The National Strength and Conditioning Association, or NSCA, is one of THE largest organizations you’ll find. It has over 30,000 members in 52 countries! From the numbers alone, you can see why they consider themselves to be the worldwide authority on strength and conditioning. The organization offers the CPT and CSCS credentials. In my opinion, the NSCA has one of the better membership platforms. Members receive a monthly journal, access to a career board, discounts on conferences, and much more. You will find their certification-landing page HERE.
NSCA-CPT – The CPT (certified personal trainer) was developed for people who work one-on-one with their clients in a variety of environments, including health/fitness clubs, wellness centers, schools and clients’ homes. Those that hold this certification have been thoroughly tested on the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully train both active and sedentary people, as well as those with special needs.
NSCA-CSCS – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes with the goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and are able to provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. You will see many coaches that have this credential as well as allied health professionals, and chiropractic physicians. This credential has a semi stringent application process. All candidates have to hold a relevant 4-year degree and submit an original transcript of course work.
NSCA-CSPS – The Certified Special Populations Specialist utilizes an individualized approach to assess, motivate, educate, and train special populations of all ages that present with or without chronic or temporary health conditions. They are able to do this individually, or in collaboration with other healthcare professionals.
NSCA-TSAC-F – The Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator brings unique, scientific knowledge to the table that allows the training of military, fire and rescue, law enforcement, protective services, and other emergency personnel. Facilitators are able to provide focused needs assessments as well as physical testing, and then, design and implement safe and effective strength and conditioning programming.