As we step into 2024, the fitness industry landscape continues to evolve, and with it comes the question: How much are personal trainers making in the current year? Whether you’re intrigued by the prospect of helping others achieve their fitness goals or simply curious about the financial aspects of a career in personal training, this article will delve into the factors influencing the money personal trainers make in 2024.
Get ready to explore the potential income, industry trends, and critical considerations for those interested in becoming a personal trainer.
What Personal Trainers Make in 2024
According to the IDEA 2023 Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report, personal trainers work at an average of two facilities for 18.5 hours per week (Schroeder). Almost all personal trainers train clients in person and half have virtual clientele, which comprise one-third of their total clientele. Inflation significantly impacts wages, with personal trainers earning less than the inflation rate.
As employees, personal trainers make 45% less money than independent contractors. Independent contractors must also fork over an average of 28% of their earnings to the facilities where they train clients (Schroeder, 2023).
Before accepting a position, ask the employer how many hours per week is the maximum you can work. Some employers strictly limit hours to 19.5 hours a week due to state laws that require employers to provide full benefits to employees who work over a certain amount per year. These laws vary state by state, so do your research. Many employers with hour limits such as these pay a premium in the hourly rate to “make up for it.”
Personal Trainer Compensation
Employee hourly pay rates differ from region to region and vary with the level of education and experience. More populated areas like the southwest can expect to earn more money. The following data is from various sources to capture the most realistic rate expectations.
- $27.11 per hour, according to Indeed Careers (Herrity, 2023)
- $30.00 per hour for employees and $60.00 for independent contractors, according to the IDEA 2023 Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report (Schroeder)
- $60,898 per year, according to Glassdoor.com (2024)
The data above does not specifically differentiate the level of experience.
Regarding differing years of experience, payscale.com, a compensation research and data-collecting company, has an interesting report. The average hourly pay for a Personal Trainer is $20.44 in 2024. 1,390 surveys were taken; however, they reported compensation was not weighted evenly by region, so the numbers could be weighed more heavily in lower-paying regions:
- An entry-level (less than 1 year of experience) Personal Trainers make an average total compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $16.05 based on 140 salaries.
- An early career Personal Trainer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $19.08 based on 741 salaries.
- A mid-career Personal Trainer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average compensation of $25.65 based on 260 salaries.
- An experienced Personal Trainer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $35.25 based on 216 salaries.
- In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $41.
One of many helpful features of payscale.com is the ability to refine the overall data set by city, skillset, experience, and employer. For example, if you select “Los Angeles, CA”, the average pay for personal trainers in 2024 is $30.00 per hour, much closer to the other sources. Just be sure to note the sample size of each search. The smaller the sample size, the less reliable the average rate will be.
Benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement are rare in the personal training business, especially for those not full-time, which most personal trainers are not. Independent contractors must pay for these benefits independently or work the cost into their rates. However, many personal training employers offer minor benefits such as free memberships, continued education reimbursements, and commissions.
It’s important from a business perspective to budget into your income and expenditures vacation time and/or potential sick days if you are an independent contractor.
Does the Compensation Work for You?
Understanding the typical compensation for personal trainers can help you decide if this career suits you. If you are unsure about committing to personal training, consider pursuing it part-time while relying on other stable sources of income. This approach lets you see if personal training is for you without putting all your eggs in one basket.
As you can see from the data above, how much personal trainers make depends heavily on years of experience. If you have the years to invest in this field, expect your rate to rise.
If you want to make personal training your primary source of income, it is recommended that you start getting experience immediately and go all-in on education. Investing in education, certifications, and expertise can help you increase your earning potential and land a prestigious personal training position.
If you are ready further to develop your knowledge and education in personal training, you can check out NFPT’s continuing education and certifications.
- Average personal trainer hourly pay. PayScale. (n.d.). www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Personal_Trainer/Hourly_Rate
- Herrity, J. (2023, December 1). How Much Do Personal Trainers Make in 2024? | Indeed.com. Indeed. www.indeed.com/career-advice/pay-salary/how-much-do-personal-trainers-make
- Salary: Personal Trainer in United States 2024 | Glassdoor. Glassdoor. (2024, January 22). www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/personal-trainer-salary-SRCH_KO0,16.htm
- Schroeder, J. (2023, December 4). 2023 Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report. IDEA Health & Fitness Association. www.ideafit.com/business/2023-fitness-industry-compensation-trends-report/