Personal Trainer Salary: Earnings After Certification

 Personal Trainer SalaryAs you consider a possible career as a personal trainer, one deciding factor is likely to be the personal trainer salary you can anticipate after completing your personal trainer certification. The field of sports, medicine and exercise science has the advantage over some careers in that the start-up certification costs are relatively minimal compared to the prohibitive costs of some professions’ required educations.  Once you compare the affordable cost of certification to the solid salary you’ll be able to earn after you’re certified, you’ll probably be looking for the right personal training institute right away.

Personal Trainer Salary—What You Can Expect

Of course there are numerous factors that influence an individual’s salary as a personal trainer, but we can take a look at the overall statistics to get a feel of the possibilities. Some of the basic personal trainer salary numbers include the following facts:

  • Looking at the national averages, personal trainers earn between $12 and $24.50 per hour, or $24,000 to $50,000 annually.
  • The U.S. cities offering the highest average hourly rates for personal trainers include Los Angeles CA (at $19.50-$25.70 per hour), Houston TX (at $16.50-$30 per hour), New York City (at $16-$54 per hour) and Arlington TX (at $23.50-$40 per hour).
  • Personal trainers can expect different salary ranges in different fitness venues. Working in a fitness club, the national average is $11.50-$22.50; working with health care services the average is $13-$25; working at community centers a personal trainer will average $11.50-$22.50; and at universities and educational institutions the average is $12.50-$24 hourly.
  • Personal trainers with less than a year’s experience average $16.50 per hour, while those with 5-10 years’ experience average $23 dollars per hour.

In considering these averages, it’s also worth noting that fully half of all personal trainers working in the nation today can only claim four or fewer years of experience. Given that salaries rise significantly with experience, and the majority of the current workforce is inexperienced, those national averages of salaries are considerably lower than we would see for a national average of experienced personal trainers. In other words, don’t consider the upper end of that average as a “ceiling” or a cap on the possibilities. If you stay in the field, adding experience and continuing education, your earning potential will continue to increase.

Options to Increase Your Personal Trainer Salary

If you’re looking to advance your career within the parameters of a fitness facility, you may consider pursuing a management position or directorship. This kind of career move generally requires job experience in the field, sometimes a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, and of course the appropriate professional certifications required of a personal trainer. In some areas you can boost your income by adding specialized certifications (like kickboxing, group exercise leadership, rehabilitation exercise physiology, yoga, Pilates, spinning and cycling, and other specialty credentials) from a national personal training institute. In addition to certifications in specific types of fitness classes, you can earn certifications to work with special populations, including those recovering from injury or surgery, and those suffering from debilitating chronic illness or disability. The specialized markets have the potential for higher earnings for the certified and credentialed personal trainer. Once you’ve embarked in the field of health and fitness training, you can continue to increase your personal trainer salary and enjoy a comfortable career.


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Personal Trainer Salary: Earnings After Certification
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