Fitness Program Director Salary and Compensation Guide

Apr 11, 2011

Fitness/Program Directors average 43 hours a week when they are salaried, but only 26 hours per week when paid hourly, according to data from the 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report.

The large majority of fitness/program directors are employees (88%), as opposed to independent contractors (7%). Forty-four percent of facilities employ somebody in this position. Three-quarters of fitness/program directors are paid a salary (75%), a slight change from the 2008 survey (76%). The 2010 survey reflects an increase in average salary ($50,639).

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s inflation calculator, which factors in the average Consumer Price Index for a given year, this is well above the 2008 average of $46,920—even after adjustment for inflation ($47,547)—and far above the 2006 average salary of $36,468 (or $39,467 when adjusted for inflation).

In addition, about 74% of directors and coordinators teach classes, for which 40% are paid extra, which can push total income somewhat higher. The 2010 data show that a higher percentage of directors (75%) are eligible for benefits than were in 2008 (68%) and 2006 (57%). The majority of directors are also eligible for an education fund (61%), while 30% are able to receive cash incentives.

Fitness/Program Director Job Description & Stats

A fitness/program director hires and supervises staff, manages equipment, prepares budgets and schedules or oversees scheduling of classes, lectures/clinics and training.

Employment Status
independent contractor7

Payment Methods
per hour14
per class/session6
per participant5

  • 74% of directors/coordinators teach classes/sessions in addition to having management responsibilities.
  • 40% of directors/coordinators are paid separately for classes/sessions taught.

Position Perks
cash incentives30
education fund61

Pay by Hour, Class or SessionHours per Week
(n = 36)
Hourly Rate
(n = 35)

Pay by SalaryHours per Week
(n = 71)
(n = 61)

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