Average Salary of a Personal Trainer

Average Salary of a Personal Trainer


“Hello. Thanks for answering all the questions and all the information on your site, but I can’t find any information about the average salary of a personal trainer.

I have been looking to change my career to something related to my passion of fitness, but with a degree in another field, I am very hesitant because I don’t know if it will be worth it because I already make good money.

I plan to make less money as a personal trainer than in my current desk job but I need to know if I will be able to survive, especially during the change. I am currently studying for the NASM certified personal trainer certification.

What is the average salary of a personal trainer just starting out with the NASM personal training certification?”


The Average Salary of a Personal Trainer Depends on Many Factors

If you haven’t already, click here to learn about becoming a personal trainer to find information about the job and whether it is for you or not.

For most personal trainers, the area you work in is going to be one of the largest determinants of the maximum salary you can achieve. If you want to determine the average salary of a personal trainer in your current location you’re going to have to do a little research which you can read about later on this page.

If you are looking for general figures you can read the tables below which are provided by two of the largest companies providing personal training certifications, ACE (American Council of Exercise) and the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine).

Average Salary of a Personal Trainer Figures:

Average Personal Trainer Salary/Hourly Rate by Country (According to ACE 2010)
Of the 2,832 respondents, 2,708 are from the United States, making this the most reliable data. One interesting note: More than 70% of respondents are paid on an hourly basis.
Personal Trainer
Full TimePart Time
United States$53,323 / $25.71$18,650 / $25.14

Average Personal Trainer Salary (According to NASM 2009)

average salary of a personal trainer

Perform local Market Research to find the Average Salary of a Personal Trainer in your Area

You don’t have to be a business or marketing genius to be able to estimate personal trainer’s salaries in your area. What you do have to do, which is the main aspect of your future job description is to talk to people.

It is probably a good idea to first check online where you can check the local classifieds such as craigslist.org and your local publications to see how many gyms and/or personal trainers are offering services in your area.

Then in order to get a good idea of the average salary of a personal trainer in your are you should talk to as many trainers who will give you 5 minutes of their time. Ask how much they charge, how many sessions they train per week, and most importantly, how much they make per session.

How much training sessions cost and how much the personal trainer takes home per session is a whole other story upon itself. Ask every gym and trainer you visit how much “rent” the trainer’s have to pay for independent trainers and what the commissions and hourly pay are for personal trainers that are employees for a gym.

Do the Math!

No trainer is going to start out their training career with a full schedule but you can get a general feel of the income possibilities in the following table. Again, the information in the table is very general assuming you will train the same amount of training sessions for 52 weeks a year.

It allows you to see the income possibility and how the average salary of a personal trainer can fluctuate by controlling variables including how much per hour you charge/take home and how many sessions you train per week.

Take Home (Per Session)

Weekly Training Sessions

Yearly Salary (before Taxes)

$1540  /  30  /  20$31,200   /   $23,400   /   $15,600
$2540  /   30  /  20$52,000   /   $39,000   /   $26,000
$3540  /  30  /  20$72,800   /   $54,600   /   $36,400
$4540  /   30  /  20$93,600   /   $70,200   /   $46,800
$5540  /  30  /  20$114,400   /   $85,800   /   $57,200
$6540  /   30  /  20$135,200   /   $101,400   /   $67,600
$7540  /  30  /  20$156,000   /   $117,000   /   $78,000
$8540  /   30  /  20$176,800   /   $132,600   /   $88,400
$10040  /   30  /  20$208,000   /   $156,000   /   $104,000

Is it Worth it to Switch Jobs?

          -or-  Communicate with Clients

Whether or not the average salary of a personal trainer in your area satisfies you needs you have to weigh your options based on your situation. If you have a mortgage and support your wife and 3 kids at home, switching from a salary desk job to a personal trainer is going to be a risky proposition.

You have the option to start personal training part time to see whether you like it as well while you keep your desk job. Some people find that being a personal trainer part time is better than full time because it reduces the chances you will experience trainer burn out.

Whatever choice you make, do some market research in your area, weigh your options before you attempt to get started in the business of personal training. Good Luck!

Additional Information for Current or Future Personal Trainers

Author Profile: Mike Behnken

Mike Behnken is a personal trainer who holds multiple NASM certifications and a MS in Exercise Science. Mike loves fitness, travel, and photography among many other interests.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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