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Personal Training Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • "Employment of fitness trainers is expected to grow by 24% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As businesses and insurance organizations continue to recognize the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees, incentives to join gyms or other types of health clubs is expected to increase the need for fitness trainers and instructors."
  • "As baby boomers age, they will be encouraged to remain active to help prevent injuries and illnesses associated with aging. With the increasing number of older residents in nursing homes or residential care facilities and communities, jobs for fitness trainers and instructors are expected to arise from the need for workers in the fitness centers in these locations."
  • "Employment growth is likely to come from the continuing emphasis on exercise for young people to combat obesity and encourage healthy lifestyles. More young people and families are likely to join fitness institutions or commit to personal training programs."
  • "Job prospects should be best for workers with professional certification or increased levels of formal education in health or fitness."

Personal Trainer Wages:

  • Working in a fitness facility or health club environment, certified personal trainers can expect to earn a percentage of the fees charged by the facility for the delivery of personal training services; an average of $24.54/hour for full-time employees or $21.31/hour for part-time employees. (IHRSA, 2013)
  • When working independently, outside of a fitness facility or health club environment, certified personal trainers can expect to make between $40-$60/hour; and upwards of nearly $100/hour in some instances.
  • Compensation (hourly rate and/or annual salary) will be affected by many variables including the total number of service hours worked, educational background and credentials, and socioeconomics of the community. The average annual salary for a fitness trainer is over $31,000/year; while the top 10% earn over $63,000/year. (United Stated Department of Labor, 2010)

Salaries, benefits and overall compensation and responsibilities range based on the size of the facility, revenue potentials, and the number of employees being managed. Additionally, salaries are often compensatory with education and years of experience.

Personal Trainers who want to pursue entrepreneurial career paths have the greatest options in professional diversity, but most identify a particular niche that either reflects their interests and philosophies or presents the most socioeconomically viable opportunities. Personal trainers who provide services under the auspices of their own company stand to benefit financially as they set the compensation parameters. Business knowledge and expertise are important factors when considering working as an independent contractor or opening a personal trainer studio. Trainers who identify the right market and specialize in high service practices can make between $75 and $150 per hour.