How much does the CSCS exam cost?

Aug 07, 2023

Edited by: Danielle Abel

If you're considering taking the CSCS, you might wonder how much money you'll need to dedicate to studying for the exam, taking the exam, and maintaining your certification. 

The CSCS isn't extremely expensive, but it's also not inexpensive either. Consider whether you'll be working on your own and operating your own business vs. working for a gym or other company as an employee. 

Often if you're an employee, the organization may help you cover some or all of the costs associated with getting and maintaining the CSCS. 

However, if you work independently, you will likely be responsible for the full cost to achieve and maintain your credentials. 

Purchase a Membership & Register for the Exam

If you're going to take the exam, it's less expensive if you're a member of the NSCA. You can join the NSCA for $130 without having your CSCS. After you join, you'll get a discount on the cost of your CSCS exam. 

  • Member exam cost: $340
  • Non-member cost: $475

For actively enrolled college students, you can get your membership at a discounted rate of $70/year. 

Study for the Exam

Once you've joined the NSCA, you'll want to start studying for the exam. You'll need the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning Textbook 4th edition. 

  • Hardcover book: $109.00
  • Online PDF book: $82.00

We recommend reading the book, but taking a study prep course can also help you pass the exam faster. If you're looking for the one we would recommend, it would be our CSCS Study Prep Course, which you can check out here using this link. 

If Needed: Retake Exam

Hopefully, you pass both sections of the exam on your first try, but if you do not, you must retake one or both. To retake the exam, you must pay another fee. 

  • Retake both sections: $340 (member) / $475 (non-member)
  • Retake one section: $250 (member) / $385 (non-member)

Recertification & CEU Compliance

To keep your certification active, you must complete and submit CEUs for approval, which oftentimes have cost associated with them. There are 4 different categories of CEUs that you can complete. 

  • Category A: Attend Events
  • Category B: Volunteer Work, Presentations, Publications
  • Category C: First Aid, College Course Work, Internships, Additional Certifications, Pre-Approved Home Study, Personal Development
  • Category D: NSCA Quizes 

Keep in mind that each of these categories may likely have a cost associated with them. To attend events in Category A, you will likely need to register for these, and a fee will likely be associated with that. Category B CEUs may not have a cost associated with them, depending on what you do. 

Category C will also likely involved some cost, except for personal development if you use free online resources for this. Category D may or may not involve a cost, as NSCA will offer free education and quizzes occasionally. 

Support & Courses Available

Ready for more support to help you prep for the CSCS exam? Join our Facebook Group, “Strength and Conditioning Study Group,” here. Ready for even more? Our 24-module CSCS Prep Course has XYZ completely laid out for you with even more content than what we’ve provided here, plus chapter quizzes to help you pass the NSCA exam; click the link here to check it out.



Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.