Congratulations on your decision to seek out certification and education in fitness! The fact that you are researching available certifications and comparing their benefits indicates that you’re interested in obtaining credentials that will prepare and support you in your career as a fitness professional.
The first thing to consider is accreditation. Certifying agencies that have undergone accreditation are the best at offering educational content and exam practices that meet the highest standards. Achieving accreditation as a certifying organization is a rigorous (and continuous) process that ensures that the exam candidates meet minimum competencies upon passing the test so that they can deliver safe and effective exercise programming to their fitness clients. Earning a certification from an accredited organization shows the consumer—as well as the employer, if you’re interested in working as a staff member at a facility—that you have met acceptable industry standards, which lends credibility to the services you offer.
ACE and NASM are accredited organizations, so you’re comparing two agencies that are both credible options. Several things that set ACE apart, however, are the support, resources, and ongoing services provided to their certified professionals once they earn their certification. Furthermore, as a nonprofit, ACE offers public outreach services (e.g., newsletters, FitFacts, online fitness calculators, etc.) to clients and consumers free of charge via their interactive website, so fitness professionals who are certified by ACE have a rich, content-based resource to offer their clients as well. For more information, see the link below for a comprehensive comparison chart of ACE and other certifying organizations (including NASM).