How much do Personal Trainers make?

If you want to be a personal trainer and make a living out of it, this ultimate guide will help you to know exactly how much personal trainers make.

Here we will discuss the salary of a personal trainer based on:

  • The three separate salary structure of personal trainers
  •  Gyms with the best pay
  •  How much do personal trainers make
  • How trainers earn online

 3-tier salary structure of Personal Trainers

To understand the salary structure of personal trainers we need to take a look at three places where personal trainers are hired. Based on that we can better understand their earnings.

Gym trainer

A gym hires a personal trainer on a basic pay structure that gradually increases based on incentives. Gyms also offer bonuses based on the number of people a trainer can get to enroll.

Gym incentives are strictly based on job performance while bonus depends on your capability to sell memberships, packages, and programs.

 A commercial gym recruits trainers as a W2 employee with all basic benefits.

 The drawback is your earnings are always limited as compared to the other two categories that we have discussed below.

Independent trainer

Independent trainers enjoy the complete freedom to work whenever you want and earn as much as you want.

Working as an independent trainer means you are self-employed and running your business.

You can decide your own charges and schedule your working hours as you desire. Also, since you are not employed under any organization you don’t have to follow any specific protocol.

The only drawback to this category is you must find your prospective clients yourself unless you already have a network. Also, there is no safety net of fixed earning like a salary.

Contract trainer

Contract trainer, also known as 1099 trainer, is kind of a combination of both gym trainer and independent trainer.

If you are working on a contract basis with a gym to supply necessary services to their clients, then you are paid for the work you provide bases on agreed minimums.

Also, you have the flexibility to work as a personal trainer outside your contract hours.

This category allows you to maximize your earnings by working on both fixed income as well as exploring independent earning opportunities.

Now that we’ve covered the three different salary structures we’re going to take a look at the best-paying Gyms for personal trainers.

Gyms with high pay:

We have researched top-rated Gyms to find their criteria and earning potential for personal trainers.  Here’s what we found: 

24 Hour Fitness

The gym pays a minimum of $7 per hour to a trainer according to the tier he is employed in.

The tier is decided based on a trainer’s experience and working hours. Take a look.

  •  PT1-requires CPT cert for up to 750 sessions at the rate of $7 for 50 minutes
  •  PT2- requires CPT+1 additional certs for 751 to 1500 sessions at the rate of $10 for 50 minutes.
  •  PT3- CPT+ 2 additional certs for 1501 to 2250 sessions at the rate of $13 for 50 minutes.
  • PT Elite- CPT+ 3 additional certs for 2251+ sessions at the rate of $15 for 50 minutes.
  •  Master trainer- CPT+ 3 additional certs, gym responsibilities, along with 2251+ sessions at the rate of $17 for 50 minutes.


Varies between 10 to 20 percent


Allowed for a maximum of 5 percent.


The salary structure is rather complex with a minimum of 27 sessions for each trainer every week.

 The average salary structure is decided upon the trainer's ability to work for less than 21 sessions a week which is the minimum and more than 21 sessions a week. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Tier 1: $26 to $31 per hour
  • Tier 2: $30.50 to $42.50 per hour
  • Tier 3: $36.50 to $53 per hour
  • Tier 3+: $45.50 to $61 per hour
  • TierX: $64 to $74.50 per hour


A trainer is entitled to incentives only after working for 42 sessions in 2 weeks.


The bonus amount varies from $32.75 to $82.50 based on the tier level of the trainer and his number of working sessions.

LA Fitness

The Gym pays a minimum of $6 to $7.50 per 30 minutes session and $12 to $15 for every 1-hour session.

 The session rate varies according to places of high cost and low-cost living.


None apart from conducting group sessions for an increase in the base earning.


No such option.


The Gym follows a 4-tier salary structure that starts with a base pay package of $15 per session.

 The trainers are allowed to take 2 to 20 sessions per week, each of 4 to 8 hours duration for the first 3 months. Take a look at the tier structure.

  • Tier 1: 2 sessions per week at $15 to $20
  •  Tier 2: 5 sessions per week at  $17 to $22
  •  Tier 3: 10 sessions per week at  $21 to $26
  •  Tier 4: 20 sessions per week at $23 to $30


$100 will be paid for recertification with trainer CEUs.


No such option.

Gold’s Gym

The gym has fixed a minimum wage of $10 per session that can go up to $30 per session based on the trainer’s experience and performance.


No such option.


After every 55 sessions, the trainer is entitled to a bonus amount of $400

Snap Fitness

The minimum wage for trainers at Snap Fitness ranges between $10 and $15.


No such option


No such option

Planet Fitness

At Planet Fitness, trainers are hired at a basic wage ranging between $10 and $15. However, the wage and bonus vary depending on the location where the trainer is working.


Additional earning opportunities depend on the working hours and overall performance of the trainer. It also depends on the discretion of the authority and the location of the gym.


No specific bonus structure.

Crunch Fitness

The minimum salary of a trainer at Crunch Fitness varies according to the location of the franchise. The earning structure is categorized under tiers here


Incentive depends on the tier structure and the location of the gym. It generally varies from 40 to 65 percent.


It depends on the tier structure.

Anytime Fitness

The Gym maintains a minimum wage range from $10 to $15 as per the industry standards. The wage varies depending on the location of the gym franchise.


Depends on the trainer’s ability to sell packages and conduct group classes.


Decided based on the number of monthly packages sold.

Salary of a personal trainer

Every qualified trainer looks to the career as a lucrative opportunity to make a good living. While most qualified trainers opt to join a gym as an employee,  a few love to work by their own rules as a personal trainer. Here’s a comparative study between the two.

 Benefits of a gym trainer

  • 401k health benefit that includes dental, disability, and medical coverage
  • A fixed source of income
  • Limited schedule and working hours

 Benefits of an Independent trainer

  • Set your charges and schedule according to your comfort
  • Resources are required to manage a gym infrastructure of your own
  • You are bound to your clients
  • If you have to shut down you are jobless

 Benefits of a self-sufficient personal trainer

  • Set up and operate a fitness business
  • You can rent the infrastructure for as long as you need it
  • You have to create a brand name for clients to flow-in
  • Apply your own marketing strategies, not answerable to anyone.

Income structure of an independent personal trainer

  • Gym trainer: $34,000 annually
  • Independent trainer: $62,000 annually
  • Self-sufficient trainer: $78,000 annually

Salary of an online personal trainer

In a survey on U.S fitness trainers, it has been seen that 46% of the highest-earning personal trainers work online. Online trainers working by setting up an online or e-commerce platform of their own. It is a risk-aversive way of business because you don’t have to maintain a large studio space.


Online personal trainers earn through various services that they offer other than fitness training through videos. These services mainly include different types of online consultations based on one-time or recurring payment methods. Take a look at the earning structure here.

  • Billed Consultation at $23,400
  • One-time Customized at $109,000
  • Ongoing/Recurring at $36,000

 All that comes to a total of $168,400 approximately.

We hope this comparative information has helped you answer the question of how much do personal trainers make. Also, now you know your options to choose from when starting a career in the fitness industry.