On fitness forums, including IdeaFit, I have seen this question posted quite frequently:
Which is better, to hire a personal trainer as an employee or as an independent contractor?
In the following weeks, I will attempt to explore this question from different topic angles with addressing the VERY BASICS. However, I would like to get a more in-depth perspective for my own personal knowledge as a gym owner.
I ask for feedback from you, the reader, no matter where you fit in the fitness industry!
I have posted the first of the series on my blog available at:
I personally lean towards the “independent contractor” as a gym owner or as a trainer.
Basically your renting your facility to PT’s at a set price. You have a fixed income, less paperwork (1099) and hassle.
The trainers are then responsible for any taxes etc.
I have worked in clubs being an “IC” and clubs as an employee.
When in doubt, consult an attorney and/or accountant, city, county and state laws.
when I was a trainer at a club, I was an independent contractor (and there were others as well). However, there were also trainers at the club who were part of the fitness staff.
What made it attractive for me and for the club was that I was allowed to train people who were not members. For each visit, they paid a guest fee which became a transparent item on my clients’ bill. The guest fee was at a rate that made it advantageous for my client to become members if they were training with me more than a given hours per month. The clients I brought to the club were not those that would have joined on their own, and as such it ended up being a win-win situation to all of us.
This club was a large club but it was independent and locally owned which made such a hybrid arrangement possible.
The ‘competition’ between the club trainers and myself never was one because I had my own unique set of clients, and it ended up of added benefit to the club because when I was there without a client the club had literally another trainer who members could ask question but they did not have to pay me.