How Much Do Personal Trainers Really Make Per Year?

MAY, 2021

A personal trainer’s yearly salary ranges between $48,945 – $108,469 according to, with the median salary sitting at $68,250. The average hourly rate is $35/hour.

These numbers are somewhat deceptive as they don’t tell you how much personal trainers actually take back home. Let’s dissect the salaries of the different kinds of personal trainers and touch on any hidden costs. 

personal trainer yearly salary

Wages Of Different Personal Trainers – Who Earns The Most?

Salary-based Personal Trainers

Salary based trainers can expect to earn about $30/hour, but have consistent work and job security. Their personal training wages are not affected by the gym’s business, and often need to take auxiliary tasks such as cold lead follow ups to help generate more business for the gym.

Let’s say you work full time at the gym as a salary-based personal trainer. Let’s break it down.

$30 x 40hours/week x 52 weeks/ year

= $62,400

Good luck getting a personal training salary-based job that is fulltime though. Most gyms hire based on demand, and that demand is typically mornings and evenings – usually for about 20 hours/week. Therefore, this figure is UNREALISTIC! Although you will get Full-time/Part-time benefits, unlike any of the other types of personal trainers.

PT Business Owners At Gyms

Trainers that run their own business from a gym can charge whatever they want – on average this is $75/hour. They usually need to pay rent to use the facilities, however, which amounts to about $300/week depending on the gym.

For a personal trainer that runs their own business from a gym – after sometime you can expect to work 30 hours/week – if times are good!

($75 x 30hours x 52weeks) – [($300 rent/week x 52weeks)

= $101, 400 – business expenses

*If you don’t work you don’t get paid, so any days off you take decreases this substantially. 

This is more or less on the money according to, although 30 hours per week is probably based off the top 10% of personal trainers that run their own businesses from gyms. This is after at least 1-2 years after starting your business (in a COVID-free world!).

All things considered, your salary will likely be more like $80,000/ year after expenses (and before tax). 

Mobile Personal Trainers

Mobile personal trainers travel between clients and train their clients either outside or in residential gyms. Depending on whether they run their own business or work as subcontractors, they can earn anywhere between $40 – $110/hour. These trainers don’t pay rent but need to typically purchase their own equipment and have travel expenses.

Mobile personal trainers that work as subcontractors can expect:

($40 x 30hours x 52weeks) – (travel expenses / equipment)

= $62, 400 – expenses

If you run your own mobile personal training business, you can expect:

($80 x 30hours x 52weeks) – (business + travel + equipment expenses)

 = $124, 800 – expenses

split squats outside

Considerations For Personal Trainers Yearly Salary – Hidden Costs & Benefits:

It’s important to note that personal training is a client-based business model where it’s unlikely that you will have clients lined up back-to-back. Even when you do manage to get back-to-back clients, you will often get cancellations due to sick clients or bad weather.

This leads to lots of wasted time and lost income. Moreover, this typically means you need to come out twice – mornings and nights. You now have a split shift, but at least you can enjoy the day (even if you are a sleep-deprived zombie!).

For those that run their own businesses as subcontractors or otherwise, it’s important to note that expenses come as both money and time (especially mobile personal trainers).

In the calculations above, we have not factored in the time it takes to travel to clients. 30 hours of training make look like a 40-hour week if travel or waiting time is included between clients. Obviously, you don’t get paid for this time if you are running your own business or even subcontracting.

You will also need to be flexible. Your clients will want to workout early before work or late at night after work. Often clients are not very flexible. Because almost all your clients will want mornings/ evenings you will have limited space to book them in – which can be a massive headache for everyone!

On the bright side, when doing your taxes, all of your business expenses are claimable. This includes equipment, travel, insurance, registration and more. This allows you to keep more of your hard-earned dollars.

Salary Is Partially A Product Of Reputation, Demographic Locality, Qualifications, Experience And Self-Worth

Many factors are tied to a personal trainer’s salary. Clients are looking for experienced trainers with good qualifications. If you have great results to showcase, you’ve been in the industry for many years and have well respected Personal Training Certifications, then expect to earn more than your colleagues. 

If you run your own business you need to find the balance between self-worth, that is, how much you are comfortable charging your clients, and their ability to pay. It’s no surprise that clients that live in posh areas have more disposable income and can afford to pay you more, whereas outer suburbia may not have the funds. 


Written by Vic

Melbourne-based Personal Trainer, Calisthenics Athlete and the Founder of Street Workout St Kilda. Super passionate about bodyweight training and the art of movement.
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