Categories of Membership
This is a teaching category requiring successful completion of the USPTA Certification Exam, leading to a certification rating of Professional.
Certification is intended for those at least 18 years old who derive or intend to derive a major portion of income from teaching tennis. To qualify for certified membership, a professional must meet all application, exam and experience requirements, and must agree to abide by the USPTA Code of Ethics. Non-U.S. citizens who cannot legally work in the United States, but do meet all other requirements for certified membership, may join the Association as International Division members. International members are not covered by the protection of USPTA's on-court liability insurance policy. Non-U.S. membership does not imply that USPTA sponsors these members to immigrate to the United States to work as tennis-teaching professionals. U.S. labor certification laws apply in these cases.
In order for USPTA to send mail to noncitizens at a U.S. address, the World Headquarters must receive a copy of either the alien registration card (green card) or a student or work visa.
There are three levels of certified membership:
USPTA Professionals must be at least 18 years old, pass the on-court and written portions of the exam, and complete Stage 1 and 2 of Coach Youth Tennis. 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. Depending on the person’s experience, a USPTA Professional’s job description may range from assistant pro to head tennis professional. USPTA Professionals are required to earn 6 credits every three years to maintain their membership.
To become an Elite Professional, a USPTA member must be at least 22 years old, pass the written Elite exam, which covers business, programming, sport science and tennis operations, Elite stroke analysis exam and the Elite-level on-court exams. In addition, members must earn 16 specialty course and 24 APC credits. Elite Professionals are required to earn 6 credits every three years to maintain their membership. They commonly are considered for director of tennis or head tennis professional positions.
Qualified applicants must hold an Elite Professional rating for 10 years, complete a required number of continuing education hours and fulfill a broad spectrum of industry service. The Master Professional Committee makes the final decision on the review of applicants. Master Professionals are required to earn 6 credits every three years to maintain their membership. These members should be capable of high-level jobs such as general manager, director of tennis operations or director of tennis.
Master Professional application
Checklist of requirements
Creating an electronic scrapbook
USPTA is committed to quality teaching of all players and understands the need to fill the void in the wheelchair certification area. This program opens up new teaching opportunities for professionals and encourages the growth of wheelchair tennis.
The wheelchair certification allows USPTA pros to teach wheelchair players and teach other teachers about this sport. The certification is also available to teachers who are not USPTA members.
The certification includes a course and written exam. Current USPTA members need only pay a fee for the certification; there are no additional annual dues. Nonmembers pay an application fee and annual dues.
A provisional teaching category that leads to being a certified member, pending successful completion of the USPTA Certification Exam.
This category allows a professional to receive correspondence, certain benefits and magazine subscriptions from USPTA World Headquarters, while he or she studies to take the exam for certified membership.
The applicant member pays dues and receives certain benefits, including on-court liability insurance. Upon passing the exam and becoming a certified member, the professional receives the full benefit schedule.
The USPTA Recreational Coach category is 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. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to apply for this category. To become a Recreational Coach, applicants will learn the basic standards of tennis teaching during workshops led by the USTA or by taking the online Professional Tennis Coaches Academy I.
USPTA sets the standard for the industry with its professional-level certification. Coaches working deep in the grassroots will benefit from the experience of USPTA Professionals and the unique mentoring approach of this program. As the quality of teaching improves, the value of the tennis teachers' contribution to the industry will increase.
A nonteaching category for which the Certification Exam is not required.
For all public and private tennis facilities, companies or people who have a full-time commitment to tennis in an executive, administrative or commercial capacity. This membership must be listed in the corporation or club's name. Corporate members are entitled to most privileges and subject to most obligations of active membership, but may not vote, hold office, compete in USPTA national or divisional tournaments, and are not covered by USPTA's on-court liability insurance policy. Corporate members are listed in the USPTA Membership Directory and receive a booth discount at the USPTA Buying Show.
A corporate membership must be listed in the name of the company. The company shall not use the USPTA logo or USPTA name to imply company or product endorsement. Any club that applies for USPTA membership must assure USPTA that admission to membership in the club is open to all people regardless of race, color, age, creed, gender, national origin, religion or physical handicap.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-877-8248, ext. 108.
