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How much should I charge as a personal trainer?

How much should I charge as a personal trainer?

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

Personal trainers charge $50-$100 per hour for personal training sessions, and you should charge on the higher end of that range, or even more. Various factors like gym type, services offered, experience level, location, and more can affect the price. The table below illustrates the breakdown of personal training sessions costs by type of training.

Type of In-Person Personal TrainingEstimated Average Prices
Individual Personal Training Session$50-$100 per hour
Small Group Training Session (2-5 people)$20-$50 per hour per person
Large Group Training Session (6+ people)$10-$30 per hour per person
Boot Camp Style Session$10-$25 per session per person
Specialty Training Session (e.g., CrossFit, TRX, etc.)$20-$75 per session
Package of Multiple Personal Training Sessions$200-$1,000 (depends on number of sessions)

Please note that these prices are estimated averages and can greatly vary depending on factors such as the trainer’s experience, the location, the length and complexity of the training session, and the size of the group.

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As a personal trainer, determining your rates can be a tricky business. You want to ensure that you’re charging enough to make a comfortable living, but you don’t want to price yourself out of the market. To help you navigate this complex issue, we’ve put together this guide to help you determine the right price for your personal training services.

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Once you learn how to set personal training prices, and how much most personal trainers charge, then if you want to run an online 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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If you’re just starting out as a personal trainer, you’re probably wondering what your rate should be. Maybe you’re afraid to charge too much or too little, but don’t worry: You’ve entered a field comprised of many professionals who have been where you are and have advice to share. See what a couple of these experts have to say, and don’t forget to take good notes!

Advice from Experienced Personal Trainers

Let’s see what two experienced, veteran personal trainers have to say about how much you should charge as a personal trainer.

Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan is a fitness business coach and a PMA-certified Pilates teacher who leads international Pilates retreats. She is the author of Profitable Pilates: Everything But the Exercises, and her advice has been featured in Pilates Style Magazine and Vogue. Her Pilates workout and business coaching tutorials can also be found on PilatesAnytime.com

Lesley’s Advice

If the trainer or fitness instructor is just starting out, I would base the rates on a few factors:

What are the going rates?

Look up the going rates of trainers or fitness instructors in your area. Take a look at the highs and lows.

Do you have rent to pay?

At a minimum, your rate should be 3x the rent. In all service industry jobs, the cost of the service x3 is where rates are generally set before adding things on like experience, etc.

What do you feel comfortable charging?

If you cannot confidently tell your potential clients your rate, then you are either not sure of your skillset, or you have set your rates higher than you’re confident you can charge. However, you shouldn’t undercut the entire industry in your area. And, you are not of service to people; you provide value to the clients’ life.

How many hours a week can you actually train?

How much money do you need to make a year, a month, a week? Determine how much you need to make to pay your bills, and get your biz going by the number of hours you can train. That amount should be somewhere in the range of what the going rate in your area is and cover your expenses to run your business.

Richard Wilcock

Richard Wilcock is a personal trainer, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and owner of Flagship Fitness. His advice has been featured in Men’s Journal, Organic Authority, Yahoo Lifestyle, and SparkPeople

Richard’s Advice

This question is always difficult to answer simply because of how much it varies depending on where you are based.

I’m a personal trainer based in the north of England. At the location I work from, I would say that no trainer should charge less than £30 (about $40) an hour.

If, however, I was working in London in the south of England, the cost of living there is much, much higher. Trainers in London aren’t just able to charge more for their services because the cost of living is higher, but they practically have to have the same lifestyle a trainer outside of the city would have.

Usually, when asked this question, I give the following tips:

Do some research about the other trainers in your area, and base your price off what you see others charging.

Either match the average price or charge more. Don’t devalue your service. Charging half the price of your competitors means you will have to work twice as many hours to make the same amount. Clients will always be happier with you dropping the price of your service later rather than raising it.

If you work at a gym with other trainers, the golden rule is to never charge less than they do.

Charging less than the others might sound like a good idea, but it can cause resentment and a pricing war that no one will benefit from.

Something else to think about is what your price says about you and the type of clientele you will attract.

