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How Much Do Personal Trainers Make?

by becomingatrainer

Personal training is one of the fastest-growing careers in America. With obesity rates on the rise, the need for individuals in the health industry are higher than ever. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, a career as a Personal Trainer can be lucrative. On average full time personal trainers make about $50,000/year with potential to make upwards of $130,000/year. If you choose to be a Personal Trainer, you can expect career satisfaction immediately and job growth within the first year.

Hourly Salaries for Personal Trainers
Although hours are mostly based around your clients’ needs, they are much more flexible than a typical 9 to 5 job and you can make your own schedule. When starting out in the personal training field it is a good idea to work at a gym. This can be a local boutique gym, a studio, or a large corporate one. You are still an entrepreneur, but the brick and mortar provides the financial security of an hourly rate as you build your book. Unless you are bringing clients with you or have friends in the gym interested in buying a personal training package immediately, you will start out with no clients. Understand that this is normal and building your clientele takes time.

Management will most likely give you “floor hours” to acquaint yourself with gym members. The pay for this can range from $8 to $15/hour depending on your gym. Floor hours give you the opportunity to get noticed around the gym and sell your services while you do simple tasks such as clean machines and rack weights. When starting off, many new trainers look at this as a punishment. Do not think that way- you have to start somewhere! Working on the main floor of the gym where all the members are is one of the best ways to meet potential clients. If you notice someone’s form is wrong, ask if you may show them how to perfect it. Remember, no one wants to hear they are doing something wrong, so choose your words wisely. If you see someone doing lots of sets of the same exercise, you may suggest a new exercise that works the same muscle groups. Being friendly and helpful along with tidying up the area will make gym members notice and want to train with you.

Once you have attracted clients, your hourly salary will be determined by the type of package they purchase from you. Large packages of 24 or 36 sessions are great, because you know you have that client hooked for several weeks. Gyms tend to give members a lower rate per session if they buy a large package, know that this might effect your hourly rate by a few dollars. If a client purchases a small training package of 4 or 6 sessions, you will get paid more per hour, but you will have to work harder after just a couple weeks to persuade them to buy again. Most trainers encourage their clients to buy the biggest package possible not only for the retention of clientele but also because they know their clients are more likely to get results from several weeks of training rather than just a few sessions.

Yearly Salaries for Personal Trainers
After you have filled your schedule with clients, gym management will probably take away your floor hours. It is now up to you to retain your clientele to keep your business going. Depending on how many trainers your gym has, the time of year you start, and the area where you work, it could take up to a year to fill your book.

When you are training 8 or more sessions a day, you can begin to think in terms of yearly salary. At this time you are typically no longer prospecting and clients are seeking you out. You have proved yourself enough that your reputation and business are based on referrals. Your clients are walking billboards of your services. This is a very comfortable place to be in the industry.
Certain times of the year will be busier than others. Understandably, January is one of the busiest months as people are looking to finally reach their fitness goals in the New Year. Summertime is often a slower season as your clients take vacations, stay home with their kids, go to their beach house, or even spend more time working out on their own outdoors. Knowing that there are busy times and slow times should help you budget properly. Focusing on your yearly salary instead of each paycheck is a way to keep things in perspective.

How Can A Personal Trainer Improve Their Earnings?
Many gyms have tiers of trainers with different titles such as Master Trainer, Pro Trainer and Elite Trainer. Some of them may even wear different colored shirts to designate one from another. The trainers are separated for various reasons such as experience, number of certifications, or their training specialties. As a result of the tier system, some trainers’ rates are higher and their clients pay more. The trainers at the top of the tier usually have the most certifications and earn the most. It is interesting to note that some trainers, although overqualified for their tier, prefer to keep their prices at a rate they know are reasonable enough for their current clients. Despite getting more certifications and moving up a tier, these trainers feel they might lose their regular clients if their prices go up. This is fine when starting out, but you will never improve your earnings if you keep this mindset. As a trainer your knowledge is worth every penny and your rates should reflect your expertise.

To improve your earnings expand your knowledge in the industry as frequently as possible. Attend conferences, maintain your certification by keeping up with continuing education credits, and get as many qualifications as possible. Everything from Kettlebell to Zumba requires a certification. The more certifications you maintain the more valuable you are and the more you will make. Having as much knowledge as possible opens doors to earning money beyond just your own clients. Teaching classes and running boot-camps are worthwhile ways to increase your salary.

Personal Trainers who make six figures usually own the gym or studio where they train and have clients willing to pay top dollar. While this is a fantastic aspiration, it isn’t the only way to make big bucks in the industry. After a few years of gaining valuable experience working in a gym, some personal trainers decide to go out on their own and train outside of the gym. This can be very rewarding but there are a lot of things to consider. It is necessary to know if any non-compete agreements had been signed at the previous gym, understand and choose an insurance provider for personal training insurance, and overall need a business sense to support job security.

Trainers may choose to have their own business by renting studio space or a warehouse, or even going to the client’s house and bringing their own equipment. By running a business themselves, trainers are able to charge their clients rates without a gym taking a percentage. This is one of the best ways to guarantee a profit and be on your way to achieve prosperity in the industry.
Your success as a personal trainer relies on the amount of time you put in to your business – both at a gym or running your own business. Offer incentive to your clients if they bring you a new client. Be creative and memorable when driving business. Practice the same nutrition and exercise advice you give your clients and stay motivated. Your attitude greatly effects the development of your business.

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