How Much Do Personal Trainers Make? The No BS Guide


If you’re looking into a career as a personal trainer, you probably already know that they usually charge anywhere from £45-50 or $60-80 per hour, so even with 4-5 sessions a day, these guys must be making some serious cash.

The question is, what is the average personal trainer salary? are all these guys rich?

In this article, we’ll find out, as I’ll be explaining how much personal trainers make a year, including how much beginner trainers make, how much they make in an average month, how much those celebrity PTs rake in each year, and how you can increase your salary if you want a little extra dough in the bank, by the end of reading, you will know the answer to the question, “How much do personal trainers make?”.

Sound good?

Let’s go…

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how much personal trainers make each month etc, let’s dive straight into the average salary figures so we have some stats to play with.

The average salary of a UK-based personal trainer is £37,000 (gross) per year, which equates to around £2,400 a month. In the US, the average yearly income for trainers is $63,845 (gross) according to salary.com.

Those are some pretty impressive stats, aren’t they?

In fact, the £37,000 UK-based trainers salary is nearly £7,000 higher than the national average. It’s fair to say that every personal trainer is pretty much rich then, isn’t it?

Don’t get too excited just yet, it’s really important to remember that a hell of a lot of trainers earn significantly less than that each year, and this is gross income, it doesn’t take into account all the expenses trainers have to pay, like gym rent, purchasing equipment, insurance fees and a whole bunch more.

Some of the highest-paid trainers in the UK are earning upwards of £100,000 a year, whereas, at the lower end of the scale, they’re earning just £17,000 (source Jobted.com).

That’s a pretty huge difference in salaries, so you’ll need to take the average figure I gave above with a pinch of salt.

The other issue we run into with these stats is that they don’t give a realistic idea of each type of personal trainer’s salary. For instance, a trainer working in a gym that gets paid a commission for each block of sessions sold is going to make considerably less than a trainer working for themselves.

I think it’s time we looked a little more closely at how much personal trainers really make a year!

Posterior view of personal trainer - average pay for personal trainer

Personal trainer salary by experience level

How much do beginner trainers make?

How much do trainers make each month?

How much do celebrity personal trainers make?

How can you make more money as a personal trainer?

How much do beginner personal trainers make?

As a general rule, beginner personal trainers can expect to gain and maintain 25 sessions per week on average within their first year. If this number is maintained, using the average cost of a PT session in London at £50 an hour, you can expect to be earning around £4-5K each month.

Before we start, you’ve gotta be a little realistic about the early part of your career as a trainer and not get worried about some of the figures I’m going to be throwing out here.

I’m also going to be pretty conservative with the projections I make so it can be more realistic for the majority of new trainers who are finding their feet.

I’ll be assuming most trainers will be selling blocks of 10 sessions at £50 per session, so £500 session blocks are what I’ll use for demonstrative purposes.

Any business has overheads, and these are going to need to be paid every month before you start making a profit. This is normal and nothing to worry about, but it does mean that until you have a bunch of clients paying for sessions, you might not be earning that much cash, so you may need to hold off on the Lamborghini for a few extra months.

Realistic monthly beginner personal trainer salary

MonthExpected income
1£500
2£1500
3-4£4000
5-6£4500

Realistically, you should be able to easily maintain 25 hours of training a week, with most of your clients renewing after each block, or (even better) signing up for direct debit sessions with you so that they keep training for months on end with you.

If you can maintain 25 hours a week, each week, by the end of the first year you would be looking at making £5,000 per month or £60,000 a year!

Once you take your gym rent out, you would be still be earning just over 50K a year.

It takes some time before you feel fully confident in your training, so you may have slightly lower rates, and if you work for a gym that pays you a cut of the rate the members are paying for training, you’ll be making considerably less than the numbers above.

Trainers employed by a gym will typically make around £15-20 per session, so even at the highest rate of pay, with 25 sessions per week, you’d ve looking at making roughly £2,000 per month before tax.

The reality

The growth of your income is pretty unlikely to be linear, as I have described above, you’ll pick up a few clients, then you’ll lose a few, people will go on holiday which means they won’t renew their training packages with you straight away and so on.

