USPTA certification makes a difference
USPTA doesn't offer the only certification for tennis-teaching professionals, but it is the industry's most respected certification for career tennis professionals. This is a result of several factors, including USPTA's:
- Certification process
- Educational opportunities emphasizing operations management and other professional topics
- Advanced programs for specialist credentials
- National programming to increase tennis participation
USPTA certification process
USPTA's Professional certification is a two-day education and testing process. Applicants' professional ratings are derived from results on the Certification Exam, the most comprehensive in the industry, which includes:
1. An eight-hour Certification Review Course
2. A 100-question written exam covering business and instruction
3. A stroke analysis and tennis grips exam
4. A playing exam
5. An on-court exam that requires teaching a private and a group lesson.
Certification ratings and job descriptions/titles
Following are general descriptions of USPTA ratings and the job titles that most likely correspond to them. USPTA members may upgrade their initial ratings by retesting after a period of experience and education.
- Professional 1 is the highest rating possible on the USPTA Certification Exam, and is available only to those with a minimum of three years' experience as a teaching professional. Professional 1 members commonly are considered for director of tennis or head tennis professional. They should be able to develop lesson programs, manage pro shop operations and tennis facility, and direct activities. A Professional 1 also should be able to handle employee relations tasks such as hiring, developing budgets, directing communications and serving as an integral part of the professional management team.
- Professional 2 members may be better suited for the positions of head tennis professional, associate professional or assistant professional. They should be able to organize and implement most tennis programs, assist with and develop competitive players, and assist with and/or direct pro shop management and facility maintenance.
- Professional 3 members may be associate or assistant tennis professionals. They should be able to conduct private and group lessons, and also may be able to assist with the implementation of most tennis programs.
- Master Professionals have achieved USPTA's highest tested rating of Professional 1, plus made remarkable achievements in areas such as teaching, playing, industry service and education. They make up less than 1 percent of USPTA's membership, and should be capable of high-level job requirements, such as those for director and head tennis professional positions.
- Recreational Coach is a non-tested, entry-level category designed for people who may already be teaching tennis - as high school coaches, at recreational facilities or in other part-time situations - but are not immediate candidates for careers as full-time teaching professionals. Recreational Coaches successfully complete a workshop and are qualified to assist full-time staff during camps, group lessons and other grassroots programming.