How To Make Money As A Personal Trainer

Did you know that the average hourly wage of a personal trainer in the US is $30 an hour? That’s not bad for a career you can start without a degree. Even still, time, education, and experience will build a thriving personal training career.

So how do you do it? We’re glad you asked. Keep reading for our best tips on how to make money as a personal trainer.

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How Much Do Personal Trainers Make?

So how much can a personal trainer make? On average, a personal trainer’s salary in 2020 was around $40,510. Depending on the sector, this can be more. For example, the average private personal trainer averages $78,000 per year.

The highest-paid personal trainers are making thousands per day. But that often isn’t from training alone. 

To make good money as a trainer, you need expertise, experience, and a solid business plan. You need to think about how you can expand your career as a trainer beyond typical training hours. So let’s walk through some ways you can do that.

Get Certified

First things first, you need to get certified. Our most recommended certification options include:

As a bonus, if you have a degree in anatomy, physiology, or kinesiology, you’ll have a great foundation to go off of. The certification tests cover topics like posture and movement assessments and body composition. Some also show how you’d test someone’s speed, agility, and cardiovascular fitness. 

If you don’t have a background in these subjects, you may want to consider a prep course that guides you through your certification. Being thoroughly educated will not only help you make money in the field, but it’ll allow you to provide top-level service to your clients.

Decide on the Best Medium for Your Personal Training

Consider the kind of practice medium that would go well with your personality as you’re getting certified. Are you a people person with a big personality? Then a large gym where you can do group classes might be the best fit.

Do you prefer going deep with one person at a time? Private lessons may be more your speed. You can tailor workouts to the needs of each client and help them reach more personalized goals.

You may also choose to become a virtual fitness trainer, where you’ll train your clients entirely online. This form of personal training is becoming more and more popular. The virtual fitness market is projected to grow by 33.1% in the next few years!

Read on for some of the best ways to make money as a personal trainer.

Teach Group Fitness Classes

If you’re new to the fitness training world, try your hand at group fitness classes.

Wait. Didn’t we just say this was for people with prominent personalities? Yes, but it’s also a great way to bring in more money, especially if you’re self-employed.

So how much do group fitness instructors make? They’ll earn the same hourly rate at a big-box gym no matter how many people are in their class. That rate could be anywhere from $10 to $35.

But let’s say a trainer offers their own hour-long outdoor boot camp class at $10 a person. If ten people show up, that trainer just made $100 in an hour. If 30 show up, well…you can do the math.

And the great thing about training nowadays is that you’re not limited to the people in your town or city with virtual options. 

Offer Online Workout Options

If you really want to know how to make money in the fitness industry today, this point is for you. You’ve got to bring workouts to your clients. Whether you choose to be self-employed or work at a gym, this means putting your workouts online.

It’s such an easy way to expand your network and increase your earnings. All you need is a camera, light, and a good microphone to get going. 

Start by putting your workouts up on YouTube. Then market those videos on the social media platform your target client goes to most often. It takes some leg work to get momentum and build a following, but it’ll happen with consistency.

Down the line, this could lead you to create your own fitness platform. Maybe you’ll be able to offer a subscription service to your followers. You may be able to bring in other trainers and expand your community even more. 


The Online Personal Trainer Product Model

This is the path that Fitness Mentors fits into as we sell educational materials to aspiring and existing personal trainers. While we do use software to help automate a lot of our online product delivery (ex. product delivery after payment), we did not create software to sell to other trainers to use.

Personal trainers need resources, and we’ve structured our business around providing them to them, and this online business model has worked well for us.

Process: What all Online Personal Trainer Business Need to Succeed

Do you know why McDonald’s is the most successful fast-food corporation in the world? Process.

Check out The Founder on Netflix if you have not yet seen the movie about the true definition of a mechanized system. Hell, you have McDonald’s to thank for half of your personal training clients anyway, so you may as well learn a little more about them.

As with any business, the key to an excellent online personal training business — whether it be training clients, building software, or selling products — is that you need solid processes in place to make it all work.

Here’s an example of why processes are essential:

Let’s say you are an online personal training business that specializes in weight loss. You get a new client, interview them and ask all the necessary questions. Then you spend time creating personalized programs, craft custom emails, and respond. But you lose clients haphazardly throughout the entire onboarding process, and all your hard work equates to $10 an hour.

Even if they do stay on you still are spending time with them and your business growth model is limited to how many clients you can work with within a day.

Now, picture the same weight loss specialization online PT business that has put processes in place:

Instead of interviews, you have forms

Instead of personalized programs, you have packages

Instead of custom emails, you have automated emails based on the packages

You see, taking the time to create processes allows you to make your online PT business more like software. Completely automated.

The beautiful thing about this is that you can tap into existing software programs (if you are selling programs) to help with your automation. Check out personal trainer software Trainerize and get instant access to packaged sessions (that you can also customize) for video libraries, meal plans, and workout tracking.

So, before you begin to implement all this great automation, you’ll want to structure your business first. In Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer Certification Course, we review all the processes you need to take from certification to branding, choosing your client demographic, business checkpoints, and marketing.

You may already have this in place if you have an existing personal training business, but if you are new to the business end altogether, it’s worth a read.

Offer in-Home Training

If you prefer to train in person, you can still bring workouts to your clients. One way to do this is through in-home personal training.

This is where you schedule appointments to go to your clients’ homes and lead them through a workout. You can usually charge higher rates for these visits as they are more convenient to your client. 

You’ll have to determine whether they will get the equipment they need or whether you’ll bring it with you. But in-home training helps you add income while forming connections within your network.

Build Client Relationships in Your Personal Training

Speaking of your network, relationships are going to be critical to your success as a personal trainer. Pay attention to how you look and act around current and potential clients. Dress well and always be polite and professional.

If your client needs extra encouragement, encourage them. If they want you to push them harder, do it!

The better service you provide, the more likely they are to tell their friends and family about you. They’re more likely to follow you on social media and support you as you grow your business, too.

We Can Help You Make Money as a Personal Trainer

Knowing how to make money as a personal trainer takes fitness skills and business savvy. Invest in your education and certification to start yourself off on the right foot. Then be sure to manage your money well as you continue to grow your practice. 

And maybe you’ve got the fitness part down. It’s the business part that makes you cringe. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered there, too.

Our Business and Sales CEUs will teach you the psychology of sales and bringing in new clients. It will help you make connections and get your fitness business off the ground. You’ll learn techniques that will help you close the sale with your client prospects and make more money. 

To sign up for your first lesson, click here.

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