Average Salary for Personal Trainers 2018 – Income, Hourly Wages & Career Earnings

Trinity College Sports Centre, Trinity College, Dublin, 10/7/2013 General view of Personal Trainers Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

The rapidly rising obesity rate throughout the United States and the world at large is greatly increasing the demand for personal trainers. Changing one’s diet and exercise habits can be intimidating for someone who has settled into bad habits for a long period of time. An experienced person who can offer motivation and guidance is an invaluable asset to one’s fitness journey.

A personal trainer usually works at a gym. They usually meet with their clients at least once a week. During their sessions, the trainers will demonstrate new exercises, correct mistakes in form, create and revise exercise routines. Personal trainers may offer nutrition advice as well. The trainer also serves to provide accountability and motivate their client to reach their goals.

A personal trainer can also be independent rather than being associated with a single gym. Independent personal trainers earn more money, but also dedicate much more time to their job. Independent trainers are just as much trainers as they are entrepreneurs. They must learn how to market themselves, doing things such as networking and managing their social media presence when they are not in the gym with clients.

Average personal Trainer Salary


Roughly 279,100 personal trainers are currently employed in the United States. The average pay for a personal trainer is $37,920 per year. Personal trainers on the lower end of the pay range may only make $18,690 annually. Trainers on the higher end of the pay scale may find themselves making as much $70,180 if they live in a upper class area and/or deal with wealthier clients.


A personal trainer will often find themselves spending the entire day at the gym. They may arrive early to complete their own workout, then spend the day with clients. Most of their day will be spent on their feet – just helping clients all day can be a workout!

Trainers may also meet clients at their homes or in public places such as parks to train. Although most personal trainers work during the day, some may work odd schedules depending on the demographic they work with. In the case of wealthier clients, they may be on-call 24/7 to prepare meals, train, and provide advice.

How to Become a Personal Trainer


A personal trainer should know how to properly perform various exercises and compile them into synchronized routines. They can either be versatile or specialize in specific kinds of exercise. A trainer may also lead a group class, usually for something like yoga, aerobics, or dance.

One can become a personal trainer with only a high school diploma. Considering the fact that it takes no special education other than brief on-site training to become a personal trainer, the pay is excellent. There are many national certification boards for personal trainers, however only a handful are seen as favorable by prospective employers. The the most credible certification boards for personal trainers are those approved by the ICE(Institute for Credentialing Excellence) and DETC(Distance Education Accrediting Commission).

It is important for a personal trainer to have met their own personal fitness goals. Personal trainers should make an effort to live healthily and look good. Their appearance is an important factor in how clients will judge their competence. A personal trainer does not have to look like a model of course, however they should nonetheless look like they practice what they preach. In the case of personal training, being judged for how one looks is certainly not superficial in the least.

When a trainer first meets a client, they will usually first assess their fitness level. They will also discuss goals (strength, weight loss, nutrition) and create benchmarks. After determining what they can handle, the trainer and client will collaborate on a personalized exercise routine. The trainer will demonstrate the exercises and provide advice on proper form. Progress may be monitored over a certain period of time, during which the trainer will act as a coach and motivator.

In order to keep a steady case of clientele, personal trainers must have strong interpersonal skills. Since they will spend their entire day working with people, a personal trainer should know how to accommodate their personal fitness needs but also make their client’s experience enjoyable. Trainers will also need good listening skills to help create a routine that best fits their client.

1 in 10 personal trainers are self employed. Creating a long-term career out of personal training is only practical if one is willing learn how to market themselves and learn entrepreneurial skills. Independent personal trainers will have to “double up”. They are not only living and teaching a healthy lifestyle, but spending the rest of their time marketing themselves.




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