When you ultimately decide to take the initiative to become a personal trainer, the next common question is likely, “What do personal trainers make?”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for personal trainers in 2018 was $39,820, which means half earned more than that amount and half earned less. The low 10 percent of those personal trainers earned less than $20,160 while the top 10 percent earned more than $76,090.
The fitness industry is diverse thus, the average salary of a personal trainer depends on many different factors.
Some of the factors to consider are:
- Position within the gym
- Owner vs. Trainer
- In-person training versus online training
- Location of services
- NYC/LA vs. Smaller Town
- Boutique gym vs. Corporate chain gym vs. Outdoor Bootcamp
- Niche of services
- Performance-based vs. Weight loss
- Professional athletes vs. Amateur athletes
- Length of time you’ve been training
- Testimonials from past clients
- College degree
Before you go any further, it’s important to realize you will need an accredited certification to work at any corporate chain gym such as LA Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness, Equinox, or the like. We’ve put together a comprehensive post on how to choose the best certification where you can analyze all of the options out there and choose the best certification for yourself. Of course, if you know that you want to work at a specific gym, simply calling them and asking them which certification they prefer their trainers to have can help you narrow down your choices.
Once you’re done looking into your potential future earnings, request a demo of our All-in-One Fitness Business Management Software to see how you can manage more clients and how you can run your business more efficiently.
Ways Personal Trainers Get Paid
Personal trainers get paid in different ways: via W-2 (as an employee), by 1099 (as an independent contractor or freelancer), and, of course, as the owner of their own fitness business. Here are some of the differences between these different ways personal trainers earn their money:
W-2 Employee Pay Structure
Trainers getting paid via W-2 are classified as employees. This is the most common scenario for personal trainers and the way most big commercial gyms pay their trainers. If you’ve held a job where you’ve received a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly paycheck with taxes taken out automatically then you are already quite familiar with this approach.
1099 Independent Contractor Pay Structure
Trainers who operate as freelancers/independent contractors will typically be paid via 1099 from the gym(s) they partner with. Sometimes these gyms will charge some type of facility fee or revenue split. An important consideration for new trainers that are starting as independent contractors is that taxes will not be withheld automatically. It’s important to work with a qualified tax professional like a CPA or tax accountant to make sure you are properly tracking expenses, making estimated tax payments, etc.
Fitness Business Owner
You can probably guess that the highest-paid personal trainers own fitness businesses. At Exercise.com, we have personal trainers and fitness business owners that use our all-in-one fitness business software to run business-oriented tasks like client scheduling, gym check-ins, online training, workout delivery, and more, using custom-branded iPhone and Android fitness apps.
Some of the trainers that make the most money are those who find success in online training. Be sure to check out these case studies of successful personal trainers to learn how to be a successful online personal trainer. Below, we’ll discuss some individual salary averages.
Personal Trainer Average Salary by Well-Known Gyms
Before we get started, check out the video below for a more comprehensive look at personal trainer salaries and how to set yourself up for financial success in the field:
Pay for fitness trainers can vary from one gym, fitness studio, or box to another. Here are some comparison examples of average pay for different large chain/franchise gyms:
LA Fitness Personal Trainer Average Salary
The average LA Fitness personal trainer pay ranges from $12.00 to $15.00 per hour, however, there have been some reports of “Master” Trainers (typically due to seniority and/or amount of qualifications) receiving a percentage of what the client pays (approximately 30 percent). A group fitness instructor rate ranges from $15.00 to $25.00 per hour.
Gold’s Gym Personal Trainer Average Salary
Gold’s Gym does not have a structured tier for their personal trainers at this time. The average Gold’s Gym personal trainer pay ranges from $20.00 to $35.00 per hour. A group fitness instructor rate ranges from $18.00 to $30.00 per hour.