The positive to this is that with time, your sales pitches and client retention should improve to the point where you can easily pick up new clients to replace lost ones and keep a higher client retention rate, which will mean you won’t have to constantly be on the lookout for new people to train.

Within the first six months, it’s realistic to expect that a beginner personal trainer could be making around £1500 profit per month. Remember, the values I showed above are for the income for each month. So, if a client buys a block of 10 sessions, that’s £500 income, however, they will not need to buy any more sessions for several months, so you need to look at these as average monthly incomes instead (as you’ll see in the chart below).

How much do personal trainers make each month?

There’s a ton of different ways that you can work as a trainer and they all have varying cash-flow potential. That’s why I will be listing each so you can click on the options that you think you are most interested in or have a read through all of them to help you decide which one might be best for you. We’ve already covered self-employment salary expectations, so I’ll cover the other options below.

Average monthly personal trainer wage (after tax and NI deductions)

Employment TypeBeginner monthly salaryAdvanced Monthly salary
Employed (Health club)£714.71£1,489
Independent£1,255£2,234
Online coaches£1,183£1,935
Boot camps£207£832

How much money to expect each month as a personal trainer

Employed by a gym or health club

Working freelance in a gym (contract)

Working freelance (independent)

Online coach

Boot-camp

Employed by a gym or health club

man wearing baseball hat doing dips in a gym

Health clubs and gyms that hire personal trainers usually have a tier system when it comes to paying their employees for the personal training sessions that they deliver.

There is a huge plus to beginner trainers here, as there is usually no rent to pay each month as the gym will pay you on how many sessions you deliver, but take a big cut of the sessions sold.

This allows you to start your career as a pt or fitness instructor without the fear of having to stump up a ton of cash at the end of each month whether or not you have had a good month.

The downside is that there is fairly limited earning potential, especially for newer trainers.

Employed personal trainer income by month

Sessions delivered
(per week)
Session rateGross monthly incomeTax (monthly)National InsuranceMonthly Net profit
10£15£60000£600
15£18£1,080£204£35£829.42
20£20£1,600£320£97£1,183
25£25£2,500£500£205£1795

Above is a very crude idea of how a tier system works when you work as an employed trainer in a gym or health club.

Essentially, the more sessions you deliver each week, the higher the tier you will go to, and so the higher your salary will be.

Be warned though, from personal experience, you must prove that you hit exactly the correct number of sessions each week in order to stay on your correct tier. If your manager discovers that you only hit 19 sessions one week instead of 20, they will drop the whole months session rate down to the lower tier.

It’s brutal!

In your first few months of training clients, you will be sticking to the lower tiers, it may take you three to four months to establish a reliable client base.

Realistic monthly income for a beginner employed trainer

£714.71*

Experienced employed trainer monthly income

£1,489*

*Average took between 10-15 sessions per week for beginner trainers and 20-25 sessions per week for experienced trainers.

Working freelance in a gym (contract)

man performing deadlifts in a gym

You can work in a gym and take home all the profits from each session, you will just have to pay whatever the gym charges for monthly rent.

In some smaller gyms, the rent isn’t too much, but in the larger city gyms, you can be looking at £800-1000 per month.

The amount that you can charge per session will vary hugely depending on your location, so for the sake of the chart below, I’ll be showing the average cost of sessions in London for an hours session and using the average rent charged by gyms in the capital also.

Sessions deliveredSession rateGross Monthly IncomeTax (monthly)National insuranceRentNet profit
Monthly
10£50£2,000£191£145£800£864
16£50£3,200£431£289£800£1680
20£50£4,000£591£385£800£2224
25£50£5,000£958£421£800£2821

Working as a freelance personal trainer puts you firmly in charge of what you charge per session, alongside being able to decide on the hours that you work.

You have the option of increasing your rates once you have built up a solid client base and a good reputation, and even increasing your rates by only £10 per session would substantially increase your monthly salary.

Realistic monthly income for a beginner freelance (contract) trainer

£1,272*

Experienced freelance trainer monthly income

£2,522*

*Average took between 10-16 sessions per week for beginners and 20-25 for experienced trainers.

