Back To Career News

Personal Trainer Salary: How to Become A Personal Trainer


Name: Timea Majorova
Job Title: Personal Trainer
Where: Los Angeles, CA
Employer: Self-Employed
Years of Experience: 9
Education: Slovakian Medical School – Physical Therapy
Salary: A personal trainer salary is often between $80 and $250 an hour

Personal Trainer Salary: How to Become a Personal Trainer

Weight loss is a billion dollar industry, there seems to be no end to the "magic solutions" on the market: low carb weight loss, colonic irrigation and weight loss, probiotics for weight loss, and many others. But are these methods effective diet and exercise plans? In this Salary Story about becoming a personal trainer, we learn about the average personal trainer salary as well as what it's like to be a professional athlete and trainer. Plus, we get tips on how to lose weight using truly effective methods from a personal trainer who just happens to be a fitness champion.

Timea Majorova has won numerous national and international fitness competitions. For dieters who want to know the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercises, or have ever asked "What are effective diet and exercise plans for me?" this fitness champ has the answers. Many people have a hard time just getting to the gym, let alone taking the steps toward becoming a personal trainer. This career requires hard work and a dedication to health and fitness. But, becoming a personal trainer isn't only about staying active – it's an opportunity to help others acheive their athletic goals.

We can't promise that you'll end up in the Women's Fitness Hall of Fame, but in this interview you'll learn about the requirements for becoming a personal trainer, some useful tips to shed those holiday pounds, and information on the average personal trainer salary.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Personal Trainer Job Description:

In the gym, I teach people nutrition, exercise, how to train with weights, eat healthy and learn effective diet and exercise plans – as I do in magazine articles. I have found that people eat more than they should and don’t even think about it. They are just bored, so they watch TV and think about food. They’re not even hungry, but they eat.

These are bad habits. So it’s good to have a personal trainer, because sometimes you need that extra push, that extra motivation when a trainer says, “Do five more,” otherwise you wouldn’t do it.  When you are alone, the intensity of the workout is not the same, and sometimes you don’t know how to train yourself.

What were your steps toward becoming a personal trainer?

I always loved sports and training as a little girl. I was born in Zeliezovce, Slovakia, a very small village close to the Hungarian border. In the summers, I would go swimming in the river, I would also kayak. I always wanted to have a job that had something to do with sports. I initially wanted to be a physical therapist, so I moved from my small town of about 5000 people to the capital, Bratislava. 

In Bratislava, I studied to become a physical therapist. And I saw that girls could do more than aerobics, they could train with weights. I read Slovakian magazines, I saw these women fitness models. These girls were lifting weights and taking care of their bodies. They looked great; they were feminine and athletic. I always loved that look, so I said, “I want to do that!”

I would study, go to the gym and train hard. When I was eighteen years old, I saw a fitness competition on Slovakian television. I really liked it and saw myself doing it. I entered it the next year, and I placed second in the Slovakian championship. It took me four years before I turned professional. It was difficult, because I needed to become world champion to turn pro, and, finally, I won the 1997 Amateur World Championship.

What other competitions have you participated in?

I placed 6th at the 1998 Fitness Olympia and was awarded with the “Most Improved & Recognized Athlete” honor. In 1999, I placed 5th. In 2000, I was 4th, and 2001, I was 5th again. In the Fitness International hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, I finished 2nd. I have taken part in more than 20 competitions and contests. I also won the Atlantic City Championship and the Hungarian Europa Kupa Championship.

What do you like about being a personal trainer?

I met Jozef, my husband, at the gym in Bratislava, Slovakia. He trained me. I was preparing for my competitions, and we clicked right away. I moved with him to Los Angeles. Today, I’m training clients in his facility, Pro Gym. I am living my dream. I always wanted to live in California and have someone who can share this lifestyle with me.

Also, I like working with people. I try to change people’s lives and make their lifestyles better. I want to help them have the body that they’ve always wanted. I am very excited to do that at Pro Gym. Many times people don’t know exactly how to start, how to train, how to eat, so it makes me feel good when I can help people like that.

I like to help ladies, especially, because they are sometimes insecure. They don’t want to come to the gym because they feel heavy and they worry about people looking at them. So the first thing to do is to break down those barriers. I tell them, “No one is looking at you. Everyone comes here with one goal, to be healthy, change their lifestyle and train hard.”

Is there an effective diet and exercise plan to lose weight quickly?

There is no “quick fix,” but on my web site I have several tips to lose weight and get in shape. The main thing to remember is that you need to spend time doing cardio, dieting and working out with weights for weight loss. This behavior plan for dieting is really the best and you can see the results. You need to come to the gym at least three times a week to do weights, four or five times a week to do cardio, and, of course, you need to eat healthy – a high protein, low carb diet.

Why is nutrition important when exercise is consistent?

People can work hard, but their diet is 80 percent! I always tell people, “If you eat more calories than you burn, you’re going to gain weight. You need to burn calories more than you take in.”  This requires healthy eating: white meats, chicken, turkey, complex carbs – baked potato and rice.

Junk food like pizza, pasta, bread, fried stuff and sodas is completely out. You need to forget about those foods because that’s a lot of empty calories, it just blows you up and you gain weight. You can eat healthy fat. Salmon is very healthy, it is good for the skin and heart.

Avocados and different kinds of nuts are good, but Macadamia nuts and Brazilian nuts are the exceptions, they are too heavy. The low-fat dairy products are good. Eggs are a very good protein source. If you go to restaurants, you can find healthy food. You can have Sushi, Thai barbecue chicken and chicken salads. You can have different vegetables and salads with meat.

I teach people to get rid of the bad habits, and learn behavior plans for dieting. Then one day, all of a sudden, they start liking their bodies, they feel better, they feel healthier and this lifestyle becomes normal. They do not miss heavy food because they feel better.

What is the average personal trainer salary?

A personal trainer’s salary is different for every individual, but a personal trainer usually charges between $80 and $250 an hour. I would feel guilty for charging someone $200 per session if I saw that person was still heavy and not losing the weight. It’s very important to train someone three times a week. I’d rather charge someone less, see them come in three times a week, than charge them $200 and see them “here and there.” I am the type of person who really wants to help people and see results.

How does your salary compare to the average personal trainer salary?  Try taking the PayScale Salary Survey.

Matt Schneider
Read more from Matt

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.