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How much do the best personal trainers make?

How much do the best personal trainers make?

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) on June 4, 2023 — Updated on November 14, 2023

The best personal trainers can make upwards of $100,000 per year. Many online personal trainers make well north of that, and celebrity personal trainers and personal trainers who own their own businesses can make into the millions per year.

PJF Performance
I sold a workout program and matched my yearly salary of in-person training within two weeks of selling to my community!
Paul Fabritz
Founder and BS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, ACE, FMS, PJF Performance

Becoming a personal trainer can be a rewarding career, both professionally and financially. It takes hard work, passion, and a commitment to helping people achieve their fitness goals. However, one question that’s often on people’s minds is, “How much do the best personal trainers make?” And, more importantly, you might be asking, “How much can I make from fitness?” Learn how to make money with a fitness business and then take your fitness earnings to the next level.

Fitness Income Ideas

Personal training is a rewarding career choice that not only helps clients achieve their fitness goals but also allows you to earn a great income. However, making six figures as a personal trainer requires hard work, dedication, and learning how to succeed in a competitive industry. Yes, some personal trainers can become rich, so why not you too?

In this article, we’ll discuss the essential skills and qualifications you need to become a successful personal trainer, how to develop a unique selling proposition, how to set your personal training rates, and much more. So, let’s dive in and show you how to make six figures as a personal trainer!

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Dean Somerset - Bird Dog
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Dean Somerset
Owner, Somerset Fitness

Once you learn how much the best personal trainers can make then if you want to run a fitness business with the best software for personal trainers, the best software for fitness influencers, and the best software for gym management, you can see why Exercise.com is the best software to run your entire fitness business all in one place. You can sell workout plans online, run online workout groups, start fitness challenges, do online personal training, and more, all from your own custom-branded fitness apps.

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Understanding the personal training industry

Before looking at the top earners in the personal training world, it’s essential to understand the industry as a whole. Personal training is a service-based industry that involves working with clients to help them set and achieve fitness goals. Trainers can work in a variety of settings, such as gyms, fitness studios, private training facilities, or even as independent contractors.

The growing demand for personal trainers

There has been a continuous demand for fitness professionals in recent years, making it one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide. The rise in obesity rates, coupled with an increased awareness of the benefits of exercise, has led to this growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for personal trainers to make a good living doing something they’re passionate about.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has further fueled the demand for personal trainers. With the closure of gyms and fitness studios, people turned to personal trainers for online training sessions to maintain their fitness levels. This has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for personal trainers, allowing them to reach clients from all over the world.

Factors affecting personal trainer income

Several factors can impact the earning potential of a personal trainer. One of the most significant factors is location. Personal trainers in urban areas tend to earn more than those in rural areas due to the higher cost of living in cities. The cost of living is another factor that affects personal trainer income. Trainers in high-cost areas must charge more to cover their expenses.

Education and certifications also play a significant role in determining a personal trainer’s earning potential. Trainers with advanced degrees and certifications, such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) or the American Council on Exercise’s Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), tend to earn more than those without them. These certifications demonstrate a trainer’s expertise and knowledge, making them more attractive to potential clients.

Experience and specialization are also factors that can impact a personal trainer’s income. Trainers with years of experience working with specific populations, such as athletes or seniors, can charge more for their services. Specialization in areas such as nutrition or injury prevention can also increase a trainer’s earning potential.

Finally, a personal trainer’s client base and retention rate can significantly impact their income. Trainers with a large and loyal client base can charge more for their services and rely on repeat business to maintain their income.

Read More: Personal Training Income Ideas

Top earners in the personal training world

While there are many successful personal trainers making a decent living, some have become the best in the business and make a considerable income from it. Here are some examples of the top earners in the personal training world:

Celebrity personal trainers

Celebrity personal trainers are some of the highest-paid personal trainers in the world. They often work with A-list actors, singers, and other celebrities who need to get into shape quickly for movie roles, tours, and other high-profile events. These trainers have to be at the top of their game, as they are often working with clients who have tight schedules and high expectations. They may also have to travel frequently to keep up with their clients’ busy lifestyles.

One of the most well-known celebrity trainers is Gunnar Peterson. He has worked with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, and Sofia Vergara. Peterson is known for his high-intensity workouts that focus on strength training and cardio. Don Saladino is another celebrity trainer who has worked with stars like Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, and Hugh Jackman. Saladino’s training style focuses on functional movements and mobility.

Tracy Anderson is a celebrity trainer who has gained a lot of attention for her unique approach to fitness. She has worked with clients such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, and Jennifer Aniston. Anderson’s method involves a combination of dance and strength training, and she has created her own line of workout equipment.

Successful fitness entrepreneurs

Some personal trainers have turned their passion into thriving fitness businesses. They may own their own gym, create workout programs, or even produce fitness-related content online. These trainers have to be not only skilled in training clients, but also in marketing and business management.

Kayla Itsines is a personal trainer who has become a successful fitness entrepreneur. She is the creator of the Bikini Body Guide, a popular workout program that has helped many women achieve their fitness goals. Itsines also has a large following on social media, where she shares workout tips and motivational messages.

