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08 Jun 12

How much does a personal trainer earn?

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This week’s fitness blog takes a look at how much you can earn working as a personal trainer in the fitness industry.

Gym instructor apprenticeships
Anyone aged 16-24 can apply for an entry-level apprenticeship as a gym instructor, which pays £2.65 an hour for a 30-hour week. As experts in training fitness instructors, CMS can provide a route in by finding the apprentice a suitable employer and helping them train for their Level 2 qualification. This can be done through e-learning or one day a week at the CMS training offices in Huddersfield.

Increasing your earning potential as a personal trainer
For someone employed as a Level 2 gym instructor, a basic annual salary would be around £13k-£15k but there are plenty of opportunities to increase earning potential.

Most employers will pay around £20 an hour for a personal trainer to deliver an exercise class such as circuit training, spinning, body pump or aerobics. You only need to add one class a week to your schedule to earn a further £1,000 a year and some personal trainers will deliver between one to four classes a week. Some fitness professionals will deliver as many as 20+ exercise classes a week.

Some clubs will expect a personal trainer to deliver classes as part of their normal shift, with or without extra pay. If an instructor is asked to come back to the gym outside their shift time to take a class, they are more likely to get paid for it.

If you work out of a leisure centre, you may consider taking an ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) Level 1 or Level 2 qualification to teach children’s swimming classes.

Deputy manager and manager roles at fitness centres
A deputy manager will be looking at a basic wage of around £17K-£20k and a manager’s salary can top £30k+, depending on whether it’s a small private gym with a few hundred members or a larger, more exclusive centre with several thousand members and more facilities.

Meeting targets can increase your salary further, although if you need to be available to cover for absent staff, you may not be able to take on additional training and classes.

Supplementing your basic income as a personal trainer
If you are motivated, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to supplement your basic income as a fitness instructor, but you have to be prepared to put in the time and accept the disruption to your social life. Most classes are taught in the evenings and at weekends to fit in with the busiest period at the gym, so it helps if you enjoy the work.

Teaching classes, in and outside of a gym environment
A fitness instructor could also rent out a local studio, town hall or other facility to teach their chosen classes. Even a small group of 10 people paying £3.50 each for a class can work out as a decent hourly rate. If you rent a space in a gym, you’ll need to check if they charge a flat fee or a proportion of your clients’ fees and whether you can bring in non-members.

Sports massage and training
Other options for increasing earning potential include taking on GP referrals and working with people struggling with obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions. You can also train for a Level 3 and Level 4 sports massage qualification, either in addition to your personal trainer qualifications or as an alternative.

Local football clubs often welcome qualified fitness instructors to devise training programmes and offer sports conditioning for their players. Even if players pay a basic sub of £1 or £2 per player for an hour’s training, with 15 or 20 players and two or three teams, you can add a reasonable sum to your weekly income.

Other options include working with or within the emergency services, the armed forces or with sporting organisations such as the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association).

High-end personal training
Personal trainers who set up their own gym or studios or restrict their work to high-end clients can earn as much as, or more than, fitness centre managers. Some are booked out 30-40 hours a week training clients, others will take on fewer clients but charge as much as £1,000 for six weeks’ work with an individual client. They will also get the satisfaction of working with highly motivated clients, who have paid high charges to get results and are committed to the programme set by their personal trainer.

Training outside the gym
Training can also take place outside the gym environment. Some personal trainers will visit clients and train them in their home gym; alternatively they might offer classes or personal training in parks and open spaces, using portable equipment such as elastic cables, medicine balls or suspension equipment.

Working within the personal training industry
Within the training industry, there are roles as a tutor or assessor for a training provider, or as an internal verifier evaluating the quality of training delivery and assessment. External verifiers visit training providers and assess, rate and approve companies such as CMS as training bodies within the industry.

Tell CMS what you think of todays fitness blog and get involved! 

For for information on becoming a fitness instructor or personal trainer visit CMS Fitness Courses

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