How Much Can a Personal Trainer Make?
This is one of the most common questions we get from those thinking about going into the fitness industry. It's kind of like asking how much money a lawyer is going to make when they get into the real world.......it really just depends.
There are a lot of factors that determine what level of income you can sustain as a Personal Trainer, and this video addresses some of the initial hurdles that may help to decide. Give it a listen or check out the written version below.
- Joe Drake -
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Hey guys Joe Drake here with the Axiom Fitness Academy and I wanted discuss a common question that I get from those coming into our personal training courses as well as those just interested in the fitness industry in general.
When I go and talk to college students and exercise science majors, it's always the same, "How much money am I going to make?"
So I think you find find it standard that people go into other careers understanding and knowing this is how much money I can make as a physical therapist, so how much money can I make if I really dedicate myself to personal training?
I know, as someone who came through the higher education environment, it's not something that most people are getting pushed into. You know, it's seen as a part time job. So what's the potential, what's out there?
I had a lot of people tell me not to put my energy into it, and that there's no money there. It's a dead end and I'm going to get out of it. I can tell you there's massive potential but a lot of it has to do with the path that you follow and how you go about sticking with and continuing on with personal training.
How do I find success and create longevity in my career as a fitness pro and as a personal trainer so I can continue to help more and more people? And obviously make great money along the way doing it too. That's the question right?
In looking at US Labor Statistics, a number of different organizations put out different amounts and you are going to find the reported average to be anywhere between $30 to $45 thousand dollars a year. So the thing is that a lot of those numbers are skewed by the individuals who are not considered full time. And it's hard to track those by the way in which they actually report the Labor Statistics. Many individuals who are part time trainers and maybe they have another job get wrapped up in those numbers.
I can definitely say that if you want to get to higher earning potential, something in your $50,000-100,000 then you aren't going to get there not being 100% all in full time!
Even then, it's not that that's going to happen right away, but there are some things that you can do to ensure that you keep working towards that level. If you do the right things you can get to those numbers but expect for it to take 3-5 years minimum to make it there.
You have to remember that if you jump in jump out or maybe you don't fully commit you'll never get to that 50,000 mark, it's not going to happen and you have to stay with the fact that in your first one year, two year maybe in three years you still might not make that kind of money; but if it's worth in the long term the opportunity and the potential is definitely there.
So think about this you guys, certification is purely entry into the field. Think of it like a driver's license. I live in South Florida where there are plenty of bad drivers. Just because someone can pass their driver's license doesn't mean they're an amazing driver.
So it doesn't mean that everyone who gets certified is going to do well or make great money. What it guarantees you is that, you've got some basic information and education so that you're to keep clients to achieve their goals safely. Hopefully you learn and develop a system that you know is going to get client's results and you have this organization that gets you there but it's only a starting point. Period.
The second thing that it's going to allow you to do is get work at most reputable facilities. So obviously your major gyms, your big box gyms, and even your private facilities are going to need some sort of certification (or they should!).
So again just gives you entry into the game. It doesn't mean you're going to get guaranteed money by any means. A wise man once said that success leaves clues, and I would say that most of the successful personal trainers that I've come across in my lifetime started in big box gyms and built their way from there.
I think that's many new fitness professionals' best answer or path for success because you have the most captive audience to get experience with and build up your base of knowledge and results.
Not only that, but you have the opportunity to learn a lot on someone else's dime, which is invaluable. I did so not in the corporate environment as much as in the University setting when I was first training.
I got to do a lot of things, learn a lot, focus on training, and make mistakes without having to buy my own equipment or having to pay my own rent without having to worry about my own facility. Many may get into the field with this in mind but there's so much to be learned on the training side of things first before going out on your own.
So in the beginning you might only be taking away 30-40% of your client's session, based on the gym you work at, but that's part of getting the right experience and learning systems. You've got to put your time in and see the bigger picture. If you can do that and start to find your own way of standing ou then you will be on the right path towards higher income and fulfillment.
Continue to do this for 5+ years and if you're doing it all right and want to go out on your own, then you may find yourself in a position to do so.
Now there are some exceptions to this route. Let's say you start at a facility like Gravity + Oxygen Fitness or IntensityX3 with great mentorship, then you might find success quickly in a non-corporate setting. Some can be successful getting into the private industry right away, but I would say there are a fewer people doing that and leading to that bigger picture type of success down the road than those who are going the other route. I tie it all back to high amounts of experience and traffic many people get in a larger club early on in their time training.
There may be exceptions for the right place that has a large group membership where you still have access to a lot of potential clients but your pool of easily accessed clients may still be smaller.
So for you guys it's just about weighing the options. Which environment you are going to be most successful in to get clients and continue to do those things right? Once you have made that selection the next phase takes patience and time.
You're not going to make six figures quickly, or maybe even ever. Just depends on how you grow and in which direction you build. I know plenty of trainers who are making that kind of money, even those who don't own their own facility but they are not the norm.
So outside of just training clients, what else is possible? This is something to think about if you want to stay motivated long term and also find other sources of income to reach those higher values.
How can you last through those first few years and use some of that time early on to already be thinking about the other facets of your business that will help clients and allow you to earn consistent income?
These are questions (and more) that we will continue to address in coming videos on the Axiom Facebook page and Youtube page, so if you haven't subscribed to the channel and site then click the previous links to do so!.
Making it long term in the fitness industry might not be easy, but if you live to help others then it is more than worth it!