Being the cheapest around can get you clients, but in my experience, the clients you get are the ones you don’t want. They’re normally the short-term clients who train with you for a few weeks and then leave, meaning you always have to find new clients. Pricing yourself higher can be reassuring, as well as making clients see you as more valuable. The more valuable you seem, the more likely they are to continue training with you.

The people who can afford a higher price point are generally the ones who can also keep training with you for a long time.

They have more disposable income and are more likely to value your service. At this point in my career, I charge more than any other trainer nearby and around three-quarters of my clients have been training with me for over six months. Having these long-term clients takes a lot of the pressure off you financially as you know there is money coming in and you’re not always trying to find more new personal training clients.

Understanding the personal training market

Before you can determine your rates, it’s important to understand the personal training market. This includes understanding the demand for personal trainers and the average rates in your area.

The demand for personal trainers

Thankfully, the demand for personal trainers is on the rise. This is due to a growing awareness of the importance of health and fitness, as well as an uptick in gym memberships and fitness apps. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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 will be plenty of opportunities for personal trainers in the coming years.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should charge top dollar for your services. It’s important to do your research and determine what your potential clients are willing to pay. Some factors that may affect what clients are willing to pay include their income level, location, and the current state of the economy.

Average personal trainer rates in your area

Researching the average rates in your area is a good starting point when determining your rates. Keep in mind that these rates can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including location, experience, and the clientele being served. For example, personal trainers in urban areas may be able to charge more than those in rural areas due to the higher cost of living.

It’s also important to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when looking at rates. Make sure the rates you’re comparing include similar services and experience levels. For example, if you’re a certified personal trainer with several years of experience, you shouldn’t be comparing your rates to those of a beginner trainer who is still working on their certification.

Comparing your services to competitors

Another way to determine your rates is to compare the services you offer to those of your competitors. Are you offering more specialized services or a higher level of experience? If so, you may be able to charge more. For example, if you specialize in working with clients who have specific health issues, such as diabetes or arthritis, you may be able to charge more than a general personal trainer.

Conversely, if your competitors are offering a wider range of services or more flexible scheduling, you may need to adjust your rates downward. For example, if your competitors offer online training sessions or have more flexible cancellation policies, you may need to lower your rates to remain competitive.

Factors to consider when setting your rates

Setting your rates as a personal trainer can be a tricky task. You want to make sure you’re charging enough to make a living, but you also don’t want to price yourself out of the market. Once you’ve done your research and have an idea of where you stand in the market, it’s time to start considering the factors specific to your business that will help you determine your rates.

Your experience and qualifications

Your level of experience and qualifications should be a major factor when determining your rates. If you’re just starting out as a personal trainer, you may need to charge less in order to attract clients. This will give you the opportunity to gain experience and build up your client base. As you gain more experience and specialized qualifications, you may be able to charge more for your services. Clients are often willing to pay more for a trainer who has a proven track record of success.

The cost of living in your area

The cost of living in your area is another important factor to consider when setting your rates. If you live in an expensive urban area, you’ll likely need to charge more to cover your living expenses. This may include things like rent, transportation costs, and food. On the other hand, if you live in a rural area with a lower cost of living, you may be able to charge less for your services.

Your target clientele

Who your target clientele is will also be a factor in determining your rates. If you’re targeting high-income individuals with specialized fitness needs, you may be able to charge more than if you’re targeting the general public. For example, if you’re working with professional athletes or celebrities, you may be able to charge a premium for your services. However, if you’re targeting the general public, you may need to keep your rates more affordable in order to attract clients.

The services and packages you offer

The services and packages you offer can also impact your rates. If you’re offering a wide range of specialized services, you may be able to charge more than if you’re just offering basic personal training services. For example, if you’re offering nutritional counseling, strength training, and injury rehabilitation, you may be able to charge more than if you’re just offering one-on-one personal training sessions. Similarly, if you offer package deals or discounts for multiple sessions, you may need to adjust your rates downward. This can be a great way to incentivize clients to sign up for multiple sessions and can help you build a consistent client base.