24-Hour Fitness Personal Trainer Average Salary
The average 24-Hour Fitness personal trainer pay ranges from $13.50 at CPT 1, $16.00 at CPT 2, $18.50 at CPT 3, and $20.50 at EPT/Master per hour. A group fitness instructor rate ranges from $20.00 to $30.00 per hour.
Crunch Fitness Personal Trainer Average Salary
According to PayScale, the average Crunch Fitness personal trainer pay is $27.00 per hour. A group fitness instructor rate ranges from $22.00 to $44.00 per hour.
Orange Theory Personal Trainer Average Salary
The average Orange Theory Fitness personal trainer/fitness coach pay ranges from $25.00 to $50.00 per hour. There are a few factors that come into play to figure out what the pay range for an OTF coach, such as: how many members in a class and level of the coach (new versus “head coach”).
Planet Fitness Personal Trainer Average Salary
Planet Fitness is very different from other large chain gyms in that personal training comes with one’s membership package. The average Planet Fitness personal trainer pay range is from $11.00 to $16.00 per hour. Interestingly, these trainers must also partake in front of house duties and janitorial roles when they are not training clients. The group fitness instructors are usually the trainers on staff as well and tend to average $15.00 to $22.00 per hour when instructing a group fitness class.
Equinox Personal Trainer Average Salary
Equinox personal training rates follow a tiered structure as follows: Tier I – average pay of $23.00 to $28.00 per hour, Tier II – average pay of $31.50 to $36.50 per hour, Tier III – average pay of $39.00 to $44.00 per hour, and Tier IV – $60.00 per hour. The group fitness instructors average $50.00 to $65.00 per hour.
Goodlife Fitness Personal Trainer Average Salary
According to Glassdoor, the average GoodLife Fitness personal trainer pay ranges from $12.00 to $43.00 per hour. GoodLife Fitness personal trainers also have the availability to receive cash bonuses based on a variety of factors. Therefore (with cash bonuses included), a personal trainer at GoodLife Fitness can expect to make an average of $23.00 per hour.
Lifetime Fitness Personal Trainer Average Salary
Lifetime Fitness does not have a structured tier for their personal trainers at this time. The average Lifetime Fitness personal trainer salary ranges from $15.00 to $33.00 per hour. A group fitness instructor rate ranges from $18.00 to $30.00 per hour.
Anytime Fitness Personal Trainer Average Salary
The average Anytime Fitness personal training pay is $19.00 per hour. At many Anytime Fitness locations, there are not structured group fitness classes. However, personal trainers have the option of putting together small group training sessions to increase revenue.
Snap Fitness Personal Trainer Average Salary
The average Snap Fitness personal training pay ranges from $12.00 to $31.00 per hour. At any Snap Fitness location, there are not structured group fitness classes.
YouFit Personal Trainer Average Salary
The average YouFit personal trainer pay ranges from $14.00 to $28.00 per hour. The group fitness instructors average pay ranges from $18.00 to $25.00 per hour.
YMCA Personal Trainer Average Salary
The average pay for a YMCA personal trainer pay ranges from $15.00 to $28.00 per hour. Typically the YMCA has a tiered structure of pay for their trainers but it does vary significantly from location to location. The group fitness instructors average pay ranges from $20.00 to $30.00 per hour.
Freelance Personal Trainer Average Salary
Freelance personal trainers are difficult to compare because most rates that are published are simply the rate the trainer bills to the client. As a typical freelance trainer, the average pay is heavily dependent on whether the trainer is working on a revenue split with the facility, simply paying a facility fee (which would then need to be factored in along with other expenses), or has another arrangement in place (such as conducting a session in a local park with no overhead). It’s better to think of freelancers as similar, or at least one step removed, from the personal trainer who started their own business.
Average Income for Trainers Doing Online Training
While the average pay for entry-level personal trainers is somewhere around $40,000/year, the average income for successful trainers doing online training can be significantly higher. Personal trainers work with clients to modify behaviors that align with the achievement of their health and fitness goals. What is unique about this process is that the personal trainer does not have to meet in-person with a client to create a massive impact on their health.
