to help you study effectively for the exams. This study guide lays downs reading materials, audio lessons, and practice tests.

These materials and audio lessons are broken down and shared into various weeks of teaching. Depending on your study rate, it should take no more than 4 months to complete

After each week of study, you will get access to practice questions or quizzes. These questions contain all that you have learned for each study week and take no more than 15 minutes to answer.

The good thing about these tests is that you receive immediate feedback on your answers. You will get to know the ones you scored right and failed so you can study them.

Each week is designed to focus on a particular topic that will expand your knowledge in this field. Additionally, all trainees are assigned to instructors that will give more insight into how to pass the final exams.

This is done through the ISSA’s CPT Educational Bootcamp platform, where classes are held once a week over the course of 5 weeks. The instructor also organizes weekly office hours where he or she can give more individualized guidance.

After the end of the course, you will be expected to take the final exams to show just how much you have learned. Afterward, you will be awarded your official ISSA certification.


Is the ISSA certification exam hard?

Yes, it is.

However, if you study adequately and practice as well, it should not be challenging for you.

What is the pass rate for the ISSA certificate?

According to the ISSA, the pass rate for this certification is 90%.

Can you retake the ISSA certification exam?

The good thing about the ISSA is that If you fail a section of the exam, you’ll be able to retake it for free once. Afterward, if you fail it again, you can pay a fee and retake it.

Does the ISSA certificate need renewal?

Yes, it does. The ISSA certification needs to be renewed every 2 years for $99.

Why choose the ISSA over ACE?

ISSA has the edge over ACE because it is more flexible and offers a self-study guide that you can follow at your own pace.

Conclusion: Is ISSA certification worth it?

Many people believe that for you to be successful in the fitness industry, you only need relevant experience. However, we are in an era where people want to see a degree or certificate to validate their experience.

With an ISSA certificate on hand, you will stand out among other fitness professionals. In addition, the ISSA guarantees that you will find a job within six months of completing their training program.

They also assure you that if you do not get a job, you will be refunded. That should show you just how much this certificate is valued. So, yes, getting the ISSA certificate is worth it.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, you should also see the easiest IT certifications for beginners.

Thanks for reading.