How Much Do Workout Trainers Make?

How much do workout trainers make? Find out the average salary for a fitness trainer and learn about the factors that can affect earnings.


Fitness is a booming business right now, and becoming a workout trainer can be a great way to get your foot in the door. Working as a personal trainer comes with lots of different job options, whether you want to freelance and pick up individual clients or work at a gym in group classes. It all depends on your qualifications and interests. No matter which direction you choose, it’s important to know what kind of salary to expect when you become a workout trainer.

On average, workout trainers make between $20-$50 per hour depending on their qualifications and the area they are located in. Other factors that can affect how much you earn would be the type of job (freelance vs full-time), certifications held, years of experience, and number of clients you acquire. If you specialize in distinct workout styles or niche markets such as elderly fitness or rehabilitation exercise, it’s likely that you could command even higher rates for your services.

Factors Affecting Salary

The salary of a workout trainer is largely dependent on a few key factors. These can include experience level, location, demand for their services and the type of training they offer. When looking at the salary of a workout trainer, you have to take all of these different factors into consideration. In this section we’ll discuss what goes into determining a workout trainer’s salary.

Level of Experience

The level of experience is one of the key factors that affect the salary of a workout trainer. The more experienced and skilled you become, the higher salary you are likely to earn. Experienced trainers usually command higher salaries than their counterparts due to the range and diversity of services that they can provide for their clients. Other components in determining pay rate include areas such as certifications, continuing education, exceptional customer service and established reputations in the fitness community. Trainers can also further their income potential by offering specialized services such as nutrition counseling or group classes.

Type of Employer

The type of employer will have a considerable influence on the salary of Personal Trainers. Generally, trainers that are employed within a gym or fitness center are likely to earn average salaries of 20,000 – 25,000 dollars per year. When Personal Trainers are employed by resorts, the salaries can range anywhere from 25,000 to 55,000 dollars per year. In addition to that, if the trainer is self-employed then he/she can make more than 65,000 dollars annually depending on the clients and location that is associated with his/her business. Those employed by private clubs and health spas often make between 30,000 to 50,000 dollars a year. Though trainers can also find employment at hospitals and rehabilitation centers in which case they mainly assist patients with disability or illnesses; salaries in these cases tend to be lower than the aforementioned cases.

Education and Certification

Education and certification requirements vary greatly depending on the type of work that a trainer is doing, but in general most certified trainers will be expected to have a background in health and fitness. This may include obtaining certifications such as becoming an athletic trainer, personal trainer or group exercise instructor, among other options. Trainers should also complete continuing education courses to stay up to date on current trends in the field and enhance their knowledge base. In addition, they should maintain CPR certification and current liability insurance which must be kept up to date to ensure they are compliant with state laws. Educated trainers who have obtained additional certifications can command higher salaries than those who have not made these efforts.


Location plays a key role in determining fitness professionals’ salaries. Trainers who are employed by gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers that are based in metropolitan areas with high costs of living tend to earn a higher salary as compared to trainers located in rural areas with lower costs of living. Geographic location also comes into play, as the West and Northeast typically have higher wages than the Midwest or South. Additionally, experienced trainers often have better job opportunities available in larger cities. Therefore, if you relocate to an area with more job prospects you may be able to increase your salary potential.

Average Earnings

Working as a personal trainer can be a rewarding experience, not only in terms of the satisfaction you receive from helping people reach their fitness goals but also financially. So, how much do personal trainers make? On average, a personal trainer can expect to make anywhere between $20,000 to $100,000 a year depending on their experience and the location they are employed in. Let’s look closer at the average earnings of workout trainers.

Personal Trainers

Personal trainers provide exercise and fitness instruction to individuals of all ages, with the goal of improving the health and wellbeing of their clients. The career paths of personal trainers vary greatly, depending on a variety of factors, including where they work and how they are hired.

For certified personal trainers who work in standard gyms or fitness centers, average earnings depend on their level of experience and the geographic area in which they work. According to PayScale, the average personal trainer salary is $19.98 per hour as of August 2020. Depending on your experience level, you can make anywhere from $14.97 to $28 an hour as a personal trainer.

Trainers who take freelance jobs can make an even higher wage if they are willing to travel to multiple locations throughout the day or offer private sessions for a premium price. Freelance trainers may also increase their earnings by offering online exercise classes or programs that require little to no equipment aside from a phone or computer.

