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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is CPR training?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (better known as CPR) is a lifesaving manual technique that pumps oxygenated blood back into the body’s organs if someone’s heart or breathing has stopped. A variety of CPR training is available to community members, employees and healthcare providers. CPR training may last two to five hours or more, depending on the content and the target audience. During the training, students will learn how to recognize and respond to an emergency situation. There are different CPR techniques for adults and children, but with both you will learn how to determine whether the person is conscious before administering chest compression. During the training you’ll learn chest compression techniques for adults and different techniques for children between the ages of 1 and 8. Students learn how to properly administer chest compressions, when the technique is appropriate and when it is not, and how long you must perform rescue measures. Students also learn what an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is and how to use it if necessary to shock a patient before administering CPR chest compressions.

How do I become CPR and first aid certified?

You can earn CPR training and receive first aid certification in a number of ways. Choose an online course to learn the materials remotely and then find a testing location to complete the certification process with an in-person demonstration of your knowledge and skills. Encourage your workplace to host a first aid and CPR training so employees can learn what to do in case of a workplace emergency and how to respond with lifesaving techniques. You may also be able to take a CPR or first aid class in your community. A basic CPR training may run four to five hours. After receiving CPR training, you’ll know how to respond if an adult or a child goes into cardiac arrest or stops breathing. You’ll learn how to use chest compressions to keep blood pumping to a person’s organs, which can keep them alive until an emergency responder can arrive. First aid and CPR training can also include education about how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

What is first aid training?

With first aid training, you may be able to help save a life. First aid training can teach people who are not medical professionals how to help a sick or injured person in crisis before an ambulance arrives on the scene. Most commonly, first aid training helps teach you how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

First aid training can teach you how to respond in a variety of emergency situations, including:

  • Asthma attack
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Burns
  • Choking
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • External bleeding
  • Heart attack
  • Poisoning
  • Neck, head or back injury
  • Stroke
  • Seizure

First aid training classes may be offered by professionals who are affiliated with the Red Cross, which offers online, in-person, and blended training classes. First aid classes are also often offered through local recreation centers, city services, schools, hospitals and private companies.  

What do you learn in a first aid course?

First aid training gives you a variety of lifesaving skills for responding to many different emergency situations. In a first aid course you’ll learn about how to examine someone who’s been hurt, how to use a defibrillator, how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to control bleeding and trauma. Some courses include pediatric first aid as well as adult first aid; helping a choking infant, for example, is different from helping a choking adult. Although you can take CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) courses separately, most first aid training includes both.

In a first aid course you’ll also learn how to respond to:

  • Wounds, including punctures, cuts and hemorrhages
  • Heart attacks, chest pain and respiratory arrest
  • Bone fractures, sprains and torn muscles
  • First-, second- and third-degree burns
  • Poisoning
  • Choking
  • Bites and stings
  • Hypothermia or frostbite
  • Shock and seizures

What is a boot camp class?

Fitness boot camps are a heart-pounding way to boost your fitness level. Boot camps are led by a fitness instructor and are based on the concept of military boot camps — intensive workout programs to get new recruits into shape, quickly. Fitness boot camps encourage camaraderie, and the group momentum helps participants get through fast-paced intervals of cardio, isometric training, strength training and endurance drills. Classes may range anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and usually meet multiple days per week. Boot camps often run a specific duration of time, say four to six weeks, which creates a team-like environment for class members. Other boot camps run year-round and students purchase package pricing for classes, similar to subscriptions that allow them a set amount of classes per week or per month.

Boot camps can be held indoors at a gym, outdoors in a park or on a beach, in a backyard — anywhere there’s room for running, jumping and sweating. Some instructors also provide DVD and online boot camps. You can also find boot camps tailored to your heart’s desire, such as bikini boot camp, or boot camps for new mothers. Boot camps offer an intense workout and are usually led by energetic instructors pushing you to do your best, but unlike military boot camp drill sergeants, fitness boot camp instructors typically don’t use intimidation or punishment to spur you on. Check with your doctor before starting a boot camp if you have health concerns, and always let your instructor know ahead of time if you have injuries.

How long is your CPR certification good for?

In general, CPR training sessions and certifications are good for two years. After that, you must recertify to ensure you are up to date on the latest information and techniques. CPR is a lifesaving skill for a community member, employee or healthcare provider to know, as it enables you to respond appropriately if someone goes into cardiac arrest or stops breathing. In a CPR training, students learn compression techniques to keep blood flowing to the body’s organs if a person’s heart has suddenly stopped or they have stopped breathing. This action can keep a person alive until an emergency responder can arrive on the scene and can effectively save a life.

The American Red Cross explains that re-certification is important, because people start to forget information just a few months after taking a training. The American Red Cross recommends you keep your skills fresh by reviewing free, online materials or downloading their free, mobile app to keep abreast of CPR information and news. Re-certification courses are shorter than first-time CPR training. Your renewed CPR certification will be good for another two years.

How much does it cost to get CPR and first aid certified?

