Personal Trainer Pay Scale


A personal trainer is a fitness professional who provides individualized direction and instruction on exercising, dieting, and lifestyle in order to help clients achieve their health goals. Personal trainers specialize in providing individualized one-on-one or small group training sessions that focus on specific exercise techniques, target muscle areas, and develop proper form in order to avoid injury. A personal trainer typically works for a gym or fitness center and may have their own private practice as well.

When looking into personal training as a career path, researching the pay scale is an important step to take. Knowing what you can expect in terms of salary helps establish realistic expectations and gives prospective trainers an idea of what they should strive for when entering this career field. Personal trainers can also find out if there is any room for advancement within the field. Examining job postings for head trainers or managers can give insight into higher paying positions with more responsibility and potential for growth. Additionally, researching which certifications are required will help illustrate what type of skill set is necessary to work as a professional personal trainer.

Motivations Behind Pay

The pay scale for personal trainers is often determined by their experience and professional certifications. Regardless of experience, personal trainers typically charge an hourly rate for the services they provide. Many studios have predetermined rates based on the trainer’s specialty and the length of a package purchased by the client.

There are also financial incentives associated with client success. Trainers may offer discounts or bonuses to encourage clients to reach specific goals like losing ten pounds or bench-pressing a certain amount of weight. Additionally, trainers may increase their price when clients have achieved long-term goals in order to maintain the desired level of commitment.

Meeting goals like these builds relationships between clients and trainers, which can result in additional referrals down the road. This type of incentive allows both parties to benefit from their hard work together while still making money that is commensurate with the service provided by the trainer.

Average Salaries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average annual wage for personal trainers in 2018 was $42,120. This rate includes pay for all levels of training, including one-on-one sessions and group classes.

When looking at the data by specific type of personal training, however, the salary range can vary considerably. A one-on-one personal trainer can typically expect to make between $30,000 and $80,000 per year depending on their client base and region. Those with experience or specialized certifications will likely earn more than those without any experience or specialties. Location also plays a large role in earning potential with some regions offering higher rates due to athletic demand or specialization of services. Group class instructors may earn less than one-on-one trainers since they tend to work more hours to accommodate more clients at once but still receive an adequate pay that often ranges between $28,000 -$60, 000 annually as reported by BLS data. Additionally, private gyms and health clubs may offer salary plus commission packages to their employees; these staff members would receive a set base rate plus additional compensation based on how many new clients they sign up each month or year.

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Ways to Increase Pay

There are many ways for a personal trainer to increase their pay, depending on their goals for their career. One of the simplest methods is to take on additional responsibilities at the gym or studio they currently work in. Some examples might include instructing classes or helping other trainers during their session. This can help them negotiate a higher hourly rate with the facility managers and get paid more for the same amount of work.

Another strategy is to create an entirely new program that can be offered at the gym or studio, something that has not been done before by anyone else there. This could potentially draw in more clients who are interested in trying this unique program, leading to an increase in income for the personal trainer as well.

Finally, personal trainers should consider expanding their services by either adding nutrition and/or lifestyle consulting to their portfolio of offerings or providing online sessions to generate a broader base of clients from further away. By being able to reach even more people and present them with customized plans tailored to them, the trainer can charge higher rates based on how involved they are with each individual client and deliver greater results than before.

Benefits and Perks

Personal trainers may receive a variety of additional benefits in addition to the regular pay scale. These benefits vary according to the particular trainer and organization they are working for. Here are some examples:

Health insurance: Many personal trainers have access to health insurance, either through their employer or through an individual policy they can purchase themselves. This can make a huge difference in how they manage medical costs during the course of their career.

Pension plans: For long-term success, many employers offer personal trainers access to pension plans that allow them to save a portion of their salary each month or year into an account, so that when they retire they’ll have access to a certain level of financial security.

Job training programs: Professional development is important for any job, and it’s particularly true for those who want to stay up-to-date on all the latest best practices related to fitness and training. Many organizations offer job training programs for their personal trainers so that they can continue growing in their career.

Mentorship/coaching opportunities: Personal trainers often form strong bonds with clients as they work together towards improved fitness goals. Many companies recognize this relationship as an opportunity for mentorships and coaching activities that not only benefit the clients but also are known to result in more successful outcomes overall for both parties involved.

Pros and Cons

The Pros of Being A Personal Trainer:

One of the biggest benefits of being a personal trainer is having flexible hours. You can work around existing commitments such as family, school or jobs and still make decent money. Additionally, trainers often have the potential for earning more than other occupations in their desired niche if they are successful at marketing their services and gaining a solid brand reputation.

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The Cons of Being A Personal Trainer:
However, being a personal trainer also has its own drawbacks. The first is that there are constantly changing industry standards you must keep up with in order to remain competitive; something which requires time and monetary investment. Additionally, since you will be working directly with clients, there is personal liability on your part should any injuries occur while they are under your supervision or guidance; this may be covered by insurance but it is something you should consider.

Tips for Success

Budgeting: Personal Trainers must budget their earnings to maximize the value of their pay rate. From setting aside money for taxes to contributing a portion of your paycheck to savings, it’s important for personal trainers to stay on top of their income and expenses in order to build financial stability over time.

Networking: Networking is a critical component of any career journey, but especially personal training. Taking the time to make valuable connections in the fitness industry can open up opportunities for more competitive contracts and even potential referrals that can help increase earnings.

Continuing Education: Personal Trainers should keep up with the latest trends in fitness and nutrition by staying informed with industry news, participating in workshops or seminars, or additional certifications or trainings to further refine skills and expand knowledge base. This not only makes you a more valuable resource, but may also lead to higher wage opportunities as well.


This blog post outlines the pay scale for personal trainers. According to research, personal trainer salaries vary greatly and may depend on experience, qualifications and region. Generally, they can expect to make between $17-67 per hour depending on the factors above. Some of the best opportunities are found in large cities such as Los Angeles and New York City. It is important that potential personal trainers research salary ranges before committing to working in any given area or environment. It is important to consider other incentives (such as holidays, bonuses, health insurance etc.) when calculating a total earnings package. Ultimately researching personal trainer pay scales allows individuals to make an informed decision when considering taking up the profession.

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