The Weightlifting Training Specialist credential is for individuals who want to demonstrate a higher level of strength and conditioning knowledge. The purpose of the certification is to ensure that the candidate possesses the skills and competency required to train individuals safely, effectively, and efficiently using a wide variety of major strength training exercises including weightlifting movements.

To attain this credential individuals must meet all eligibility requirements detailed on this page, pass the Weightlifting Training Specialist examination, and commit to a standard of professional accountability.

Weightlifting coach with client (Photo by USA Weightlifting)
  • Age Requirements: candidates must be 18 or older at the time of application
  • Education and Experience: candidates are required to have a current USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach credential or 2,500 hours of equivalent professional experience over the last 12 months.

The Weightlifting Training Specialist examination consists of multiple-choice questions across a range of key domains. Questions may contain videos of exercise techniques and focus on applied knowledge in each domain. There are a total of 120 questions on the exam, and individuals should expect to take two to three hours to complete the exam.

Candidates are tested on a broad range of topics critical to being an effective trainer. These topics include Mobility Assessment, Programming, Pedagogy, Training, Leadership and Management, Lifestyle Education, and Safety.

WTS examinations may be taken in-person or virtually. If the candidate fails to pass the examination, additional attempts are offered at the retest rate. To schedule an in-person examination at USAW HQ in Colorado Springs, CO, please contact When accessing the virtual exam, candidates must complete the exam in a single setting.

It is crucial for credentialing candidates to have updated software and hardware for a smooth and efficient experience during the examination process. The browser should be compatible with the virtual exam platform, Google Chrome is recommended. Additionally, having updated hardware, such as a reliable computer or laptop with sufficient processing power and memory, ensures candidates can run the virtual exam software without any technical glitches or performance issues.

View Study GuideView Candidate Handbook

Exam Topics

Percentage of Questions

Number of Questions

Mobility Assessment












Leadership & Management



Lifestyle Education









Weightlifting Training Specialist Fees

USAW Member


Application Fee (nonrefundable)



Examination Fee



Examination Fee & Level 1 Certification



Retest Fee



Recertification Fee



Weightlifting Training Specialist recertifying his credential
USA Weightlifting

The Weightlifting Training Specialist credential utilizes a 3-year recertification process. The process was designed to ensure the preservation of USA Weightlifting's high standard for professional trainers.

To maintain your WTS credential, within the 3-year recertification window, candidates must:

• Abide by the USA Weightlifting Code of Ethics

• Complete a recertification exam

• Have a current USAW Level 1 Coach credential or maintain 2,500 documented hours of professional experience per year.


Complete the online application. The WTS online application is designed to guide the candidate through the necessary steps to register for the exam including required information and documentation. There is a $99 nonrefundable application fee.


Access the USA Weightlifting WTS Study Guide and the WTS Candidate Handbook to prepare for your upcoming exam.


Complete the examination!