Physical Trainer Salary: Differences to Personal Trainer Salaries

There are dozens of lucrative career opportunities in the fitness industry with the physical trainer salary in the top ten of the list. What are the differences between the personal trainer salary, the athletic trainer salary or the physical trainer salary? What each can earn is set by the standards of credentials and experience.

Physical Trainer Salary

How Much is the Starting Physical Trainer Salary?

Many times the terms physical trainer and personal trainer are used interchangeably which can be confusing. In general the average physical trainer salary is between $27-45K depending on where you live, your experience, credentials and if you are a consultant or an employee.

To gain a better idea of what your physical trainer salary would be, you have to look to the geographical statistics for a starting point and also the personal trainer job description. The two most crucial factors are whether you have been certified or not and secondly whether you work as an employee or consultant. As more employers of fitness professionals are demanding that they are certified to even be considered, the only thing left to do is select the certification program that works best for you.

Physical trainer salary levels are also affected by the type of facility you work for; large corporations may be more generous than a large health club, but your responsibilities may also be greater. Working in a large company, the starting salary could be as high as $45K per year.

Other Factors that Influence a Physical Trainer Salary

The fitness industry professional must have brain and brawn; today more health facilities are also requiring a Bachelor degree of prospective employees. If you are fresh from college with very little experience, having a widely recognized certification can get you in the door in some cases, but your physical trainer salary will be minimum.

With experience, certification and business acumen, the best way to secure a high physical trainer salary is by offering custom built personal training and working as a consultant to private clients. This affords you the ability to set your own rates as well as work your own hours.

For the very experienced personal trainer the next step up for a physical trainer salary comes when they become Fitness Program Directors. In general this is a responsibility-laden position causing these professionals to work approximately 43 hours a week if paid on a salary basis with the median being $50K per year.

A big difference is seen in the physical trainer salary when a Fitness Program Director is paid by the hour, the hours they work are usually less, leaving them free time to attend to private clients or work on keeping themselves in shape. On average this level of employment will garner $37K per year.

In the specialized training arena, an athletic trainer who works with an established sports team can receive a physical trainer salary of $75K a year. Their responsibilities are on par with a Fitness Program Director, but this position may not be easy to achieve without a Masters degree.

While there is no set rule to dictate the compensation level for every fitness professional across the board, there is a lot of research to give you a guideline for crafting your approach to a prospective employer. Matching your qualifications to the right situation can result in getting the physical trainer salary you want.

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Physical Trainer Salary: Differences to Personal Trainer Salaries
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