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Staffing Levels

How many staff positions do fitness businesses need to operate successfully? Among those surveyed in the IDEA Fitness Industry Salary Survey 2004, the emphasis is on teaching staff. Personal trainers (78%) and Pilates or yoga teachers (64%) are the job titles respondents report most often, followed by group fitness instructors (58%).

The businesses represent a cross
section of fitness businesses and appear to be smaller facilities. They include

  • 31% multipurpose and fitness-only health clubs
  • 25% personal training gyms and client homes
  • 14% colleges, JCCs, Ys, and parks and recreation
  • 7% yoga and Pilates studios
  • 7% group exercise studios and satellite classes

These businesses report a median of 300 clients, with a minimum of 3 clients and a maximum of 280,000.

Staff Responsibilities

Fitness/Program Director: hires and supervises staff; manages equipment; schedules or oversees scheduling of classes, lectures/clinics and training; prepares budgets.

Personal Training Director: hires, supervises and schedules trainers; plans department services; prepares budgets.

Group Exercise Coordinator: hires, trains, supervises group exercise instructors; schedules classes and teachers; may teach classes; follows budget.

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

Fitness Floor Staff: monitors equipment, supplies and people in
the fitness center.

Group Fitness Instructor: teaches general classes set to music, such as
step and mixed impact.

Specialty Instructor: teaches classes requiring specialized training, such as indoor cycling or martial arts.

Fitness Instructor: may conduct
fitness assessments, teach classes and give personal training sessions.

Pilates or Yoga Instructor: teaches classes and has specialized training in yoga or Pilates.

About the Survey

The IDEA Salary Survey 2004 was conducted in October 2004 and answered by 517 owners and managers of personal training businesses, health clubs and wellness programs in the United States and Canada. Results appear in the May 2005 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal; complete results with additional information are available through IDEA Professional Education, www.ideafit .com, or by calling IDEA member services at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7, or (858) 999-4332, ext. 7. u

Staffing Levels in Fitness Facilities

Mean Number Median Number
Have the of Staff of Staff
Position in Position in Position

Fitness/Program Director   50%

Personal Training Director   23%

Group Exercise Coordinator   31%

Personal Trainer   78%    8    4

Fitness Floor Staff   32%

Group Fitness Instructor   58%   18   10

Specialty Instructor   38%

Fitness Instructor   45%

Pilates or Yoga Instructor   64%    5    3


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