Finally, many personal trainers hold additional certifications in specialized activities such as yoga or pilates instruction; this brings higher wages but requires more study and preparation before teaching begins.

Group Fitness Instructors

Group Fitness Instructors provide customized instruction and support to groups of people who wish to improve or maintain their physical fitness. They typically have an understanding of anatomy and physiology, exercise technique, nutrition, injury prevention, and other health-related fields. Group Fitness Instructors typically earn between $15 and $30 per class, depending on instructor experience, the type of class offered, the reputation of the gym at which they teach and the number of classes they offer per week.
In addition to teaching group classes, many Group Fitness Instructors also offer private instruction sessions. Private sessions typically pay more than group classes as they involve more one- on-one interaction with a client—an average rate could be around $50/session.
Instructors may also receive pay increases when they become certified in specialized areas like aqua aerobics or cycling; if a gym is targeting certain members (youths or seniors for example) then the trainer may be compensated with bonus pay for certifications in those areas. Many gyms also offer other incentives such as bonuses for recruiting new members or referral fees from trainers who refer clients to their employers; some gyms even provide accommodation and travel expenses for instructors who teach at remote locations.

Gym Managers

Gym managers typically hold degree-level qualifications in management or health and fitness, and have some experience in teaching and exercise instruction. As a gym manager, you will ensure all customers receive the highest quality of service by recruiting, training, monitoring and disciplining staff – including examining resumes, interview prospective employees and conducting background checks.

Average earnings for gym managers in the United States vary based on location and size of facility; research conducted by PayScale shows that those employed by large gyms earn an average salary of $47,110 per year. Experienced professionals can expect to earn up to $62,919 annually. Gym managers also typically receive performance-based bonuses or commissions based on how well sales targets or membership signup goals are met; these bonus amounts can add as much as 6% onto an annual salary. Additionally, they often enjoy benefits such as flexible work hours, health care coverage or paid vacation days.

Benefits and Perks

Being a workout trainer can be extremely rewarding and lucrative. Not only do they get to help people reach their fitness goals, but they also get to take home a decent salary. Furthermore, there are various other benefits and perks which come with the job. Let’s have a look at some of these.


Bonuses can be an important part of a trainer’s salary, particularly if they’re taking on high-performance and/or specialized clients. Bonuses are given for any number of reasons and usually tie into performance goals or extra services. For instance, a personal trainer may be offered a bonus for each new client they bring in, or for working extra hours or completing additional certifications. Trainers can also receive bonuses when they cross-sell their clients other services such as nutrition guidance or massage therapy. Additionally, trainers may be eligible for quarterly or annual bonuses based on achieving set performance goals such as client retention rate and customer satisfaction scores. Before signing up with a company, it is important to ask what kind of bonuses are offered so you know exactly what to expect from your job.

Health Insurance

Offering health insurance to trainers can be a great benefit to many employers since it helps create a healthier workforce while providing additional incentive for trainers. The cost of health insurance depends on the type and level of coverage, with higher benefits usually costing more. Employers are often required to cover at least part of the cost, depending on their size, location and negotiations with the insurance company. In addition, there may also be other non-monetary costs associated with offering health care benefits such as paperwork, accounting and applications. Some employers may provide other types of benefits such as life or disability insurance while some gyms offer vacation or sick time off or gym discounts to their trainers. These perks vary greatly by employer so it’s important for trainers to speak directly with their employers about any benefits they are entitled to receive and how they can best take advantage of them.

Retirement Plans

When it comes to retirement plans, trainers typically offer a generous selection of retirement benefits, including 401Ks and other savings accounts, which can be especially beneficial to those with self-employment income. Having a retirement plan in place will help provide financial security in the future. In addition, many trainers also offer educational assistance, which may include tuition reimbursement or paid internships. These programs can lower the cost of continuing education and enable trainers to gain valuable experience and expand their knowledge base. Other potential benefits may include vacation time and health or life insurance. These benefits should be carefully evaluated before accepting any offers from employers or clients so that the trainer is aware of what they are signing up for.


In conclusion, the amount of money that workout trainers make depends on a variety of factors. As with most industries, experience is often a major factor in determining how much someone can earn. Those who have been involved in physical fitness training for many years may be well-positioned to command a higher salary. Additionally, the specific qualifications held by exercise professionals can also play an important role in how much they are paid. Finally, geography and the type of services offered may also affect an individual trainer’s rate of pay. For those who want to get into this profession, researching all these factors ahead of time will be essential in setting up a successful career path.

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