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How Long Does a Cert 4 in Fitness Take 

April 19, 2023
4 minute read

So you’re thinking of becoming a Personal Trainer and are wondering… how long does a Cert 4 in Fitness take? Here’s your answer

A Certificate IV in Fitness (SIS40221) is a higher-level qualification than the Certificate III in Fitness (SIS20221) and is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to work as a personal trainer in Australia. This qualification typically takes between 3 and 12 months to complete, depending on a variety of factors.

Similar to the Cert III, one of the main factors that can impact the length of time it takes to complete a Cert IV in Fitness is the mode of delivery. Face-to-face classes, online courses, and correspondence courses are all available options, with face-to-face classes being the most time-consuming option, and online courses and correspondence courses offering more flexibility for students to complete their studies at their own pace.

Another factor that can influence the length of time it takes to complete a Cert IV in Fitness is the individual's prior knowledge and experience. This can get a little complicated so I'll try and simplify as much as possible. 

You can study a Cert 4 without completing a Cert 3 beforehand…. But before you can commence the Cert 4, there are nine prerequisite units you need to have already completed. These units are part of the Cert 3 in Fitness. So if you have ALREADY completed a Cert 3 in Fitness, you don’t need to complete these nine units but if you HAVEN’T completed a Cert 3 in Fitness, you’ll need to complete these nine units before even commencing your Cert 4.

You may also want to check out our blog “How long does does a Cert 3 in Fitness take

On top of that If you already have a background in fitness or related studies, you may be able to complete the qualification more quickly because you may already know some of the content. However, if you are new to the field or have little prior knowledge, it may take longer to complete the qualification.

It's important to note that the length of time it takes to complete a Cert IV in Fitness may also vary depending on the provider. Some providers may offer accelerated courses that allow students to complete the qualification in a shorter amount of time, while others may take a more traditional approach and follow a more leisurely pace.

In addition to the length of time it takes to complete a Cert IV in Fitness, there are also several other factors to consider when deciding whether this qualification is right for you:

Course content:

The way the course is currently set out, there are ten “core units” and seven “elective” units. This means that the certificate could be almost 50% different depending on which provider you choose. It's important to review the course content and ensure that it aligns with your goals and interests.

Practical experience:

A big part of the Cert IV in Fitness is the practical component. Students are required to complete a certain number of practical hours in order to graduate. This can involve working with clients or volunteering at a gym or fitness facility. It's important to consider whether you have the time and resources to complete these practical hours, as they can be a valuable part of the learning process.

Career prospects:

A Cert IV in Fitness can open up a variety of career opportunities, including work as a personal trainer, exercise specialist, or gym manager. It's important to research the job market in your area and consider whether there is a demand for professionals with this qualification.


The cost of completing a Cert IV in Fitness can vary depending on the provider, mode of delivery, and other factors. It's important to carefully review the fees and costs associated with the qualification and consider whether you have the financial resources to cover them.

Future study:

If you are interested in pursuing further education or specialised training in the field of fitness, it's important to consider whether a Cert IV in Fitness is the right starting point. Some higher-level qualifications may require a Cert IV as a prerequisite, while others may not.

So in summary, to answer the question - how long does a Cert 4 in Fitness take?

If you’ve got a background in fitness, have already completed a Cert 3 in Fitness and are taking the course online, you can finish the course in as little as 3 months. 

If you don’t have a background in fitness, have not completed a Cert 3 in Fitness and are taking the course face to face, you’ll probably finish the course in closer to 12 months.

Check out our Cert 4 in Fitness below 

PS: At Fitness Education Online, we have one of the largest Facebook Groups in the world for Personal Trainers and Fitness Professionals. Everyone in there is super supportive and we all share tips and ideas. We would love to invite you into the Group - click here to join.

Related Blogs

What does a Cert 3 in Fitness allow you to do? 
Do you need a Cert III in Fitness before a Cert IV?
How long does a Cert 3 in Fitness take?
What is the difference between Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness

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About The Author: April Allyson Barcebal
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