You have all the answers you need here. I would like to add the option of working for you or for someone else. Working for yourself is always more rewarding than splitting your income with someone else. When I started my own business, my income was 4-5 x more than what I made when I worked for someone else. It all depends on how many hours you work and what your rate is.
I really believe that it takes a lot of time to build reputation and to market yourself and unless you have a side job or some extra cash that can support you while you grow your business don’t do it!! Sorry but I thing that the trainers get frustrated when they try and keep trying to find more costumers and the reality is that not every one have the cash flow to pay some one between 300-500 a month to be train, plus with all the new technology you can buy an online exercise plan an flow it for less money, now everything is on the internet and get a personal trainer certification is not that hard, now there is hundreds of associations or national council that can get you certified very easy
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It’s such a tough question because it all depends on how much work you put in. How much effort and how much of a career you want to make out of it. Are you looking to do just do it as a part time while you do something else? Are you trying to do it for a living and make a life out of it?
For me, when I first started, I went straight to work for myself. It was hard to make a living from it at first. I didn’t have a client base, I was building my business/clients up.
For quite sometime, I was part time trainer/business owner (so I worked another job as well). Now, though I’m a full time trainer, with my own facility and have two full time personal trainers. It was about 6 years in the making. Last year, was the last year I was the only trainer, my company made over 6 figure in revenue with me being the only trainer.
This year, I have two full time trainers and myself (so 3 trainers). I was able to pay myself a 6 figure salary. I work a ton, running and managing a business and also training. I LOVE IT THOUGH!
It’s really what you make out of it and how long you want to do it. For me, I was always in it for the long run. Year 1: I made about $13k part time, year 2: made about 23k part time, year 3 & 4, about 30k part time. As mentioned, year 7: I made 6 figure in revenue (being the only trainer), year 8: I made 6 figure in salary.
There are a lot of potential to do well, the place where you’ll make the most money is being a business owner. But are you cut out to be a business owner, do you want that work or responsibility?
MOST IMPORTANT: You need to help people in order to succeed, bad personal trainers don’t last long. So make helping people and transforming clients’ lives a priority! If you make helping people/clients achieve their fitness goals your priority then you will always have clients. Your successful clients will be a walking billboard for you.
I didn’t go into the field for money, if I did, I would have quit within the first few years. As you saw from above, since I was self employed I didn’t have enough clients to support myself at first. HOWEVER, after making a name for myself and helping countless of clients – the money really started to flow in.
If you are strictly looking for a career where you want to make a lot of money, I don’t think a personal trainer is the way to go. If you are looking to help people and are patient then it’s a good career.
Best of luck,