The question how much can you earn as a personal trainer is a difficult one to answer. There are so many factors that affect how much you can earn, in this article we’ll delve into what they are and how you can maximise your earnings as a personal trainer.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s how you use those hours that will help you live a more fulfilling and successful life. With personal training you’re not limited to working set hours for a set salary. Instead, if you can think outside the box you’ll find so many ways to boost your earning potential as a PT. Plus you’ll be doing something that helps others and (hopefully) you enjoy!
When working out how much you can earn as a personal trainer, we first need to work out how much you can charge. There are a number of factors affecting what you can charge, some of which you can control and some are outside your control.
External factors affecting what you can earn as a personal trainer
The amount you can charge is going to be limited to a point based on your location. There will be a ceiling for what local PT’s charge in your area. For example PT’s in central London can charge a lot more than those in small suburbs. It is not impossible to charge above this ceiling but this will tie into the other controllable factors we’ll discuss in a minute. If you can specialise and increase the perceived value of your services through clever marketing then you’ll be able to charge a premium for your service.
There is an argument that the you charge should be based on the value you’re offering, not the price your competitors are charging. However it can be very difficult to stick to this mindset when you’re working in a crowded market, all offering a seemingly similar service, especially when first starting as a PT. We’d recommend fitting in with the competition when you first start, find your feet and build a customer base then you can increase your prices as your experience builds and you can stand out from the competition.
Similar to the point above about location, the amount you charge may be limited by the type of facility you work in and what is available to members. For example, we work with Harbour Club in Chelsea and Notting Hill where PT’s can charge anywhere between £60 – £120 per hour. We also work with budget gyms that allow their PT’s to charge between £20 – £40 per hour. Both provide great opportunities as a PT as they are different set ups between the PT and club, but understandably a club as exclusive and well equipped as Harbour Club enables its’ PT’s to charge a lot more.
This is a particularly relevant point at the moment. Macro economic factors are completely out of our control so we just have to adjust to what is going on at any time. The cost of living crisis, energy prices and uncertainty with the Ukraine war are all making people hold onto their cash more. If you want to avoid dropping your prices you can adapt what you offer to provide packages that favour price-conscious consumers, offer lenient payment terms and use other creative ways to make it more affordable for your customers.
Factors you control that affect how much you can earn as a personal trainer
One of the best ways to be able to charge more, and therefore earn more as a Personal trainer is to add extra strings to your bow. When you first qualify you’ll have all the requisite skills to start building a client base. But what happens when you get a vegan client that wants advice on a plant based diet, or an elderly client with a history of back pain, or an obese client who is embarrassed coming to the gym.
You’ll want to continue to further your education with continual professional development (CPD) so that you can deal with a wider range of clients and offer these more specialised services. Our free Essentials Membership includes some CPD’s, and our Pro Membership gives you unlimited access to our entire CPD library.
As mentioned above, furthering your education will allow you to appeal to a wider audience. However you may also want to specialise and only work with a specific type of client, thus building a reputation as an expert in your field. People expect to pay more for expert advice, especially if you do not have much competition in that field, so this is a great way to boost what you earn as a personal trainer.
You can build expertise in a certain sport, for example an olympic weightlifting coach or boxing coach will appeal to athletes specifically interested in those sports. Another way to specialise is by dealing with a certain type of client, such as elderly or pre & post natal. You can specialise by client goals, for example fat loss, muscle gain, endurance, etc.
Finally you could specialise by demographic, this could be quite broad such as targeting male or female clients, or you could narrow it down further to age group or job type. For example stay at home mums may be a target audience, or busy city workers. Although these groups don’t require any novel exercises that you’re not using with other clients, by targeting them you can be more specific with the messaging in your marketing.
One of the hardest parts for a lot of PT’s is selling their services. It can feel uncomfortable selling yourself, especially if you’re quite a humble person. It is something you need to get to grips with, and being good at it will really set you apart from the competition. We go into tons of detail on different selling techniques for PT in our courses and memberships, but here is a quick tip for this article.
If you’re uncomfortable selling yourself, then package up what you’re selling as a product. So rather than selling personal training sessions with yourself, make up some different bundles such as 6 week summer body, 12 week muscle builder, Abs with Abbie, etc. Create some packages you think would work well for your audience and sell them those instead, you’ll likely feel far more comfortable with it.
Marketing is such a broad topic but if you can get a few key parts of it right it’ll really help you increase how much you earn as a personal trainer. How you market your service obviously varies depending on what service you’re offering, we’ll be covering some different options below, but for the sake of this point I’ll focus on in-person 1-2-1 PT as a self employed PT working in a gym.