Code of Ethics
The Association expects its members to be of good character, to treat the public honestly and fairly, and to treat their fellow members in the tennis-teaching profession in the same way. Accordingly:
- Any complaint against a member of dishonest or unfair dealing, either to the public or to a fellow member, shall be referred to an ethics committee that will be appointed by the President and that will always include general counsel. In its discretion, the ethics committee will act on the complaint, including an attempt to resolve the matter between the parties. Upon the determination of the ethics committee, however, the exercise by a member of his or her legal rights will be recognized and honored, and issues of fact or law will be left to the decision of a court of law.
- If the ethics committee, in its discretion, considers the charge to be sufficiently serious, it may refer the matter to the Board of Directors, which, after due consideration, will have the power to expel the member or to determine any lesser punishment.
- Any member who is convicted of a serious crime, as determined by the Board of Directors, will be subject to immediate expulsion from the Association.
The ADD program is open to tennis instructors that have a socioeconomic disadvantage and cannot afford to attain USPTA certification. Each ADD applicant's socioeconomic position is determined through a short-answer questionnaire that includes questions about income, community involvement and future plans once certified as a USPTA Professional.
For more information on this program, please contact your division president.
Preparing for the Exam
USPTA's exam includes a one-day PTCA I that reviews testing procedures and requirements. It covers:
- Organization of private and group lessons
- Teaching techniques and lesson progressions
- Review of written and grip exams
The PTCA I is also available online. Please click the option on the application form if you wish to take it online.
Taking the Exam
The USPTA Certification Exam constantly evolves as the game and industry change. For example, the current test contains questions about modern tennis technique. The exam is explained in detail in the study material that you receive. The exam has three sections - stroke production, teaching and written - and covers the following:
The stroke production exam establishes an applicant's accuracy, form and spin on:
- Lob and dropshot
The teaching exam covers:
- Demonstration of grips
- Teaching a 25-minute private lesson
- Teaching a 25-minute group lesson
The written exam includes (available online):
- Modern tennis
- Teaching and playing skills
- Business and programming
- Professional conduct
- 10 and Under Tennis
- Definitions, expressions and rules
- Court maintenance
Non-U.S. citizens living in the United States must send a copy of either an alien registration card (green card) or work visa.
USPTA's written exam is offered in Spanish and several other languages. A $15 fee is charged to translate the answers into English.
Regional Testing Centers
The United States Professional Tennis Association, the world's leader in tennis-teaching certification, has created a system of regional testing centers. These regional testing centers will offer the Certification Exam, including the Professional Tennis Coaches Academy I, written exam, grip exam, private lesson, group lesson, feeding and stroke production tests.
USPTA selected major metropolitan areas with populations of at least 3 million people, strategically placed geographically around the United States, allows USPTA regional testing centers to be available to the greatest number of potential applicants.
New applicants may register for any of these exams by selecting the date when completing the application. You can also register by calling the Membership Department at 800-USPTA-4U or 1-800-877-8248.
Atlanta, Ga. – Dunwoody Country Club
Dunwoody Country Club’s Tennis Facility boasts 14 lighted tennis courts. Four of the 14 courts are state of the art “Lee Hydro court” clay courts. The other 10 courts are composite hard courts surfaced in the USTA recommended color combination of Blue and Green. The Tennis Pro Shop is one of the largest tennis pro shops at any club in Atlanta. in 2003, the Tennis Facility was honored as the USTA’s “Facility of the Year” in the category of private clubs. In 2011 Dunwoody Tennis was named the “Tennis Program of the Year” by the Georgia Professional Tennis Association.
2014 testing dates
Aurora, Ill. – Rush-Copley Healthplex
The Rush-Copley Heathplex is a 166,000-square-foot, medically based athletic and tennis club. Our mission is to provide quality, creative and medically sound fitness and wellness programming with superior member service.
