Personal Trainer Yearly Income: What to Expect in the Next 5 Years

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Particularly for trainers who have a certification, the next five years are likely to be exciting and profitable. That’s because personal trainers often have a range of opportunities available, from helping individual clients to leading group classes, all in a range of settings.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2015 median pay for fitness trainers and instructors was $36,160 per year. Employment is projected to grow 8 percent within the next 10 years, but keep in mind that these numbers are averages and don’t take geographic differences into account.

Other estimates, like those from CNN, put annual salaries at closer to $56,000, with top trainers making about $125,000. The job growth rate, too, could be much higher — some note that it’s been about 24 percent for the past 10 years, and believe that personal trainer yearly income numbers should hold steady.

As health and wellness continue to be hot topics, it’s likely we’ll see those numbers continue to climb. That’s because there are several factors that will influence growth in the next five years:

Advanced Education Can Increase Pay

Like other professions, more education can translate into more responsibility, a broader client base, and multiple work environments — which can all add up to more annual income, particularly if it’s coming from multiple sources. To take advantage of those options, consider an Advanced Personal Training Certification or a Master Personal Trainer Certification.  

Similarly, trainers who get specializations in areas like sports conditioning or strength and conditioning will command higher annual salaries, because knowledge like that is in high demand at fitness facilities.

Employer-Led Wellness

In an effort to reduce healthcare costs, employers are more interested than ever in getting employees healthy, and that includes prompting them to exercise. Some employers offer incentives, like reimbursement for gym fees and training sessions.

The Society for Human Resource Management notes that seven in 10 American employers offer wellness initiatives, which represents a 60 percent jump in just the last 10 years. The organization adds that nearly two-thirds of organizations increased their wellness budgets in the past five years. At this point, employers who aren’t offering wellness perks like personal training options may not be seen as competitive. That’s good news for personal trainers, who may be able to do more with employer-sponsored clients in gyms, as well as in corporate settings when there’s a gym on a company campus.

Download the Personal Trainer Career Guide

Opportunities in Multiple Settings

If you’re an independent trainer, you’ll have more control over your annual intake versus someone who works full-time at a gym or fitness center.

But even if you fall into the latter category, you’ll likely still have options for using your knowledge to lead workshops, design group classes, and work in other places like senior centers, schools, community centers, athletic events, and corporate environments. For example, you might work in a gym as a personal trainer during the day, and as a team trainer on the weekends. That will definitely increase your annual income amount.

With factors like these, personal trainers can expect to see expanded opportunities in the next five years. Gaining additional education and staying on top of industry topics and trends could provide even more options for meeting personal, professional, and profit goals.

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