Working freelance (independent)

people exercising in outdoor gym

Independent trainers work in people’s homes, parks, or outdoor fitness facilities. They can usually charge more for their sessions as they are giving a more personal service and don’t have to worry about paying gym rent.

Finding clients can be a little harder in this environment, but if you get your marketing tactics down you can make a healthy living from this style of training.

Sessions deliveredSession rateGross monthly incomeMonthly fees (average)Tax
(Monthly)
National InsuranceNet Profit
(Monthly)
5£60£1200£109£32£49£1,010
8£60£1,920£109£176£135£1,500
10£60£2,400£109£272£193£1,826
15£60£3,600£109£512£337£2,642

I’ve taken some really rough estimates here, and I am certainly not an accountant or tax advisor, so please don’t take any of the numbers on this page as gospel. Check them out with a qualified accountant if you want to get a truly accurate number, but this should give you a rough idea of what you are looking at.

Bear in mind that I have added a column here for fees, but these are usually tax-deductible, so this would be another thing to check.

Either way, you can clearly see that with even fewer sessions performed less each week (as is usually the case with independent trainers), you can stand to make more monthly income than the other options provided so far.

Realistic monthly income for a beginner independent trainer

£1,255*

Experienced independent trainer monthly income

£2,234*

*Averages taken between 5-8 sessions per week for beginners and 10-15 sessions delivered each week for experienced independent trainers.

Online coaching

man using laptop for online personal training coaching

Online coaches work, well, online!

They offer training programs, nutrition advice, and 1-2-1 consultation sessions that are all conducted via email, messaging apps, phone calls, or video calls.

It is a great way of adding additional income to a more traditional style of offering personal training (such as 1-2-1 sessions), or it can be a career in itself.

There are a few drawbacks, such as not being able to see your clients face to face, etc, but there are also plenty of perks such as very little start-up or running costs.

Number of clientsMonthly rateGross monthly incomeTax
(monthly)
National InsuranceNet profit
(monthly)
5£200£1,000£0£25£975
8£200£1,600£112£97£1391
10£200£2,000£192£145£1663
14£200£2,800£352£241£2207

This is looking better and better, if you compare the monthly income from training people online, you will see that you can pick up only slightly less money per month as you can from training people from the comfort of your own home, without any travel and whilst potentially being able to have another job on the side.

Taking home an extra £2,200 per month for a few additional hours of work each day (if that) looks pretty good to me.

Just like with being an independent trainer, you will have to make sure your marketing is on point in order to get your clients, but as long as you find your niche and learn how to sell yourself as an online coach, this is a pretty great option.

Realistic monthly income for a beginner online trainer

£1,183*

Experienced online trainer monthly income

£1,935*

*Averages took from 5-8 clients per month for beginners and 10-14 clients per month for experienced online coaches.

Boot camp training

outdoor bootcamp training

Boot camp training is great for trainers that like getting out in the fresh air and love teaching large groups of people at one time.

There are certain considerations to take into account, such as the weather, equipment, safety, marketing, and insurance, but this is no different from many of the other personal training options we have already discussed.

You will generally only be able to take larger groups during the weekends or after 5 pm when most people have finished work for the day, but there are certain circumstances (such as affluent areas) where larger groups of people can train during the day too.

No of participantsClass rateGross monthly incomeTax
(monthly)
National InsurancePark Fees
(monthly)
Net profit
(Monthly)
5£10£200£0£0£31£169
8£10£320£0£0£76£244
20£10£800£0£12£76£712
30£10£1200£32£49£167£952

Ok, so before you get disheartened by this chart, you need to know that I have only assumed very small class sizes, once you get an established group built up, you could be looking at 20-25 people per session.

I have used the park fees from the government website that takes into account class sizes, so the more participants you have for each class, the higher the fees.

You can check out the government site by clicking the link below.

Southwark Parks exercise license

I was actually surprised at just how high these fees were, so it may be worthwhile shopping around for locations, and once again, I have used London as the location of the training, so you can treat this as a worst-case scenario for the most part.

Another consideration is that I have based these calculations on only one Boot camp session per week, whereas you can easily do two or potentially more classes per weekend, meaning you can easily double these figures.

