What You'll Learn Discover how much a personal trainer actually makes using two examples of a solo personal trainer and a PT who runs a studio.
Why it's Important The idea that you can get a PT certificate and start making £40 per hour from day one is a false idea advertised to personal trainers by fitness course providers (not all of them). Personal training should be chosen as a career for the love of helping people, not for the idea of making easy money.
Let's set the scene: You've become a Personal Trainer, living the dream, turning up to work in comfortable clothes, wearing multi-coloured trainers and finally wearing the coveted t-shirt you had set your sights on throughout your training. The one that says; 'Personal Trainer' on the back!!
More importantly you are asking people for what you now think is a ridiculous, but exciting, amount of money for just 60 minutes work. You probably think this is the most amazing deal on the planet!
All of these ££'s for just 60 minutes of work are going to be adding up at an astonishing rate in the bank account, life is great!
Personal Trainer Salary - Employed
The average salary for personal trainers in the United States is around $18.47 per hour. While this is the industry average, a PT's salary can massively fluctuate depending on who they work for, geographical location and experience.
It's also important to note that some personal trainer employers provide medical and dental coverage.
While $18.47 per hour doesn't seem that high, the majority of personal trainers generally have high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Personal Trainer Salary - Self Employed
Your personal trainer salary has the potential to be great, however, at the Institute of Personal Trainers we like to keep it real and we feel it's our duty to break those figures right down for you to learn how much you are actually seeing per hour.
Here's an example:
Meet Lucy. She's been a personal trainer for just under 18 months and currently rents a space from her local membership gym in town. Here's what Lucy makes:
Lucy charges her clients £25/hour (as she feels this is a safe amount to charge given that she has recently qualified).
She trains clients 20 hours/week, which is 80 hours per month.
That makes her gross Income/month for PT £2,000. Not too bad at all.
Lucy's monthly operating costs are as follows;
Marketing - Lucy currently spends 8 hours and £40 per week, that's £120 and 32 hours per month on her personal trainer marketing (website, Facebook, free taster sessions and leaflets)
Gym rent per month is £450
Total operating costs are £570
That leaves Lucy with £1,430
£1,430/month for 80 hours a week PT also sounds pretty good. But let's not forget about the extra hours Lucy spends on Facebook, designing leaflets, doing free taster sessions and her website content.
Here are the numbers:
Lucy works for 80 hours with clients plus 32 hours on business. That's 84 hours/month
Lucys Profit is £1,430
Yearly salary = £17,160
Divided profits by the number of hours (£730 divided by 84)
Lucy makes £17.02/hour
Those numbers might seem pretty shocking but this is the reality of personal training. Business and marketing expenses, plus the addition of your own time makes personal training an expensive operation.
But don't let those figures put you off. Once you become a proficient marketer and business owner, your hours of work outside of training goes down and your ability to capture new leads and turn them in to clients goes up.
When it comes down to how much a personal trainer really gets paid per hour, after excluding operating and marketing costs, the picture looks bleak.
Surely it gets better when you make enough money to own and operate your own studio? Let's take a look:
Meet Frank. He's been a personal trainer for 8 years and specializes in sports conditioning and rehab. Frank owns his own private personal training gym facility. Here's what he makes:
Frank charges his clients £30/hour.
He works a 40 hour week.
That makes his gross Income/month for PT £4,800
Well done Frank!
OK, now let's talk about Frank's monthly operating costs;
Frank spends £200 + 10 hours on Marketing (he outsources more than Lucy)
Running the gym, equipment maintenance and cleaning costs £400 + 19 hours
Rent of his gym facility to the building owner is £550
That leaves Frank with £3,650
£3650 sounds awesome, right? But let's take a look at Franks numbers:
Franks Profit of £3,650 Divided by (120 hours per month on PT + 76 hours per month on operations) = £18.60/hour £18.60 doesn't sound too bad either, does it? But 69 hours per week is 13 hours and 48 minutes, 5 days per week! Poor Frank!
How To Earn More Money As a PT
The above examples are the reality for a lot of new and seasoned personal trainers and until Lucy and Frank find new ways to reduce mistakes and streamline their business systems they could be in for a lot of very long months.
It's starting to look like becoming a personal trainer isn't worth it! Well, you're in luck. There are a few nifty shortcuts and strategies to help you earn more as a PT and slowly increase your hourly wage.
A good website will automate a lot of your marketing and provided your website is search engine optimised to appear high in search results, you could have yourself a 24/7 marketing tool that attracts qualified leads while you sleep!
An email autoresponder will talk to your clients for you while you're busy with other business operations.
Affiliate programs and symbiotic relationships with industry related companies (local and international) will not only give your clients a great reason to sign up with you but save you a few pennies too!
Outsourcing. Could you pay a cleaner less for an hours cleaning than you charge for an hours PT? Probably. You can outsource many business tasks that cost per hour than you make per hour.
Group session. You can often charge 4 people half price PT and still get double pay per hour for the same service. Each individual would pay half a 1:1 PT session but with 4 clients at a time you get double income.
The Institute of Personal Trainers was built so that hard working PT's like Lucy and Frank can up their game by providing more resources to their clients, streamlining their personal trainer business marketing and increase their personal trainer salary.