Personal training is a rapidly growing field, with a projected 330,000 jobs by 2026. People choose to become a personal trainer for a variety of reasons, from its flexible hours and low barriers to entry to its incredible earning potential. No matter what your rationale or your goals, personal training can offer you a path to success.
On the other hand, the growth experienced by personal training in recent years has made it more competitive than ever. If you want to increase your income, you’ll need to match your goals by working hard and standing out from the crowd. These are some of the most effective ways to bring in more money as a personal trainer.
Average Personal Exercise Trainer Income
If you’re new to the field of personal training, you’re probably wondering what you can expect to earn. While every situation is unique, and no two trainers are the same, there are general paths that most new trainers follow as they build their reputation.
When you enter the market as a junior trainer, you’ll likely earn close to minimum wage while performing tasks on the floor and recruiting new clients. As you get more opportunities to demonstrate your skill set and value, you’ll eventually earn a cut of the personal training package while giving the rest to your gym.
Of course, your exact earnings will be dependent on a variety of factors, including your experience, specialization, and location. And since your success in personal training is based on your ability to attract and retain clients, your income is largely determined by your results.
Trainers who are employed by a gym can make anything from $28,000 to $80,000, with even more variation among independent contractors.
Budgeting and Income Fluctuations
Unlike many other jobs, personal training doesn’t often come with a fixed yearly salary. And since the market for training is so prone to fluctuation, trainers typically see wide variations in their income depending on the season. The fall and winter are the busiest times, while business generally slows down in the spring and worsens in the summer.
This is an important factor to consider as you begin budgeting, as you’ll need to save during the busy months to make up for slow times. Try to estimate how much you’ll make in an average year, and consider budgeting based on an average month. By distributing your savings throughout the year, you’ll give yourself a consistent lifestyle and financial security.
Earning More as a Personal Trainer
If you’re unsatisfied with your current income, or if you simply want to reach new goals, it’s time to start finding ways to increase your rate. These are four effective ways to improve your earnings potential, and they can all provide significant long-term value.
1. Get Certified
Like in any profession, advanced trainer certifications show that you’ve achieved a level of expertise and experience in personal training that guarantees a high-quality product. Certified trainers can easily charge more than their uncertified counterparts, and there are a variety of valuable certifications. Some of the most common certifiers include:
● American Council on Exercise
● American College of Sports Medicine
● International Sports Sciences Association
● National Academy of Sports Medicine
● National Strength and Conditioning Association
2. Become an Independent Trainer
While there are obvious benefits to working for a gym, from the safe hourly wage to the exposure to clients, great personal trainers can increase their income by directly reaching out to clients.
Since you’re no longer giving a cut of your rate to the gym, you’re bringing more home for yourself. If you’re worried about the risk, start by slightly decreasing your gym hours and replacing them by working independently.
3. Market Yourself
It’s important to market yourself both as a trainer and as an individual in order to create a personal connection with clients and potential customers. Fortunately, social media has given personal trainers a new way to gain exposure. Utilizing these tools to find new clients is a great way to increase your income.
4. Start a Bootcamp
Although this isn’t technically personal training, hosting group Bootcamp sessions for prospective clients is a bit like offering a discounted trial. They’ll be able to get a feel for your style without a long-term commitment, and many of your Bootcamp attendees will become personal training clients.
Personal Training and Liability Insurance
Even the best personal trainers have injured clients, and like in many other professions, paying a small amount for insurance is worth the security of knowing that you’re covered in a worst-case scenario. Insurance can help cover litigation costs as well as any judgments made against you. If you’re interested in liability insurance, get an instant quote from BizInsure.
Personal exercise training is a uniquely lucrative profession, and its relative independence gives you almost limitless potential. While it may take time to build your reputation and increase your income, your time and effort will end up being paid back many times over. Above all, stick to your goals and don’t give up—every personal trainer was once a beginner!