Personal Trainer Salary
Job Description for Personal Trainer
Personal trainers are people who work in one-on-one situations with clients who wish to improve their physical fitness and/or athletic abilities. They may work with professional or amateur athletes to help them fine-tune their bodies, but are more often found working with non-athletes who are simply trying to get in better physical condition. Personal trainers may also individualize training procedures for each of their clients.Read More...
It is important that personal trainers assess the wants and needs of their clients, which often involves getting to know their dietary and health history, helping them set realistic short- and long-term goals, and designing specific regimens of exercise. If the trainer is comfortable in the area of nutrition and diet, he/she may also set up parameters in this area or refer the client to a dietitian.
Personal trainers will work with clients by motivating and encouraging them during each session through a designed set of exercises and even weight training. The trainer constantly assesses the client's progress and balances positive encouragement with tough-love motivation as he/she deems applicable. The exercise regimens are typically very client-specific; for example, a client who wants to rehabilitate from an injury after graduating from basic physical therapy may have different goals than a person interested in getting in shape for swimsuit weather.
Personal trainers are typically employed at gyms and private workout clubs, although some may work as freelancers. Generally, they must be certified, which may require post-secondary education in vocational school or even an associate's degree in a relevant field. Trainers must be physically fit themselves in order to lead by example and typically work regular daytime or evening hours in a gym or fitness center. Some trainers may offer at-home training services, the positions for which may require separate education and training.
Personal Trainer Tasks
- Design individualized training programs for clients.
- Ensure safe and effective equipment use.
- Develop rapport with clients to maintain a consistent customer base.
- Provide client fitness evaluations and assessments.
Common Career Paths for Personal Trainer
While Personal Trainers rarely become Physical Therapists, the job pays $67K per year on average. Personal Trainers most often move into positions as Directors of Fitness & Wellness or General Managers of Fitness Clubs; those groups report median salaries that are $2K higher and $3K higher, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Personal Trainer
LA Fitness, YMCA, 24 Hour Fitness Inc., Anytime Fitness, Inc., and Gold's Gym are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Personal Trainers. Although Self-Employed boasts the highest average salary in town at $57K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $30K or as much as $259K. Also paying near the top of the field are Lifetime Fitness Corporation at $52K, Equinox at $45K, and 24Hour Fitness, where Personal Trainers annually earn $45K.
Known for its small paychecks, Planet Fitness actually ranks last in the field for salary, reporting a median income of $26K — less than half of the top paying company's rate. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include LA Fitness at $29K, and Anytime Fitness, Inc. where $32K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Personal Trainers there earn up to $80K.
Popular Skills for Personal Trainer
Personal Trainers seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Rehabilitation, Nutrition, Weight Loss/Weight Management, and Sports Nutrition are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 11 percent. Those listing Customer Service as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Sales and Fitness also typically command lower compensation. For most people, competency in Training indicates knowledge of Health and Wellness.
Pay by Experience Level for Personal Trainer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Personal Trainers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $35K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $47K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $56K in this role. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $62K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Personal Trainers that is 55 percent greater than the national average, New York offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Personal Trainers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+31 percent), Houston (+28 percent), Dallas (+12 percent), and Chicago (+10 percent). Phoenix is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 19 percent. Orlando and Indianapolis are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 19 percent lower and 16 percent lower, respectively.
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