Your overhead costs

Finally, you’ll need to consider your overhead costs when determining your rates. This includes things like gym memberships, insurance, and equipment costs. You’ll need to ensure that your rates cover these costs, as well as your living expenses, while still allowing you to make a reasonable profit. It’s important to keep in mind that personal training is a business, and you’ll need to treat it as such. This means taking into account all of your expenses and ensuring that your rates are competitive while still allowing you to make a living.

Pricing strategies for personal trainers

Now that you’ve considered all of the factors that impact your rates, it’s time to start thinking about pricing strategies that will help you attract and retain clients.

Personal training is a competitive industry, and pricing can be a major factor in whether or not clients choose to work with you. In addition to considering your own costs and desired income, it’s important to think about what your potential clients are willing to pay and what your competitors are charging.

Hourly rates vs. package deals

One of the most common pricing strategies for personal trainers is to offer hourly rates. This can work well for clients who only need occasional sessions or who want to try out your services before committing to a larger package. However, for clients who are looking for more consistent and long-term training, package deals can be a more attractive option. Consider offering both hourly rates and package deals to appeal to a wider range of clients.

When setting your package rates, consider offering a discount compared to your hourly rate. This will incentivize clients to commit to a larger package and ensure a more consistent income for you.

Offering discounts and promotions

Offering discounts and promotions is another effective pricing strategy. This can include things like personal trainer referral discounts, where clients who refer new business to you receive a discount on their own training sessions. Seasonal promotions, such as discounts during the summer months or around the holidays, can also be effective in attracting new clients.

Consider offering limited-time discounts on specific services as well. For example, offer a discount on your nutrition coaching services for the first five clients who sign up.

Value-added services to justify higher rates

If you’re looking to charge higher rates than your competitors, consider offering value-added services that justify the higher price. This could include things like personalized meal plans, in-depth fitness assessments, or specialized training techniques.

Make sure to highlight these services on your website and social media channels, and explain to potential clients how they will benefit from these additional offerings.

Adjusting rates based on client commitment

Finally, consider adjusting your rates based on client commitment. If a client commits to a longer-term package or is willing to prepay for multiple sessions, consider offering a discount. This shows that you value their commitment and encourages them to continue working with you.

Remember, pricing is just one aspect of your personal training business. Providing high-quality training and exceptional customer service will ultimately be the key to retaining clients and growing your business.

Final thoughts

Determining your rates as a personal trainer can be a complex process, but it’s an important step in building a successful business. Your rates will not only reflect your worth as a trainer, but also determine the type of clients you attract and the level of demand for your services.

One important factor to consider when setting your rates is your level of experience and expertise. If you’re just starting out in the industry, you may need to charge a lower rate to attract clients and build your reputation. However, as you gain more experience and become more specialized in a particular area, you can justify charging higher rates.

Another important factor to consider is the market demand for personal trainers in your area. If there are already a lot of trainers offering similar services, you may need to adjust your rates to stay competitive. On the other hand, if you’re one of the few trainers in your area offering a unique service or specializing in a particular niche, you may be able to charge a premium rate.

It’s also important to consider the cost of running your business when setting your rates. This includes expenses such as equipment, rent, insurance, and marketing. You’ll need to factor these costs into your pricing strategy to ensure that you’re making a profit and able to sustain your business over the long term.

Finally, don’t forget to consider the value that you’re providing to your clients. As a personal trainer, you’re not just selling your time – you’re selling your expertise, motivation, and support. Make sure that your rates reflect the value that you’re providing, and don’t be afraid to adjust your rates as your skills and experience grow.

By considering all of these factors and implementing effective pricing strategies, you can ensure that you’re pricing yourself appropriately and attracting the right clients. Remember, setting your rates is just one piece of the puzzle – to build a successful personal training business, you’ll need to focus on providing excellent service, building strong relationships with your clients, and constantly improving your skills and knowledge.

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Owner, Somerset Fitness

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References:

  1. https://profitablepilates.com/product/profitable-pilates-autographed-paperback-book/
  2. https://www.pilatesanytime.com/instructor-bio/211/Lesley-Logan-Pilates-Teacher
  3. https://www.flagshipfitness.co.uk/
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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