Personal Trainers
May 15, 2022

How Much Do Personal Trainers Make in the USA in 2022? And why?

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Personal Trainers
How Much Do Personal Trainers Make in the USA in 2022? And why?
Cory McKane
Blog Post Summary:

The fitness industry is rapidly growing, providing ample opportunities for private personal trainers to pursue their own businesses. However, when breaking into this field you might be wondering just how much private trainers make in the USA. We'll tell you exactly how Much Personal Trainers Make in the USA.

How Much Do Personal Trainers Make in the USA 

The fitness industry is rapidly growing, providing ample opportunities for private personal trainers to pursue their own businesses. However, when breaking into this field you might be wondering just how much private trainers make in the USA. The exact number can vary dramatically depending on a number of factors, but most fitness niches have an average that most instructors earn. 

The following are popular questions that many personal trainers ask when starting out, and the in-depth answers can provide a great guide to your new career. 

How Much Do Personal Trainers Make in the USA?

The most popular question personal trainers want answered is how much they are going to make. This can vary based on if you run your own independent business or work through a gym. Independent fitness instructors also have to worry about the costs of running their own business, while trainers working for a gym just have to worry about showing up and doing their job. Choosing to pursue an independent career or commercial career both have benefits to consider, and different salary expectations to be aware of. According to reports from Indeed, personal trainers of any niche earn an average of $26 an hour. 

Independent Instructor

Working as an independent instructor often leads to salaries on the higher end of the spectrum. This is because you won’t have any caps on how much you can earn or the number of clients you take on. You also get to keep more of the money you make, as long as you’re making sure to handle taxes and licensing fees. An independent instructor can make up to ten times more than trainers in gyms, which equals over a hundred dollars an hour. Of course, there are additional benefits to being your own boss as a personal trainer. 

In addition to increased earning potential, you also have the opportunity to work in more intimate settings with your clients. You have the added benefit of getting to meet in your client’s home, your house, or a public setting. You also get more flexibility when working as an independent instructor. You can work pretty much whenever during the week, and take off days as needed. You’ll never have to work when you don’t want to. 

Gym Based Trainer

Working for a commercial gym or fitness club will look pretty different from working as your own independent contractor. For one, you only earn a commission for the clients your work with, whereas being your boss means you get all of it. Most gyms give trainers anywhere from 30% to 60% commission for their clients. This is in addition to a base salary of at least minimum wage. Despite a lower earning potential, there are plenty of good sides to working through a gym or fitness club. To start with, you don’t have to worry about the headache of taxes, business licensing, or paperwork. Gyms also see a lot of foot traffic, which makes it easier to bring in clients. When working in a gym you get to be more focused on doing the actual training instead of having to worry about the business side of things. Not to mention you have the financial stability of a steady paycheck from your gym, even if your client numbers vary week to week. 

Per Session and Salaries

On average, personal trainers make about $26 an hour whether they work for a gym or as an independent contractor. The hourly rate raises drastically for independent fitness instructors. Per session rates can vary depending on the kind of fitness routine you work on, and the gym you work through. As your own boss, you get to choose the session rates, but if you work for a gym they will get more of a say in what you can charge. Session rates are typically less than $100 for an individual, with the average being closer to $60 a session. If you have certain fitness specifications and certificates you can charge more. 

The average salary for gym-based trainers varies from $34,000 to $49,000 depending on the region you’re working in. On the other hand, independent fitness trainers can make upwards of $60,000 a year.  

Should I Choose Personal Training As A Career?

If you enjoy the world of fitness and encouraging people to reach their goals then a career as a personal trainer might be great for you. There are plenty of benefits that come with this career, and ample opportunities for both. Before you can decide if this is the right path for you, you need to understand everything that being a fitness trainer entails, whether you work in a gym or as an independent contractor. 

The Benefits of Being a Fitness Instructor

When working as a personal trainer you’ll be pursuing a career you love. There are plenty of paths you can take in this field, ensuring you never get bored of it. When working as your own boss you also have the added benefit of unlimited earning potential. As a personal trainer, you’ll be in a job field that keeps you active and healthy and allows you to help others achieve the same. 

Different Career Paths

You can work as an independent fitness trainer, or work through a gym or fitness club. The path you choose can impact your average earnings, but no matter what you’ll be helping clients live their best and healthiest life. There are also plenty of opportunities to be a virtual personal trainer. This gives you the option to work with anywhere from anywhere in the world right from your own home gym. 

Career Outlook 

The fitness industry is growing, and so is the field of personal trainers. Independent and gym-based instructors are in high demand right now, so it’s one of the best times to take the plunge. According to Indeed, more than 120,000 personal trainer jobs are expected to be created in the next ten years. By 2030 the field is estimated to have grown by 39%. 

How Do I Become a Personal Trainer in the USA?

Becoming a personal trainer in the USA requires determination, a love for fitness, and completion of a basic certificate program. Many of these programs can be completed online at your own pace, while others have a more rigid timeline. The one you choose will depend on the schedule that works with your lifestyle. 

Training Programs

There are plenty of programs you can take to become certified as a fitness club instructor and personal trainer. There are options to take courses online and in person. You can also find specialized training courses focused on nutrition, strength training, or other popular niches. If you plan to be an independent personal trainer you may want to consider taking a few business or marketing classes as well. These can give you a great advantage when starting out. 

What Are The Top Personal Trainer Certificate Programs? 

There are plenty of personal trainer programs to consider to get your certification. Some are more popular than others, and some have decades of proven success. You don’t always need certification to start working, but it can certainly help and will drastically increase how much you can earn. 

Some of the top certificate programs are offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Council of Exercise. Many of these programs offer hours of video instruction, examples of fitness regimes for clients, and job support after course completion. 

You can check out this article to learn more about the top certifications based on WeStrive reviews.


Are you new to personal training? Read these articles to get started on growing your business:

About the Author:

Cory McKane

Cory is a huge fan of fitness - and an even bigger fan of helping you with your fitness. He's started on his journey with WeStrive back in 2015 and has been building it ever since.

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Written by
Cory McKane
CEO | WeStrive
Huge fan of fitness - Even bigger fan of helping you with your fitness. I've been building up the WeStrive platform for over 5 years and I'm excited to keep building out the greatest Health & Wellness platform on Earth.

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How Much Do Personal Trainers Make in the USA in 2022? And why?