How Much Do Fitness Trainers Make? Salary and Career Insights
Is a career in the fitness industry a good choice? How much do fitness instructors make? Let’s explore
Life can be la vie en rose when you follow your heart and passion in your career. If health and fitness is your calling and you want to understand whether a career in this industry is a sensible option, you have reached the right article. In this article, we will discuss the salary and earning insights into the fitness industry, including how much do fitness instructors and personal trainers make, and what experts say about a career in fitness.
How Much Do Fitness Trainers Make?
After surveying 5 top sources, we concluded that fitness instructors and personal trainers’ average salary is $48,141 per year in the United States. The typical range is $40,000 to $54,000 per annum and, $20 to $25 per hour. The lowest rate is $11 per hour and $23000 per year while the highest rate is $87 an hour and $93000 a year. But just like any other fields, salaries in fitness also vary on the basis of work experience, certificates, job location, and expertise level.
We have derived the median salary from the below statistics.
Here’s a detailed list of fitness trainers’ salary insight from top sources.
1) Fitness trainer salary: U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau Of Labor’s Statistics, fitness trainers made a median salary of $40,700 per year or $19.57 per hour in 2021. By 2030, the pay is estimated to get increased by 39%. The group fitness instructors’ median annual salary is $45,870 and $22.05 per hour.
New York has the highest fitness trainer median salary of $61,840, while California has the highest employment level with 25,160 jobs for fitness and personal trainers.
|Type||Lowest 10% range||Highest 90% range|
|Per hour wage||$ 11.04||$ 36.51|
|Per year salary||$ 22,960||$ 75,940|
2) Personal trainer’s salary according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
According to NASM, personal trainers make between $30,000 and $49,000 per year, if they’re working as full-time employees with a gym or studio. If fitness instructors are self-employed or working as independent contractors, they can charge somewhere between $40 to $150 per hour, depending upon the location and experience.
In general, the health clubs sell the personal training sessions in bulk or on the monthly basis. They retail 20% to 40% out of the package and pay the rest to the personal trainer. So, if personal trainers join a gym or health club with a big client portfolio, their earning potential increases dramatically.
3) Fitness trainer’s pay as per salary.com
Salary.com has the latest data on how much fitness trainers make. The personal trainers’ salary ranges from $46,146 to $78,568, with a median of $63,963 in April 2022. The top 90th Percentile salary is about $93,000 and the lowest 10th percentile makes $31,500 per year.
4) Fitness instructors and personal trainers pay insight according to Indeed
As per Indeed’s April 2022’s data, personal trainers make $23.99 per hour. However, because they work on a contract basis or are self-employed, their yearly earnings are estimated at $38,829, which is lower than full-time trainers.
Fulltime fitness instructors earn $22.54 per hour and if they are employed in a gym or studio, their median salary is $52,458 in the United States.
The top-paying companies for personal instructors are VIDA Fitness and Fitness Formula Clubs which pay $54.70 and $50.71 per hour. The highest paying gyms for fitness instructors are The Landings Club and NFC Amenity Management, which pay $47.43 and $45.61 per hour, respectively.
The highest paying city for fitness instructors is New York with a median pay of $82,035.
The states where fitness instructors make the lowest money are,
5) Glassdoor’s estimates on how much do fitness instructors make
Glassdoor’s data shows that a fitness instructor in the US makes a median of $47,113 a year. The data is derived from 397 salaries submitted to Glassdoor in April 2022. Group Fitness Instructors make $54,198 per annum.
Is a career in the fitness industry or starting your own fitness business a good choice? 7 Fitness Experts’ Reviews
Now that you got a basic idea of how much fitness instructors make, let’s understand whether a career in the fitness industry is a good choice. We asked 7 industry leaders to get an in-depth understanding of this topic. Here’s what they said.
Insight 1) Do not leave your full-time or part-time job initially- until you get financial stability in the fitness industry
We asked Alyssa Pfennig who owned a 2,500 sq. ft. yoga studio and wellness center in Indianapolis and owner of alyssapfennig.com, which trains wellness-minded entrepreneurs and yoga teachers. She advised,
“You can make enough money to afford a decent living standard, but you have to be strategic and realistic as this takes time, sometimes even years.