First aid and CPR trainings are available to individuals who want to learn how to respond in case of an emergency and for healthcare providers who need to renew their certification. Typically, CPR certifications are current for two years. Here are some examples of average CPR and first aid training costs:

  • Open enrollment training: $45 for an in-person American Heart Association Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider CPR Training and Certification.
    • Additional $15 for online or hard copy student manual.
  • Online trainings: $45 for the American Safety and Health Institute Blended First Aid training.
    • The student will still be required to meet a CPR trainer in person to receive their final certification.
  • Worksite trainings:
    • $35: per employee for basic ASHI CPR AED training course (focus on CPR, 2-hour course).
      • $280: Minimum fee for an instructor to appear (at least 8 students or minimum fee).
    • $45: Per employee for an ASHI First Aid CPR AED training course (includes response strategies for most emergencies, 4-hour course).
      • $360: Minimum fee for an instructor to appear (at least 8 students or minimum fee).
  • Class extensions: Pricing varies depending on the additional emergency training requested. For example, for the ASHI First Aid AED CPR training course cited above, the host company might charge an additional:
    • $5: Per student for infant CPR training.
    • $15: Per student for oxygen administration training (add 30 minutes).
    • $15: Per student for bloodborne pathogen training (add 30 minutes).
  • Materials: CPR and first aid training courses may have additional fees for hard copies of manuals. Example of additional materials costs:
    • $10: Per hard copy of class manual (otherwise available online) for First Aid AED CPR group trainings.

How much do first aid courses cost?

First aid training courses vary in cost depending on what’s included, from basic first aid to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to pediatric CPR, as well as the length of the class and who’s offering them. The national average cost for an in-person CPR and first aid class is $50-$75 per person. An informational CPR training costs less than one that leads to first aid training certification. For example, a two-hour course that trains you to administer CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) costs an average of $35 per person; an employer may book the same class for a group of at least eight students for an average of $280. A four-hour CRP and AED training costs an average of $45 per person and $360 for at least eight people. Some companies offer add-on training to their CPR and AED classes, such as $5 per student to learn infant CPR, $15 each for oxygen administration training, and $15 each for bloodborne pathogen training. A first aid certificate is valid for two years.

How much is a boot camp?

The cost of fitness boot camps depends on how often you go, the package you are purchasing (or if you are paying a drop-in fee), the location of the bootcamp, the equipment the instructors provide, and the background and reputation of the instructor. Smaller towns and areas with a lower cost of living typically have lower rates for boot camp services than big cities and regions with a higher cost of living. If you’re paying per class on a drop-in basis, expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $25 or more, depending on the region and the instructor. When you purchase a package of classes, typically the more you buy at one time, the cheaper each class is. The same boot camp class might be $20 for a drop-in student, $15 for a student who pays for 10 classes per month, and $10 for a student who pays for 30 classes a month. Studio space can also affect costs, so if your boot camp takes place in a high-end gym with top-of-the-line equipment, the prices will likely be higher than a class that meets in an outdoor space with limited or no equipment. Shop around to find the right type of boot camp class and the right instructor for you.

How do you get your first aid certificate?

To get your first aid certificate, you must take a first aid training course designed for certification. Certified training professionals offer courses to employers, schools or other groups. For an in-person training, you may go to a training location such as a Red Cross classroom, or a professional first aid and CPR trainer can come to you or your office. Most first aid training courses take three to five hours or more, which prepares you to take the first aid certification test. To boost your chances, you can take online practice tests or review study guides. Once you pass the first aid exam, an official digital certificate is emailed to you. You can also have a wallet card or printed certificate sent to you.

