There are many benefits to becoming a personal trainer. Aside from knowing that you are helping people to lead healthier lives, personal trainer salaries have been on the rise. Pay for part-time trainers has increased by 12% over the last six years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual range of salaries for fitness trainers and aerobic instructors (grouped together) ranges from $18,690 to $70,180. Better yet, according to the ACE Salary Report for Health and Fitness Professionals, the average salary for personal trainer is $52,537.
Even more exciting is that according to the Department of Labor, with 6.4 million Americans currently signed up for personal training, job growth is projected to rise 24% between 2010 and 2020. The market research shows that personal training is a $10 billion industry and although many personal trainers work independently, 24 Hour Fitness and Life Time Fitness are the largest companies that employ trainers.
Other considerations include job satisfaction and barriers to entry. Start-up costs for personal training businesses are very low. Certification may be the biggest cost and while renting space can be another large monthly expense, many personal trainers will train clients in their homes. Another benefit many trainers enjoy is long breaks during the day. Most trainers do business early- to mid-mornings, break, then train again for a few hours midday, and enjoy an afternoon break before evening clients resume.
So what should you consider if you want to make it in the industry? Many things affect your chances for success and financial freedom in the fitness world. Personality is one key to being a successful personal trainer and although many people will argue that you need to be in shape to inspire others, the truth is that many clients relate to trainers who are transforming their own bodies in the process.
Factors that affect personal trainer pay include:
- Education level
Whether you work independently or at a club, personal training is a business. In many respects, you are still your own boss if you work at a club because every client is a micro-business. You have to develop individual programming, follow through on service, be conscientious about billing and continue selling sessions for future bookings. Each client needs to be managed and embraced.
As with any profession, the more time you spend watching, learning, doing and researching, the better you will perform. Allow for your own passions to intersect with specialties. If you enjoy working with athletes, you should gain more education about how to enhance performance. If you enjoy working with seniors, gain more education to identify potential health issues related to aging.
Here are five ways to increase your personal training salary:
- Keep your clients happy. It’s far easier to keep a client than to gain a new one. Stay on top of your clients and find ways to give them more value in each session. A simple text at the end of the day with a motivational tip or compliments on their workout can go a long way.
- Build your business with referrals. Word of mouth advertising is free. If you want to increase your training hours, ask your current clients for referrals. Since it may only take a single session to get someone hooked, offer your current clients the ability to gift your services to family, friends or co-workers for special holidays or birthdays.
- Decrease costs and downtime. Many trainers have long breaks during the day and could be using this downtime to find new clients or to prepare their own books instead of hiring an accountant. Get organized and keep your business goals in mind. Even if you work at a club, you have to build your personal brand and market yourself to new clients.
- Speak up. Health food stores, park districts, hospitals and even public schools can be great places to perform health talks and gain client leads.
- Give yourself a raise. Remember that costs increase each year and training rates can, too. Make sure you communicate the changes to clients well before they take place.