Our degreed fitness specialists, certified personal trainers, group exercise instructors and massage therapists will help you develop an approach to health and wellness that will enhance every aspect of your life. Our approach empowers the whole person - body, mind and spirit. Our tennis programs are well-balanced, taught by USPTA-certified staff and provide the highest level of instruction and member service. Featuring eight Deco-Turf (hard) indoor courts and six outdoor Har-Tru clay courts; award-winning programs and staff; a variety of leagues, lessons, clinics and fun social events, we have something for everyone!
2014 testing dates
Boca Raton, Fla. – The Oaks at Boca Raton
The Club at the Oaks professional style tennis complex, with 12 lighted courts, including a stadium court, has its own on-site teaching staff and pro shop featuring the latest in equipment and apparel. A year-round schedule of tournaments, round robins, and tennis-related social events is planned. A separate recreation area for children contains a delightful play area, home theatre and full-size basketball court.
2014 Testing dates
Chatham, N.J. – Centercourt Athletic Club
Centercourt Athletic Club holds the distinguished honor of being name a USTA Regional Training Center. As one of the nation's leading racquet facilities featuring 8 climate-controlled indoor Rebound Ace courts, 12 outdoor Har-Tru courts and 4 year-round platform tennis courts. 8 of our Har-Tru courts are covered and lighted by a climate-controlled dome during the winter months. The Club also features an inviting Field House and Club House for our members and guests to enjoy.
Exams will be held at the Centercourt Tennis Club.
2014 testing dates
Houston – USPTA World Headquarters
The USPTA World Headquarters in Houston is home to all the daily administration of the Association. The World Headquarters contains a state of-the-art training facility for USPTA members to take advantage of educational opportunities such as USPTA Competitive Player Development conferences. The facility has two championship hard courts that are used for education, certification and testing.
2014 testing dates
Professional to Elite Professional
To upgrade to Elite Professional, you must successfully complete the following exams:
- Written Elite exam (online) – based on four subject areas. There are at least two specialty courses available that are associated with each topic.
- Business (budgets, management, staffing, retail, customer service, etc.)
- Programming (lessons, clinics, activities, events, etc.)
- Sport science (motor skills, biomechanics, sport physiology, sport psychology, etc.)
- Tennis operations (program implementation, program calendar, staff supervision, court maintenance, etc.)
- Feeding competency (Elite level)
- Stroke analysis (revised online exam)
You must earn 16 specialty course credits in the four areas listed above plus 24 APC credits. (Once this has been met, it doesn't have to be repeated.)
You also must submit documentation that you have three years' full-time tennis-teaching experience.
Register by mail or call the Membership Department at 800-877-8248 for your upgrade fee. Applicants can register by phone by providing a credit card number.
You will receive an email of confirmation for the exam, including site information.
Recreational Coach to Professional
- If you are interested in upgrading from Recreational Coach, you must pay the application fee of $175. Once this fee has been paid, we will email the study materials, PTCA I, to you. You also need to pay the difference between Recreational Coach and Professional dues. Please contact the Membership Department for your dues amount.
- At that time, you can register for the exam. Click here for a complete list of test dates. You will receive an email of confirmation for the exam, including site information.
- Test results take four to six weeks to process. They are mailed via USPS.
If you took the Professional-level exam and received a Recreational Coach rating, you will receive an eligibility date for when you can attempt to upgrade. To prepare for the exam, study the portions on which you received the RC rating. You will only need to retake those portions.
Click here to access the upgrade materials.
The following members are USPTA-certified testers, who are carefully selected and trained. They organize a Certification Exam from start to finish and provide the first USPTA experience for many new members. Testers work closely with local clubs, their divisional board of directors, and the World Headquarters to help the Association grow and maintain its high standards.
Kansas City, MO
Big Rapids, Mich.
Spring Lake, NC
Redwood City, CA
North Caldwell, NJ
Desmond Oon, Ph.D.
Redondo Beach, CA
Boca Raton, FL
David T. Porter, Ed.D.
Sugar Land, TX
San Diego, CA
John Y K Lim
Pine Brook, NJ
West Bloomfield, MI
Bonita Springs, FL
Hilton Head, SC