I witnessed many new yoga teachers from other programs quit their day jobs and attempt to become full-time yoga teachers without a plan, only to find themselves stressed out financially, not teaching from the heart, and overworked when they tried to teach 20+ classes per week to make up for their full-time equivalent.
Too many entrepreneurs are stressed out, strapped for cash, and working long hours. You do not want to do that.
I always advise new graduates to begin teaching a few classes and keep their day job or move to part-time so they can ensure they have a secure financial foundation while they pursue their dreams.”, says Alyssa.
Insight 2) Building a solid reputation is a must
Secoy Reeves, Certified Personal Trainer at the PersonalTrainertn says, “I train at three gyms in 3 different cities to increase my pool of potential clients. My business is now bringing in enough to make a comfortable living. It is hard work! I work from 6 am-7 pm six days a week. I am at the point of hiring staff and planning on opening my gym.”, says Secoy.
He also added, “What I would tell someone who is aspiring to start a career in the fitness industry is to build a solid reputation.
- Start training at gyms as an independent contractor.
- Post every day on Instagram and Facebook (especially reels) and
- ask for Google reviews from clients.”
Insight 3) Start with a gym in partnership to divide expenses and reduce risk
Paul Warloski, who’s a partner at Simple Endurance Coaching said a career in the fitness industry hustle and tough life, yet a rewarding one. When he started his career, for the first 8 weeks in one of the top gyms in Milwaukee, he was offered $800/month plus commission. As it obviously wasn’t good pay, he decided to start something of his own.
Warloski says “I started looking to start my own gym, but the overhead costs were substantial with rentals and equipment. I found a sort of cooperative studio owned by two trainers. Five trainers share the space. That works much better.
The best part of the big box gym was
- honing my skills as a trainer in the real world (not from the textbook), and
- building some marketing and self-promotion skills.
If you get to a certain experience level and work a lot of hours, usually in a split shift – 5 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 8 pm – at a minimum, you can make it work.
Insight 4) The health and fitness industry has an exponential room for growth
We asked Tyler Read, the CEO of Personal Trainer Pioneer, and he said that the fitness industry is an excellent place to be for anyone passionate about helping people achieve their goals, is entrepreneurial, and loves to connect with people,
“Now more than ever, people are prioritizing health. People are looking to balance out the demands of a desk job and want to live a healthy and happy long life. The demand for qualified fitness professionals is only going to grow. There are endless possibilities in the industry if you are passionate about health and fitness ready to forge your own path. “, says, Tyler.
Insight 5) Earning potential of a personal trainer improves over time and with expertise. There are no instant big financial rewards
Jake Dickson, a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT-NASM), says
“Personal training isn’t a way to get money quickly. If you enter this sector with the expectation of making money quickly, you will be disappointed. Personal trainers in the United States may expect to earn $45,473.50 per year and $21.86 per hour on average.
This does not mean that becoming a personal trainer is not a viable career option, though. A personal trainer’s earning potential is limitless if he or she continues to study and deliver excellent service. As you develop expertise and a superb reputation among your clients, you may raise your pricing and attract additional business,” says Jake.
Insight 6) Investing in the right training program is essential
“Make sure you invest in the correct training for your aspirations! Ask the people who inspired you which programs they went through. There is a ton of training out there and they are not all created equal. It’s better to invest in the best program for what you want. Often, the quick, short, low-cost training leave you needing to sign up for more training and slow down your growth.”, says Lesley.
Insight 7) The cost-profit ratio tends to be 7:3
Ryan Lewis who owns Sanctuary Jiu-Jitsu center says that he was able to maintain a healthy profit ratio of 30%. That means, out of every $10 you make, you take home $3. The biggest expenses are rent and utilities which consist of more than 50% of the total cost. He was able to reduce the cost as they don’t have a full-time employee at this stage and owners manage all the operations.