I have not added insurance fees to this chart, which you absolutely will need, but as I previously stated, insurance is vital for any type of personal training, so shop around for your best deals so you can take home maximum profit.

Realistic monthly income for a beginner Boot Camp (1x session per week)

£207*

Established Boot camp monthly income (1x session per week)

£832*

*Averages took from 5-8 participants per class for newly established Boot camp and 20-30 participants per class for an established class.

So, do personal trainers make good money?

Personal trainers in the UK make between £25-60K annually. Even at the lower end of the scale, £25k per year is only a few thousand pounds below the median annual pay in the UK for full-time workers (£31,461 as of 2020). As a result, we can safely say personal trainers do earn a good salary.

Of course, the numbers above are using averages, so they take into account the crazy high salaries that the super successful celebrity trainers are making too, but even with that, from my own experiences and knowledge of how many sessions my colleagues were completing each week, £25-30K per year does seem like a very realistic salary, as long as you stick with the career and don’t give up too easily.

I even worked with several trainers that were flown out to the UAE to privately train clients for several weeks and were paid thousands and thousands of pounds. It really comes down to persistence, marketing, and confidence. With these aspects in check, you can stand to make very good money as a personal trainer.

Unfortunately, most trainers never get the opportunity to start making the big cash, as they leave the industry too soon after qualifying. It can be a very stressful start to a career, as you’ll need to start paying hefty gym rental fees within only a few months of working in a commercial gym, but if you can pick up enough clients to at least cover yourself for the first few months and then grow your business, you can really start bringing home the bacon. (Apologies to vegans and vegetarians)

How much does a celebrity personal trainer make?

Becoming a celebrity personal trainer is the holy grail for many trainers new to the industry. It’s seen as the absolute pinnacle of success to say that you have celebrity clients that are willing to pay for your services, and you can usually charge a lot more than you would for your standard sessions.

The truth is, the amount of money you make per session will vary depending on your notoriety and the success you have had with other celebs in the past, for example, if you have successfully trained an actor or actress and got some media coverage of the results you provided, you may be able to charge top tier prices of £100 ($135) to £200 ($270) per session, making it possible to earn anywhere in the range of £100,000 ($135,030.00) or more a year. However, this is a rare occurrence, as only 2% of trainers ever exceed £100,000 per year.

These rates may seem ridiculously high, but remember, when you’re working with celebrities, they have very tight schedules to work to, they can be very demanding, and you may need to make more time in your schedule to train them, which may involve moving or letting go of some of your regular clients.

Highest paid Personal Trainers of 2021

  • Tracy Anderson – $8 million
  • Harley Pasternak – $15 million
  • David Buer – $68 million
  • Tony Little – $200 million
  • Joe Wicks – £14.5 million ($19.5 million)

How can you make more money as a personal trainer

If you’ve been inspired to make a little more money from your training company after reading this article, the good news is, there are a few pretty easy ways that you can turn your business into a high-income earning training business.

  • Gain further qualifications
  • Find a better location
  • Increase your prices
  • Attract high end clientele
  • Train people online
  • Sell tailor made training programs

Gain further qualifications

man studying at desk for additional personal training qualifications

First of all, let me start by saying that simply gaining a single extra qualification (moving from level 3 to level 4 personal trainer for example), is not going to make you an overnight millionaire, nor will it allow you to drastically increase your session prices either.

However, having additional qualifications that demonstrate you have enhanced knowledge does allow you to justify charging a higher price than your competitors.

Further enhancing your knowledge base to include training with special populations and older clients will also allow you the opportunity to work with clients that your competitors aren’t allowed to approach, giving you the upper hand.

An additional qualification that can offer substantial increases in salary are specific nutrition-based accreditations. Having the option to be able to provide a professionally created meal plan to workout programs for your clients is something that would definitely allow you to charge more for your sessions.

The vast majority of trainers in gyms have only basic nutrition knowledge, which does not allow them to provide any nutritional guidance, other than the most basic recommendations. Many clients wish to have more in-depth assistance with their diet, seeing as it is such a pivotal part of a training program, being able to provide one will allow you to charge top dollar.

Find a better location

Where you locate your business will have a huge impact on the types of clients you will train and the amount you can charge per session.