In fact, because of new technology, a trainer can work online from anywhere in the world and change the lives of tens, hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people. Many trainers use platforms like Instagram to reach more clients and do not have to rely on in-person training to turn a profit. With low overhead and more time on an online trainer’s hands, he or she is able to devote that extra time to continue his or her education in the field which, in turn, will likely result in the ability to charge more per hour.
Online Personal Trainer Salary Calculator
While most online personal trainers are business owners and entrepreneurs and don’t make a salary per se, the calculator below will give you an idea of how much you could make as an online personal trainer. Here’s a calculator to see how much your income will be as an online personal trainer based on your monthly rate and how many clients you have:
For example, if you charge only $99 a month for online training and you add seven new clients every month, here’s how much money you’ll make:
- After 12 months: $54,054
- After 24 months: $207,900
- After 36 months: $461,538
Now, let’s run those numbers with you charging more for your online training—something many certified and experienced trainers should do. If you charge $179/month and add seven new clients a month, here’s what your online training alone would bring in:
- After 12 months: $97,734
- After 24 months: $375,900
- After 36 months: $834,498
How about $249/month?
- After 12 months: $135,954
- After 24 months: $522,900
- After 36 months: $1,160,838
Now, if you invest in marketing, get referrals, grow your online presence, and get 25 new signups a month (definitely doable) while charging $249/month, check out the seven-figure incomes you’d potentially make from your online personal training business:
- After 12 months: $485,550
- After 24 months: $1,867,500
- After 36 months: $4,145,850
While this information is great, it is wildly optimistic if you are planning on emailing spreadsheets and PDF’s around to your clients. To truly succeed in online training or in-person training you need fitness business software that is powerful, scalable, and will save you time and money while helping build your brand. That’s where Exercise.com comes into play.
See for yourself - Meet with the Exercise.com Team today
Let the team at Exercise.com show you how to grow and manage your fitness business better!
Below we’ve laid out some average salary charts that could be helpful for you, however, keep in mind that these salaries tend to be for those who work in well-known gym structures and not through freelancing and/or online training.
US Nationwide Average Personal Trainer Salary
|Lowest 10%||Median Salary||Top 10%||Average Salary|
|≤ $27,300||$55,158||$79,217 +||$39,410|
Average Personal Trainer Salary by State
|STATE||HOURLY WAGE||ANNUAL SALARY|
|STATE||Lowest 10%||Median Salary||Top 10%||Average Salary|
|Alabama||≤ $21,896||$47,653||$63,551 +||$34,630|
|Alaska||≤ $29,173||$58,956||$84,676 +||$34,890|
|Arizona||≤ $25,437||$51,407||$73,833 +||$38,730|
|Arkansas||≤ $23,218||$46,922||$67,392 +||$23,830|
|California||≤ $29,189||$58,989||$84,724 +||$49,280|
|Colorado||≤ $26,339||$53,844||$76,450 +||$42,180|
|Connecticut||≤ $28,909||$58,424||$83,912 +||$48,200|
|Delaware||≤ $28,946||$58,499||$84,019 +||$32,890|
|Florida||≤ $25,697||$51,933||$74,588 +||$34,580|
|Georgia||≤ $24,272||$49,052||$70,451 +||$39,450|
|Hawaii||≤ $29,017||$58,641||$84,223 +||$43,060|
|Idaho||≤ $24,559||$49,626||$71,286 +||$32,330|
|Illinois||≤ $27,096||$54,759||$78,648 +||$35,380|
