Living costs vary by region, and consequently so do salaries and wages. The 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report provides regional comparisons of average pay rates for fitness professionals located in the Northeastern, North Central, Southern and Western states. Three of the eight job categories are predominantly salaried, and the rest are paid hourly. There are no significant regional differences among the salaried positions (fitness/program directors, personal training directors and group exercise coordinators).

Among the hourly positions, wages differ significantly between regions for personal trainers, group exercise instructors and Pilates and yoga instructors, but not for specialty instructors or fitness floor staff.

Salaries for fitness/program directors are slightly higher in the West, averaging $54,647, compared with all other U.S. regions, where salaries range from $47,500 to $49,000, approximately. Personal training directors in the Northeast ($35,000), South ($34,667) and West ($37,875) all have similar salaries, while those in the North Central region earn over one-third more than those in other regions ($52,500).

Group exercise coordinators earn the least in the Northeast ($24,000) and the South ($26,667), with those in the North Central and West regions earning approximately $48,000, on average.

The highest hourly wages vary between regions and positions. The highest hourly rate for personal trainers is in the Northeast ($45.06), whereas the rate in the North Central region is significantly less ($28.78). Personal trainers in the West and South earn similar hourly rates ($32.36 and $32.76, respectively). Group exercise instructors in the West ($27.90), South ($26.41) and Northeast ($24.75) make similar wages; however, the hourly rate in the North Central region is $19.03, significantly lower than in the West.

Regional variations are also seen in rates for specialty instructors, who make more, on average, in the Northeast and South ($40.00 and $34.75, respectively) than in the West ($29.38 per hour) and considerably more than in the North Central region ($20.85).

Pilates and yoga instructors in the Northeast lead the nation in average hourly wages ($41.60), with the West not too far behind ($36.83). The South averages $28.43 per hour, and the North Central region averages $25.48 (significantly less than the Northeast). Fitness floor staff average $9.33 in the South, $10.35 in the North Central region, $11.25 in the Northeast and $14.72 in the West.