This article is from the Aerobics Fitness FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Robles) with numerous contributions by others.
None of ACE or AFAA's certifications require a degree in a fitness-
related field, nor does the ACSM Exercise Leader certification.
Other ACSM certifications and the NSCA Certifications have different
requirements, depending on the depth of knowledge and experience
expected. You should contact those organizations for more
If you are an experienced instructor or personal
trainer, you may be able to pass AFAA or ACE's exams merely by
studying their materials and taking the exam. If you are
inexperienced, it is strongly recommended that you take a training
course before attempting any of the exams (except the AFAA Personal
Trainer Certification, which is a 3-day workshop complete in itself).