|Indiana||≤ $24,834||$50,188||$72,082 +||$30,500|
|Iowa||≤ $23,188||$46,861||$67,304 +||$24,970|
|Kansas||≤ $25,637||$51,811||$74,414 +||$33,720|
|Kentucky||≤ $25,717||$51,973||$74,647 +||$34,980|
|Louisiana||≤ $24,339||$49,187||$70,645 +||$30,960|
|Maine||≤ $25,631||$47,954||$74,395 +||$36,950|
|Maryland||≤ $28,334||$57,262||$82,242 +||$39,220|
|Massachusetts||≤ $28,923||$58,451||$83,951 +||$47,260|
|Michigan||≤ $26,581||$53,718||$77,152 +||$33,040|
|Minnesota||≤ $26,514||$53,583||$76,958 +||$36,380|
|Mississippi||≤ $22,876||$46,230||$66,398 +||$30,190|
|Missouri||≤ $25,604||$51,744||$74,317 +||$29,240|
|Montana||≤ $20,170||$40,762||$58,544 +||$34,540|
|Nebraska||≤ $22,126||$44,715||$64,223 +||$33,290|
|Nevada||≤ $26,801||$54,164||$77,794 +||$33,420|
|New Hampshire||≤ $28,133||$56,856||$81,659 +||$36,530|
|New Jersey||≤ $30,389||$61,413||$88,205 +||$49,030|
|New Mexico||≤ $23,456||$47,402||$68,082 +||$32,410|
|New York||≤ $27,183||$54,935||$78,901 +||$54,050|
|North Carolina||≤ $25,226||$50,981||$73,578 +||$33,230|
|North Dakota||≤ $23,355||$47,199||$67,790 +||$27,780|
|Ohio||≤ $25,958||$52,460||$75,346 +||$26,770|
|Oklahoma||≤ $24,161||$48,828||$70,130 +||$34,560|
|Oregon||≤ $24,574||$49,663||$71,328 +||$40,740|
|Pennsylvania||≤ $26,569||$53,694||$77,118 +||$31,490|
|Rhode Island||≤ $27,785||$56,152||$80,649 +||$35,000|
|South Carolina||≤ $24,749||$50,017||$71,837 +||$32,620|
|South Dakota||≤ $20,753||$41,942||$60,238 +||$28,080|
|Tennessee||≤ $25,042||$50,605||$72,685 +||$33,210|
|Texas||≤ $25,757||$52,055||$74,763 +||$42,170|
|Utah||≤ $25,149||$50,824||$72,996 +||$39,140|
|Vermont||≤ $25,644||$51,825||$74,433 +||$38,970|
|Virginia||≤ $26,400||$53,353||$76,628 +||$42,490|
|Washington||≤ $27,043||$54,652||$78,493 +||$40,790|
|Washington DC||≤ $29,017||$58,641||$84,223 +||$42,800|
|West Virginia||≤ $23,327||$47,144||$67,710 +||$31,520|
|Wisconsin||≤ $25,343||$51,216||$73,559 +||$31,250|
|Wyoming||≤ $23,609||$47,713||$68,528 +||$27,040|
Taking the Next Steps to Become a Personal Trainer
Now you know what you can potentially make when you become a personal trainer at a gym. With this information, you may have a better understanding of the gyms where you want to work while keeping in mind what gyms you may want to stay away from.
It is important to note that personal growth equates to more money as revealed by the tier systems many of these gyms have. The goal of continually developing yourself as a personal trainer is so you can build your book of business and generate a better income for yourself. A certification is only the first step in the process of building a successful personal training career.
However, no matter where you are in the process, you that growth should include exploring the best ways to use your time and grow your business. Exercise.com can help.
- Want to reach more customers? Our software can help you train anyone, anywhere in the world.
- Want to engage and retain your current clients? Our software can help with custom-branded apps, messaging, automated reminders, and options for workout challenges.
- Want to save time and money? Our fitness business management features can create revenue just by streamlining your processes.
- And there’s a lot more besides these features . . .
Whether you’ve decided to work for a well-known gym or you want to create your own fitness business, Exercise.com can take your credibility to the next level by giving you a training platform, mobile app, and overall business management. Request a demo of our fitness business management software today.
Now it’s time to go change some lives…