When starting your business, ensure that you thoroughly check the local area to see what kind of clientele you may be able to attract. If you find that the area you have been looking at has high unemployment rates or low average salaries, it’s 100% worth the effort to re-locate to somewhere that your business can thrive.

Use government sites to find the employment rates and average salaries in each area so you can make sure you are basing your business where the money is. I made the mistake once of thinking an area would be great for clients, but it turned out the huge new building next to my gym was actually let out to students instead of used for offices as I had been assured, meaning there were very few people interested in training.

Find areas with a higher than average annual income, and you will have far fewer people turning their noses up at you when you give your price presentation. It doesn’t mean you can charge ridiculous prices of course, but certainly more than in less wealthy areas.

Increase your prices

maths equation on chalk board to decide how to increase personal training prices

The fastest thing you can do to start making more money as a personal trainer is to increase the prices you charge for sessions. It’s not something you should do within the first few months of starting in a gym, but once you have an established client base and a few good client testimonials under your belt you should have no problems.

The way that I managed to increase my training fees without annoying my long-term clients, was to charge only the new clients the higher rates. This way, I was still making more money each week, but I didn’t lose my base of established clients, which can happen when you increase prices.

After some time, even your established clients may move on (this is totally normal), which means you can replace them with a new client that will be paying the higher rates. You can repeat this process as many times as you wish until you are at your desired pay rate.

Train people online

Training people in a gym or in their own homes is the standard practice for most PTs, however, this comes with limitations, mostly from the limited amount of time you have in one day.

A young, fit and healthy trainer would probably have no issue completing 15 hour days, but I can tell you from experience, this grows pretty old pretty fast, and soon enough you’ll reach the inevitable burnout stage of your career.

Instead of trying to pack as many sessions into the limited hours you have each day, why not consider using online personal training as a way to train multiple clients from across the world at the same time?

Once you have had the initial consultation and explained your training program, you can have people paying for your services whilst you are physically training people during the day.

There is generally less upkeep for online clients, usually, it would equate to answering a few phone calls, or emails each day.

Attract high end clientele

Large mansion with swimming pool

In much the same way as moving to a more affluent area to set up your training business, training higher-end clientele is a great way of being able to charge substantially more per session than you would ever usually be able to ask for.

Higher-end clients have more disposable income to hand, which means you should have less difficulty selling your high-priced sessions to them.

However, there is a lot of competition out there to find clients such as these, and they can also be fairly time-intensive. I actually think this is fair enough, as they are paying you a premium price for your services, so the time that you spend on these clients should reflect that.

They may also be a little more demanding than your regular clients for much the same reasons.

Sell tailor-made training programs

There are a massive amount of people out there that would love to hire a personal trainer, they know they need help, they don’t know what they should be doing, but they also can’t afford to hire a trainer.

Why leave these people wanting help, especially if they are willing to pay for it?

Instead, create tailor-made training programs that they can purchase from you. It requires very little effort on your behalf, as it shouldn’t take you long to write up a session program, and the really great thing is, you can offer this service on sites like fiverr.com and get job requests from all over the world.

It’s a pretty easy way of making a good amount of extra cash each week with very little effort required.

Conclusion

I hope I’ve managed to completely answer the question “how much do personal trainers make?”, in this article. The important thing to remember is that every trainer is different, and what you can charge may be more, or less than other trainers depending on your level of experience, qualifications, and sometimes the ability to market yourself.

A lot of the celebrity personal trainers mentions above, have the same level of qualification as many other trainers in the world that are making a quarter, if not less, of their salary. The main difference is that they had the ability and confidence to put themselves out there as an expert, and people will pay for expertise.

Being a personal trainer is a fantastic career, and you certainly can make a lot of money, but as you’ve seen, it takes time, confidence, and dedication.

I hope this article has inspired you to either start a career in fitness or inspired you to start making a little more. Either way, have a great day.

Go get ’em!

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Chris Walker

Chris Walker worked in the City of London as a fully qualified REP's level three personal trainer for just under ten years. He built and maintained a client base of 40 individuals and worked with several high profile clients, including actors, actresses, comedians and politicians.

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