How much can I earn as a personal trainer?

If you’re considering a career in personal training, it’s no wonder you’re thinking about the money side of things. You want to check that switching professions is worth your while, right?

You probably have an interest in fitness... you might already help people out at the gym... you may like the sound of doing it for a living... but you want to check what you can realistically earn as a personal trainer before you invest time and money in gaining the right qualifications. Totally understandable. This blog has all the information you’re looking for, so read on to discover the different career options of becoming a personal trainer and what you can earn in a year (you may be surprised).

Personal training offers a wealth of opportunities
Get a permanent job

This may sound like the safe option, and in many ways it is, but it’s by no means the boring option! Many people only envision working in a gym when they hear of an employed PT, when actually a personal training qualification can provide a plethora of exciting career options. You could also get a job...

  • In a hotel or resort in any country worldwide
  • Onboard a cruise ship
  • At a wellness retreat or spa
  • At a Sports Performance Training and Athletic Training Centre

A lot of PTs choose to have the best of both worlds – working part-time in employment, as well as pursuing freelance work. This 50/50 career option provides both financial stability and the chance to increase your earnings while growing a client base. There’s a wide range of freelance work you could do, including:

  • One-on-one PT sessions
  • Group PT sessions
  • Bootcamps programs
  • Workout classes
  • Invent your own exercise craze
  • Dietary advice and meal planning

And remember, you don’t just have to work in the confines of a gym... you could do PT sessions at the client’s house or run exercise classes in a park. The world is your oyster, as they say.

Become your own boss

Everyone likes the thought of not having to answer to a manager or being ordered around. That’s why self-employment is probably the most appealing option for all you aspiring PTs out there.

As your own boss, you’ll be free to work the hours that suit you, choose your own clients and only offer sessions that you enjoy running. But success as a self-employed personal trainer doesn’t come without hard work and the beginning stages are likely to be the hardest.

You’ll have to act as a marketer to promote your services and you’ll probably have to offer free introductory PT sessions in order to start accumulating a client base. However, once the wheels of your business are in motion, you’ll be able to charge much more an hour than you’ll get being employed.

Employed and freelance personal trainer salary expectations

If employed by a club, a personal trainer’s salary can vary between £20 and 35K1. It all depends on the contract terms. Some gyms, like Virgin Active, pay a set hourly rate and therefore offer competitive salaries with no rent. Some clubs, like Nuffield Health, pay a base salary and additional commission when certain targets are reached. Then there are some gyms, like David Lloyd and Pure Gym, that only employ freelance personal trainers. PTs receive 100% of what they earn and either have to pay rent or work a certain number of hours on the floor.

virgin active
Nuffiled health
david lloyd
Self-employed personal trainer salary expectations

The salary of a self-employed personal trainer is just as elusive. The average hourly rate is said to be £30 per hour – but your location, experience, clientele and reputation can play a massive part in how much you can charge. In some areas of London, top PTs charge as much as £200 for a one-on-one session 2.

Going off the industry average of £30 an hour, let’s work out the annual personal trainer salary. Time for a little maths...

If you worked 6 hours a day, five days a week, you would earn £900. Then, let’s say you worked 50 weeks out of the year, your annual salary would be £45,000 before tax! Not too shabby, hey?