Reviews for San Francisco trainers
Weikang W.
Walked through with me about training plan and nutrition plan in detail! Very responsible personal trainer!
Custom Fit - Personal Training & NutritionCustom Fit - Personal Training & Nutrition
Walter B.
Excellent trainer!
Steve ChenSteve Chen
Kyle h.
Matt is the best trainer.
Matt Sanchez FitnessMatt Sanchez Fitness
Thumbtack Customer
John is an amazing trainer. He is professional, always on time, and perpetually energetic. Even on days where I felt worn down, he managed to get me energized. He also understood what I wanted to achieve and was very focused on my goals. By far the best trainer that I have had the opportunity to train with! I had to take a break from training due to some life events, but I will definitely train with him again as soon as I can!
Fast Pace Personal Training inc.Fast Pace Personal Training inc.
Thumbtack Customer
Amazing level of service ~the CEO did my assessment and first training session. Looking forward to experiencing the next sessions and meeting my trainer.
YouniquelyFit San FranciscoYouniquelyFit San Francisco
Taylor S.
Custom Fit is awesome. Evan was super helpful setting me up with a trainer and establishing a baseline and future goals, and Dennis is a great fit as a trainer!
Custom Fit - Personal Training & NutritionCustom Fit - Personal Training & Nutrition
Wei C.
I really enjoy working with Evan and my trainer Scott. They are very knowledgeable and helpful during my whole training session. Highly recommend!
Custom Fit - Personal Training & NutritionCustom Fit - Personal Training & Nutrition
Thumbtack Customer
I found Top Tier on Thumbtack. They offered a lower price than other peers. In the mean time, they asked me if I wanted a female trainer. I said yes. Then I began training with Jessica. She helps me to workout and encourages me to eat healthy food. After training with Jessica over 1 month( I train with her twice a week and go to gym at least twice a week), I felt stronger and healthier. I refer to Jessica not only as a trainer but my friend.
Top Tier FitnessTop Tier Fitness
Thumbtack Customer
Aaron is awesome personal trainer. His session is not only assist training, but also eating habits, way of stretch and so on. These are very helpful for me. Usually, session with him in a outside park. It is a very excited and fun. If you are finding personal trainer, I will strongly recommend Aaron!
TRAINER San FranciscoTRAINER San Francisco
Jin Z.
I have been training with custom fit studio for a few months. I enjoyed with my personal trainer and have gained more muscles and got more fit.
Custom Fit - Personal Training & NutritionCustom Fit - Personal Training & Nutrition
Andy H.
Work out is tough and it feels great after! I highly recommend this trainer. One thing I would improve on is the payment through the app, it's not entirely clear (you can't pay the trainer after training, which is not great for first timers), and the cost given on Thumbtack is not the same as the one on the app.
TRAINER San FranciscoTRAINER San Francisco
Thumbtack Customer
Abbie has been an amazing personal trainer!
M. V.
Disrespectful. Wouldn't train with him going forward.
Steve ChenSteve Chen
Thumbtack Customer
Doing personal training with Xavier and he's awesome! We train at 6 AM and he's always a ray of sunshine. He knows how to push you without being uncomfortable.
Xavier's Personal Training and Massage TherapyXavier's Personal Training and Massage Therapy
Lisa m.
Jackie was truly a pleasure to work with, help find the right trainer for me, and to help get me started with my training routine. I highly recommend YouniquelyFit if you're in the Bay Area!
YouniquelyFit San FranciscoYouniquelyFit San Francisco
Patty L.
Great trainers available, lots of flexibility and very accomodating
Custom Fit - Personal Training & NutritionCustom Fit - Personal Training & Nutrition
Thumbtack Customer
I just started training with one of Evan's trainers, Omar. He and his staff are friendly, professional, and very skilled. I'm excited to work out here! Also, his studio is really nice!
Custom Fit - Personal Training & NutritionCustom Fit - Personal Training & Nutrition
J. Z.
I've been working with Evan and his team for quite some time now and would definitely recommend them to anyone. I've worked with several trainers in the past at other gyms or studios but have to say this has been the best experience. It's obvious all of the trainers here know fitness and teh facility is top notch. It's a very welcome and low key environment. I've seen several people in their 80s train here which has been great to see! It's never too crowded and only personal training. Would definitely recommend to anyone needing instruction on weight training or looking to get into shape.
Custom Fit - Personal Training & NutritionCustom Fit - Personal Training & Nutrition
Thumbtack Customer
I have been training with Jessie, another trainer from Impact Fitness. She is awesome and is one of my favorite trainers to date. She develops creative and challenging workouts and makes sure to vary the exercises. She tracks progress being made every session which is great because it helps me see how quickly my strength and agility are improving. She won't let you get hurts because she pays special attention to form!! Definitely recommend training with her!
Top Tier FitnessTop Tier Fitness
Thumbtack Customer
This is far and away the best personal training I've ever received!
Custom Fit - Personal Training & NutritionCustom Fit - Personal Training & Nutrition
Ferran T.
Definitely my favorite personal trainer to date! Thanks Jackie!
YouniquelyFit San FranciscoYouniquelyFit San Francisco
Diana H.
Sorry for the one star, but we did not complete a training session.
Power Up FitnessPower Up Fitness
Thumbtack Customer
I've been working with Liz the past few weeks and have been super happy with my training plan and workouts. She is super supportive and motivating. The gym facilities are also great - love that it's only other people with their trainers there!
Liz Letchford FitnessLiz Letchford Fitness
Thumbtack Customer
Everything has been great. Todd is great at training, respectful, prompt and responsive.
Todd Fitness Personal TrainingTodd Fitness Personal Training
Thumbtack Customer
I started training with Evan over a year ago to get in wedding shape. I've had a few experiences with PT in the past, and I immediately recognized Evan has a consistent and effective approach. He focuses on building core strength through increasingly challenging and varied routines. My wife and I co-trained with him and collectively both of us got below our target weight well before our wedding. Evan is a pleasure to train with, personable, yet focused on form and your feedback on aches and pains. I've continued to train with him in the months after our wedding as I've found a side benefit of the core strength has been significantly less back pain. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Evan as an excellent personal trainer for a wide variety of fitness goals.
Custom Fit - Personal Training & NutritionCustom Fit - Personal Training & Nutrition
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