Earning Potential for Personal Trainers
As a qualified personal trainer, your options are not restricted to simply devising nutrition and exercise programmes, and coaching individuals to meet their goals. The opportunities for personal trainers are varied, making it an exciting industry to join right now. So, with your shiny personal training qualification under your well-toned belt, how are you planning to make a career of it?
Let’s look at the options…
Gym-based Personal Trainer
If you’re employed at a gym as a personal trainer, you can expect to earn between £16,000 to £24,000 a year. Hotels and other leisure chains tend to pay a bit less, as do the cruise liners. (However, they do pay for your room, meals and you get to do a fair bit of travel, making it an exciting opportunity for those that like an adventure!)
Freelance Personal Trainer
A freelance personal trainer has the potential to earn significantly more, but as with any self employed business, the income is directly proportionate to the quality and quantity of the work you put in! A good freelance personal trainer can expect to earn between £25,000 to £35,000 plus.
If you’re geared up for the freelance route, it’s important to plan where your income will be generated, to ensure your business is hitting the money mark…
Setting your fees at the right level is a balancing act and depends on a number of factors.
This will affect your basic rate. In the South, Personal Trainers can comfortably charge £30 per session, where a session lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. In less affluent areas, £15 per session is the average, and in London, fees of £80 per session are not uncommon.
Qualifications & Experience
The level, type and number of fitness qualifications, combined with the amount of experience in the fitness industry you have are also something to consider. If you are newly qualified and new to the industry then it may be a good idea to pitch your level a little lower e.g. £20 per hour, just to get your foot in the door and to build up your initial client base.
A disadvantage of doing it this way can be that it’s sometimes harder to increase your fees later on, particularly with existing clients. Further, those clients who can only afford to pay £20 or less per session, are likely to be less committed to sticking with you. So there is a strong argument for starting off how you mean to go on.
It takes confidence to charge the higher rates. Confidence in your business, your ability and yourself. If you charge £30 per session or more, clients will expect more from you in terms of how you present yourself. If you have a recognised personal training qualification, you are essentially, an expert in your field. Behave like one!! Sell yourself and your business, and be confident in promoting the results that you hope to achieve with your clients.
You can of course charge more should you decide to specialise or target a specific market. There are a number of personal trainers who specifically target the celebrities. Even if you only get one or two on your books the endorsement alone, and the potential for your clients to say “I have the same personal trainer as …” means you can pretty much double your fees. Celebrity trainers will charge anything from £80 to £150 per session. But again, bare in mind that there is always a pay off. Celebrities are notoriously demanding and have unsociable working hours that you will need to work around.
Alternatively, you may choose to qualify and specialise in a sports specific field and perhaps work with individual athletes or teams. While they will have their own coaches, it now common place to have separate fitness instructors who can build their fitness with specific sport requirements.
It’s important to remember that your basic rate can change, depending on how you sell your personal training services. For example, you may sell individual sessions at £30 per session, but a block of 10 for £250, reducing your session rate to £25. You may give a free session to clients for referring a friend, or offer a discount to a long term client.
However you do the sums, ensure you’re not selling yourself short!