The name of the game is lead generation. Working in a gym you already have a captive audience of hundreds or thousands of people wanting to get fitter, healthier, stronger. The more people you speak to, the more free sessions & inductions you deliver, the more consultations you do…the more clients you’ll pick up. Lead generation doesn’t come naturally to everyone, fortunately if you’re working in a gym, the process is a bit easier. Sign up to our free Essentials Membership to access our course lead generation without social media for 24 ideas on how to generate leads.
Different ways to earn as a personal trainer
For most people this will be your bread and butter. We recommend that our graduates start off this way, preferably in an employed PT role to build some experience and get further training. You can then test different income streams and start off using them to supplement your income, instead of going all in on something that might turn out to be really difficult to earn any money from.
There are tons of ways to offer Personal Training, the main two being either self employed at a gym or employed at a gym. Both have their pros and cons but as discussed earlier, by working in a gym you have a captive audience of potential customers who have already made the decision and financially committed to improving their fitness.
You can offer PT from home, in the park, at a village hall, or any other venue you’re thinking of but the big hurdle you’ll have to overcome is finding clients. You get the benefit of not paying rent, or a split on your income, but paying a cut to a gym is usually a pretty good deal given the audience you’ll have on your doorstep.
This may be in house classes at a gym you work at, or you may specialise in something like Spin, Les Mills or Zumba and offer your services to gyms in the local area. Both are great ways to supplement your income. You’ll probably struggle creating a big enough income from classes alone, due to the nature of the work, you’ll likely only be able to teach a handful each week. You can however charge from £15 to around £50 per hour depending on the class & location so it is a great supplement to your PT.
Small group PT can be one of the most lucrative ways to increase the amount you earn per hour. As discussed earlier there is a price ceiling for 1-2-1 PT, however if you’re coaching 3 to 6 people at once, you can charge each person £10-15 per hour and give them a semi personalised experience. They aren’t getting all the benefits of 1-2-1 PT but they’re paying less so will settle for this. They also get the added benefit of community and competition by training with peers in a coached environment.
Another type of group coaching that may provide a more consistent supplementary or main income stream is sport specific group coaching. This could be coaching some classes at a Crossfit gym, or doing some strength and conditioning coaching for a local football or rugby team. You could earn up to around £25 per hour, and have a fixed slot each week meaning you know the income is guaranteed each week.
Bootcamps have become increasingly popular, the appeal of getting beasted outside, getting covered in mud and leaving with a rush of endorphins means people will pay a decent amount for a weekly bootcamp. You could charge £5-10 per person for a bootcamp and given that it’s outside the sky is the limit with how many people you can host. Depending on where you’re offering the class you may have to pay but outdoor spaces tend to be pretty cheap.
The fastest growing trend in the fitness sector is online coaching. COVID massively accelerated this trend, but the advancements in technology, remote working and change of habits mean this trend is here to stay. From a coach perspective, you can work from where you want, when you want and could theoretically scale your business far beyond the number of clients you could coach in person, so it is a great way to increase how much you earn as a personal trainer.
There are tons of factors to take into account, do you want to offer cheap pre-written programmes or expensive bespoke plans? Do you want to include nutrition or regular check in calls or leave people to fend for themselves? Do you want to pay for advertising or post endless Instagram stories of you talking to the camera? There is no right or wrong way, however there are definitely some ways that work better than others. Our Pro Membership includes a course on how to build a successful online coaching business from scratch & membership is only £35 a month.
Ebooks, merchandise & other useful resources
To earn as a personal trainer you can do more than just offer coaching. You could package up some of your knowledge into ebooks and sell them. This may be training plans, nutrition guides, lifestyle hacks, or anything you feel comfortable teaching others about. You won’t be able to charge a fortune for them but every little counts.
Merchandise is another way to earn as a personal trainer, you’ve likely built your own brand to help market your services, so why not try to monetise that brand? Your customers, friends, family or maybe even complete strangers might like to wear a cap or t-shirt with your branding on.
How much can you earn as a personal trainer?
All of the above gives you things to consider or ways to boost what you earn as a personal trainer, but how much can you actually earn?
Without sounding like I’m bragging, I have been doing this for over 12 years and have worked a long time to build my business to where it is now. I consistently deliver over 35 hours of PT each week and take home around £5000 a month on average. I’m only telling you this because all I do is in person 1-2-1 PT, and it shows you that it can be done, and the amount you can earn as a personal trainer.
If you offer more of the services discussed above and put in the hours you could definitely reach a similar level of income or more.
The calculator below will give you a breakdown of how much you’ll earn per week, month and year, net and gross and will show you how much you’ll pay in tax and NI. Enter your name and email, how many sessions per week and how much you’ll charge on average, and we’ll email you the breakdown.