Fancy gaining some muscle? Or perhaps shedding a few pounds to show off those washboard abs? If the answer is yes, then consider talking to a personal trainer. Experts in all things exercise, their job is to support individuals achieve their fitness related goals. Ever wondered how much a personal trainer makes? Or how to become one? You’ve come to the right place, as this article will talk you through a personal trainer’s average salary, key responsibilities, work environment and career path.
Personal Trainer Salary
So what is the salary of a personal trainer? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they make on average $39,410 per year, or $18.95 per hour. The top 10% of earners make $67,560 per annum, whereas the lowest 10% earn $18,110 annually.
Annual income is influenced by a number of factors. Job experience is perhaps the biggest factor. Newly-hired individuals can expect starting salaries of around $18,110 per year, but earnings almost double with 10-15 years of experience. Location also plays a role in determining income. There’s greater demand for personal trainer services in metropolitan areas than in rural locations, so those employed in large cities tend to have higher salaries. Earnings differ by state too; the top 5 paying states are New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Salary also varies with type of employer.
Personal trainers are not commonly offered benefit packages, although the vast majority will have free access to their gyms.
Personal trainers lead, instruct and motivate individuals during exercise, and help clients of all ages to meet their fitness goals.
The first step for all personal trainers is to assess their client’s current level of fitness. They use a variety of standardized tests to help gauge an individual’s ability level, and will ask their client what they want to achieve. A training program can then be designed to help them reach their goal.
Training plans vary considerably as they are tailored to their client’s specific needs. A recovering heart attack patient will have a very different training regime to that of a professional athlete. The plan may involve strength training if building muscle is the goal, or perhaps cardiovascular exercises for weight-loss programs. Personal trainers demonstrate how to perform exercises, then observe their client’s technique and make changes if necessary. A critical component of the job is tracking clients’ progress during the training program. If they aren’t moving towards their goal, the plan may need to be modified.
Personal trainers’ other duties often include tending reception desks, organizing sports equipment, carrying out inventory checks or supervising fitness areas. Many run their own businesses, so will also stock fitness products, advertise their services and complete financial tasks such as book keeping.
Personal trainers work in a variety of settings. These include health clubs, fitness centers, gyms, country clubs or even hospitals. Most have an office where they complete administrative tasks, but will otherwise be in a gym setting surrounded by fitness equipment.
Work hours vary depending on employer. Those working for hospitals, sports teams or country clubs tend to enjoy regular schedules during normal business hours, but most personal trainers work in the evenings or on weekends, as this is when most clients can use their services.
Most are in full-time employment, although some do work part time. 1 in 10 are self-employed, which grants greater schedule flexibility and earning potential, although being your own boss often means working longer hours. With no guaranteed income, your livelihood depends on your ability to recruit clients. This can be stressful for some, whereas others relish the freedom and responsibility.
Many personal trainers who have a passion for fitness and nutrition see the career as their calling, as they’re helping people by doing what they love. In a survey conducted by PayScale, professionals ranked their career 5/5 for job satisfaction. 58% of personal trainers are men, while 42% are women.
How to become a Personal Trainer
There are no set education requirements to become a personal trainer, although some specialties may need certification. Employers seek candidates with previous work experience, good references from clients, as well as being certified in their field.
The majority of personal trainers have at least a high school diploma. Further education is becoming increasingly common, with professionals completing Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in health or fitness related fields such as sports science, nutrition, kinesiology or physical education.
Certification is provided by a number of organizations, but the largest indicator of success is reputation. Supporting clients in achieving results leads to personal recommendations, which increases clientele networks and repeat business. Furthermore, certification is seen as secondary to practical experience. It can, however, get your foot in the door, and most employers won’t hire candidates without it.
BLS expects employment opportunities for personal trainers to grow by 13% over the 2012-2022 projection period, which is on par with the average of all occupations.
Growth is fueled by multiple factors. With the large baby boom population ageing, the elderly are looking to stay fit and healthy for longer which drives demand for personal trainers. Also, with current emphasis on promoting active lifestyles for young people to prevent obesity, personal training services will be needed in schools, as well as to work with students moving into college and university.
Businesses and large organizations are learning of the benefits of a fit work force. Active employees tend to be more productive, enthusiastic and happier than their sedentary counterparts, which in turn increases company revenue. As a result, companies are provided employees with in-house gyms and fitness studios, which will also increase demand for personal trainers.
Physical therapists use an array of therapeutic exercises in order to increase patients’ mobility, strengthen muscles, and relieve pain. After assessing their patient’s condition, they design programs to meet clients’ needs. To become a physical therapist, you need to attain a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree, as well as becoming licensed by state. According to BLS, the average salary for physical therapist’s was $81,030 in 2012.
Dieticians advise clients on their diets to help them achieve their goals. They design nutritional plans in order to help people meet their dietary goals. They also play a large role in educating the public on how to change dietary habits to promote healthy lifestyles. Most in the profession have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in dietetics, food and nutrition, clinical nutrition or a related field. A dietician’s average salary was $55,920 in 2012 (BLS).