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Personal Trainer Salary and Compensation Guide

Personal Trainers report they are working more as employees (49%) than as independent contractors (38%), with an average of six trainers per facility, according to data from the 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report.

Sixty-five percent of the facilities surveyed employ personal trainers. Few trainers report being salaried (8%); therefore, the average personal trainer salary of $39,182 should be considered carefully, particularly as no personal trainer salaries were reported in 2008 that can be used for comparison. The personal trainers in this current survey are eligible for benefits (38%), cash incentives (37%) and education funds (50%).

The majority of the trainers in our study are paid an hourly rate, with 47% earning a percentage of the client’s fees, and the fee split remaining at about 60/40, similar to findings since 2004. The average hourly rate of $34 reflects a decline from $34.75 in 2008. When the 2008 hourly rate is adjusted for inflation ($35.21), we see an even greater decline in pay.

Trainers are potentially able to increase their income by working more hours per week; however, the number of hours worked has declined by 1 hour since 2008 (18 vs. 19). Independent contractors make a significantly higher hourly rate ($42.50) than employees ($25.50) and typically work 2 hours less per week (17) than employees (19).

Personal Trainer Job Description & Stats

Personal trainer instructs individual clients; monitors and records progress; enrolls new clients; collects fees.

Employment Status
employee 49%
independent contractor 38
both 12
Payment Methods
salary 8%
per hour 20
per class/session 62
per participant 11
Position Perks
benefits 38%
cash incentives 37
education fund 50
Pay by Hour, Class or Session Hours per Week
(n = 129)
Hourly Rate
(n = 131)
mean 18 $34
median 15 $30
mode 10 $25
minimum 1 $9
maximum 50 $150
Pay by Salary Hours per Week
(n = 12)
(n =11)
mean 34 $39,182
median 37.5 $35,000
mode 40 $35,000
minimum 5 $18,000
maximum 46 $87,000

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