Jillian Michaels is another personal trainer who has turned her passion into a successful business. She is the creator of the 30 Day Shred workout program, as well as several other fitness programs. Michaels has also written several books on health and fitness, and has appeared on numerous TV shows as a fitness expert.

Tony Horton is a personal trainer who is best known for creating the P90X workout program. This program has become incredibly popular, and has helped many people transform their bodies. Horton has also created other workout programs, as well as a line of supplements and fitness equipment.

Factors that influence a personal trainer’s salary

Personal training is a lucrative and fulfilling career that attracts people from all walks of life. While the top earners in the personal training world make substantial incomes, it’s essential to note that a trainer’s salary can vary based on several factors.

Location and cost of living

Personal trainers who work in wealthy cities or areas with a high cost of living will often be paid more than those in less affluent areas. This is because of the higher demand for trainers in certain locations and the increased living expenses trainers face. For example, a personal trainer in New York City can expect to make more than a trainer in a smaller town in the Midwest.

However, location isn’t the only factor that affects a trainer’s salary. The type of gym or fitness center a trainer works in can also impact their earnings. Trainers who work in high-end gyms or with celebrity clients may make more money than those who work in a community center or smaller gym.

Education and certifications

Having additional certifications or a degree in exercise science or a related field can increase a trainer’s earning potential. This is because of the knowledge and expertise gained from advanced education, leading to a more significant demand for their services. Trainers who hold certifications from organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the American Council on Exercise (ACE) are often seen as more qualified and knowledgeable, making them more attractive to potential clients.

Additionally, trainers who specialize in a particular area, such as nutrition or injury prevention, may be able to charge more for their services. This is because they have a unique skill set that sets them apart from other trainers.

Experience and specialization

Trainers with more experience in the industry are often paid more than those just starting. This is because they have built a reputation and a client base over time, which allows them to charge more for their services. Experienced trainers may also have a better understanding of how to market themselves and their services, which can lead to more clients and higher earnings.

Trainers who have specialized in a particular area, such as post-rehabilitation or sports performance, can charge a premium for their services. This is because they have developed a unique skill set that is in high demand among clients who require specialized training.

Client base and retention

Finally, the number of clients a trainer has and their ability to retain them can significantly impact their income. Trainers with a large, dedicated client base who keep renewing their services are likely to make more than those who struggle to find clients or retain them. This is because they have a steady stream of income and don’t have to spend as much time and money marketing themselves to new clients.

Retention is also essential because it shows that a trainer is providing quality services that clients value. Trainers who can retain clients for long periods are likely doing something right, whether it’s providing personalized attention or delivering results.

In conclusion, several factors influence a personal trainer’s salary, including location, education, experience, specialization, and client base. By understanding these factors, trainers can make informed decisions about their careers and take steps to increase their earning potential.

How to maximize your earning potential as a personal trainer

If you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer or looking to increase your earning potential in the industry, there are several things you can do:

Building a strong personal brand

Personal branding is essential in any industry, and it’s no different for personal trainers. Building a strong, recognizable brand and reputation can attract more clients and increase your earning potential.

One way to build your personal brand is by creating a website and social media presence that showcases your expertise and personality. Share your success stories, client testimonials, and before-and-after photos to demonstrate your ability to help clients achieve their fitness goals. You can also create a blog to share your insights on fitness and health-related topics, which can help establish you as an authority in the industry.

Another way to build your brand is by networking with other fitness professionals and collaborating with them on projects. This can help you expand your reach and tap into new client bases.

Expanding your skill set and expertise

Continuing education and certifications can help you increase your knowledge and skill set as a trainer, making you more in demand and able to charge higher rates.

Consider pursuing certifications in specialized areas such as nutrition, corrective exercise, or sports performance. This can help you attract clients with specific needs and goals and set yourself apart from other trainers.

Additionally, attending industry conferences and workshops can help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in the industry, which can help you provide better service to your clients.

Networking and collaboration

Networking with other fitness professionals and collaborating with them can lead to new opportunities and help expand your client base.

Consider joining local fitness groups or organizations to meet other professionals in the industry. Attend fitness events and workshops to meet new people and expand your network.

You can also collaborate with other professionals on projects such as fitness challenges or group training sessions. This can help you tap into new client bases and offer unique services to your existing clients.

Utilizing technology and online platforms

Using technology and social media can allow you to reach a broader audience and offer online training services, which can increase your earning potential.

Consider creating an online training program that clients can access from anywhere in the world. This can help you attract clients who may not be able to train with you in person.

You can also use social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to showcase your services and connect with potential clients. Share your success stories, client testimonials, and before-and-after photos to demonstrate your ability to help clients achieve their fitness goals.

By implementing these strategies, you can maximize your earning potential as a personal trainer and build a successful career in the fitness industry.

Get Started Making More

While there’s no magic formula for becoming a successful personal trainer, certain factors can impact earning potential. Location, education, experience, and specialization, along with marketing efforts and effective branding, can all influence how much money a trainer can make. By staying committed to growing your skills and staying up to date on industry trends, you can maximize your earning potential and turn your passion for fitness into a rewarding career.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

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Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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