Personal Trainer Salary

In this article I’m going to give you insight on personal trainer salary. New personal trainers, this one is for you. I will detail everything a trainer can do to ensure that you make as much money as humanly possible! Remember to check out my facebook page on how to sell personal training to get daily posts on how to see success. You can also check my twitter page to learn more about personal training salary and finally I add new videos every week which can be accessed through my google+ page or my youtube channel.

So let’s go over what personal trainers can expect for their yearly salary. The topic will specifically address how a personal trainer can find success while working in a gym.

I hear a lot of ads on the radio saying that if you get a specific certification that you’ll make X amount of dollars per year but I also see Youtube videos saying you should avoid the personal training industry because it’s a dead end and you can’t make a living off it.

So I’m putting together this article to give you some clarity on what you can realistically expect from this industry. 

My Experience

Now, I’ve been in the fitness industry for over twelve years. I wasn’t sure in the beginning if it was something that was for me, so I worked in corporate America for three years as a business banker for Chase and realized that I hate putting on a suit, I hated the 9 to 5 schedule, and I loved being in the gym environment, I loved helping people and I love training.

So, I dedicated myself to the fitness industry and now I’ve come to a point where I only need to train 2 to 3 hours a day and I’ve been able to generate 100,000 dollars worth of revenue over the last 4 years.

Now this took time and it took a lot of work but it didn’t just happen through certifications. A lot of sources will say that if you get this certification you can expect to make 50,000 dollars per year but the truth is a certification gurantees you nothing. The certification only does two things, number one it gives you a lot of useful information that you need to keep your clients safe and number two it gives you an opportunity to work in a big box gym which is where you’re going to need to start your personal training career as that’s kind of like the entry level position. Personal trainer is the entry level position to seeing massive success in the fitness industry.

How does the average big box gym work?

Now lets explain how big box gyms work. The average big box gym will charge their members anywhere between 35 and 70 dollars an hour for your personal training services. You will get half of that so let’s say if the average gym charges 50 dollars per hour, you will make 25 dollars per hour. Sounds great right? Now the only thing is, just because you make hours available doesn’t necessarily mean that the gym is going to fill people up in your book. You have to acquire a lot of these clients.

So if your goal was to make 50,000 dollars and you’re making 25 dollars per hour, that means you have to train 2000 billable hours during the year which averages out to about 38 hours per week or 6 hours of paid training per day. Now since you have to acquire your own clients and also you’re responsible for retention you can tack on about fifty percent of those hours to your billing trainable hours in order to maintain your clients, because clients come in and out, they reschedule, they late cancel, they leave personal training for awhile.

So you can, in a 6 day week expect to work about 9 hours per day if you were looking to maintain a salary of 50,000 dollars per year. It’s not uncommon for a personal trainer to have this kind of schedule: 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 in the morning, and then they take off because the gym isn’t quite as populated in the late morning, early afternoon then they come back 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 and so they’ve worked about 9 hours per day.

Is it worth it?

Now in my first couple of years as a personal trainer I was never able to make that 50,000 dollar per year salary happen. It just took so much out of me to acquire, retain, and keep all these trainers on a consistent basis. I really never made more than 20,000 dollars a year, but then I got to start thinking that you know what, the gym is taking half of my salary so if I were to train the clients by myself and not give away all this money to the gym, I’d be able to make 40,000 dollars working the same amount of hours and I got to thinking even more that if I train 2 clients at the same time that I’ll be able to make that 40,000 dollars in half the time and as my thinking evolved more and more, I started to realize wait a minute, I can get more people to train with me at 10 dollars an hour than I can at 50 dollars per hour and I can train a bunch of people at the same time, so I’ll just run bootcamps so I’ll train 20 to 30 people at the same time and then I’ll make $200/ hour and work 2 to 3 hours per day and make 100,000 per year and that’s essentially what I did, I learned to run boot camps and I learned to be very good at it.

Advantage big box gyms?

So I understand that if you’re reading this article with all of this information you’re going to think to yourself, well then why even bother being a personal trainer? Why not just jump into getting a boot camp started after I finish my personal training certification? The one thing that you have to understand is that the personal training position in a big box gym offers you a couple of advantages. Number one, you don’t have to pay rent up front, number two you don’t have to buy any of the equipment and training equipment is expensive and number three, it offers you a huge amount of exposure. That’s going to be the biggest thing because one of the biggest questions I get from trainers that go independent too early is how do I get clients or how do I retain clients? So if you’re running a bootcamp let’s say if you want to hit a 100,000 dollars per year, your magic number would be 40 to 45 clients paying you an average of 200 dollars a month. Now if you try to get all these clients all on your own in one shot, you have to understand the response rates for advertising, marketing, even going door to door, is going to be 1 percent. So if you want to get these 40 clients, that means you’re going to have to knock on 4,000 doors and of the 1 percent that’s ready to start they’re going to have to be ready to start at the exact same time, which is highly unlikely and will take a lot of energy out of you.

Your best bet is to start off as a personal trainer first, get good at your craft, spend a couple months at the gym getting exposure, teaching a lot of classes, doing all the comp sessions, making money you know albeit at a lesser rate than you want right now but establishing relationships so that when you decide to crossover you have a huge number of people that have already trained with you and that already trust you and now you’ve over that time saved up money and are ready to start your own boot camp in a park or in your own facility in your own building, whatever the case may be that’s going to be the best way to do it.

Making a comfortable living

So for those of you that are reluctant about getting into the fitness industry because you don’t think you can make a living, I just want to let you know that you can absolutely make a living at it and for those of you that have been personal trainers for months or even years, I want to let you know that if you change the way that you approach your business because you yourself are a business, not the gym you have to represent yourself, if you change the way that you approach your goal in your path you can very easily see the results that I have in realistically in 1 to 2 years.

 So if you’re not yet certified I would definitely recommend that you get the NASM certification that’s one of the hotter certifications right now and I think you have a better chance of getting hired than starting your career at the entry level position of a personal trainer in a big box gym.

How to double or triple your earnings

Whether or not you are certified, if you want to take that next step, you’re going to need a mentor. I avoided wasting so much time and money because I had a mentor and I would like to mentor you. I developed a course called Dumbbells to Dollars Course and it will give you a step by step guide on how to go from dominating sales as a personal trainer for a big box gym all the way to eventually getting all those clients that you’ve serviced and then starting your own business in your own facility and then you can see a lot of success. I know money can be tight and skepticism can be high so I want to give you a chance to see how great of a program I have. If you’re looking for a mentor and a course that will help you to dominate the fitness industry in your area, test drive my Dumbbells to Dollars Course today for 



So I hope you found this article helpful, you do have to work hard if you want to make money in the fitness industry but it’s definitely possible, you just have to take the right direction for it. If you have any questions or comments you can email me at And as always remember to eat healthy, hydrate, drive safe, stress levels low, get rest, don’t slap anybody, love your clients they will love you back, I’ll see you all tomorrow or the next day and you have a good one.