How much does a fitness trainer earn? This is the most popular question among both fitness trainer’s job seekers and newbies and sometimes even more experienced trainers. Often, it is the issue of financial stability that is decisive when choosing a given profession. At the same time, even an experienced trainer always strives to increase his monthly income as much as possible. We will talk about how to do this and how much you can earn.
This article is a logical continuation of the cycle: “Why do people visit a fitness club”, “How does a fitness trainer earn”, and “Which way does a fitness trainer earn”, in which I talked about what a value proposition is, what a target market is and in what ways you can satisfy the market needs with your goods or services. In this article, I will offer a basic empirical formula into which you can put your numbers and determine how much you yourself in your city, in your club, and in your working conditions can earn in a month.
In order to find out how much a fitness trainer earns, first of all, it is necessary to divide his ways of earning into two categories: active income and passive income. Literally, this means the following. Active income is a way of earning money in which the trainer is constantly involved, for example, every day or every other day from morning to evening, or in some half of the day. For most trainers, this is the main and only way of earning money. Passive income is a way of earning money that brings you cash even without your direct involvement. You can invest money somewhere, make an online store, sell ad time or space on your website or channel, and more. To create a passive source of income, you need desire, time, effort, money, and people who will help to get it all started. Since this process is long, multifaceted, and more difficult to implement, very few trainers have such a source of income. A passive source of income can be created based on almost any of the eight forms of value that I cited in the article “How does a fitness trainer earn” (see the link above). Today we will talk about what interests everyone – how much a fitness trainer earns directly from training.
How much does a fitness trainer earn
Rather, let’s reformulate a little – how much a fitness trainer can earn. This will be more correct. The main income of a trainer is sales of personal training. We don’t take into account the income from sales of training and nutrition plans, since this value is very inconstant. Let’s first derive an empirical formula and carry out basic calculations of monthly earnings under specific working conditions. Take the trainer “X”, who lives and works in a city of about a million inhabitants, and this is not the capital but also, not a remote province. He works in a mid-range fitness club in shifts with other trainers. His shifts are Mon/Wed/Fri from 8 am to 3 pm. The cost of one personal training, for example, is $20. The cost of one hour of duty shift is $15. He works with the club on a 50/50 basis, that is, he divides his profit with the club by half.
On average, one personal training session takes +/- 1 hour of time. This means that in a successful scenario, that is, with full employment, in 7 hours of a work shift, you will have time to do about seven workouts and earn 7×20 = 140/2 = $70+$105 for a shift on duty = $175 per shift. Three shifts per week = 175×3 = $525×4 weeks = $2,100 per month. And I repeat this – in the ideal case when the trainer is busy all day he works out a shift with seven different clients without a break, and during the month not a single client ever misses a workout.
Now let’s imagine that our trainer got a second job in another club, more prestigious or more budgetary, on Tue/Thu/Sat shifts from 15 pm to 22 pm. In the first case, if the cost of his training is equal to, say, $50, and the cost hours of a shift on duty, for example, $20, then in the same ideal case, with full employment and a 50/50 scheme, per shift he will earn 7×50 = 350/2+140 = $315×3 shifts per week = $945×4 weeks = $3,780 per month. In the second case, if the cost of his training is equal to, say, $10, and the cost of an hour of duty shift is also $10, then ideally his earnings will look like this: 7×10 = 70/2+70 = 105×3 shifts per week = 315×4 weeks = $1,260 per month. If we add up the income from two jobs, then by the end of the month in the first case (average + prestigious club) the coach will earn $2,100+$3,780 = $5,880. In the second case (average + budget club), his income will be equal to $2,100+$1,260 = $3,360. This is just training, without taking into account the sold training programs, nutrition plans, as well as all kinds of bonuses and percentages from the sale of extra services of the club.
Keep in mind that the larger or smaller the locality, the more expensive or cheaper personal trainings with a trainer are. Moreover, in the capital, prices can be strikingly different from the regions. The level of the club also plays an important role in earnings: budget, medium or prestigious. If you want to find out how much a fitness trainer earns, your task is to find or choose a club in which you want to work, go there and, as a visitor, simply ask the administrator at the reception, or even better, directly from one of the trainers – how many shifts per week he works, how long does this shift last, how much one personal training costs and how much his duty hours cost. These are the four parameters you need to empirically calculate your “ideal” income. Knowing these parameters, you can estimate how much at least approximately you can earn in a month, subject to the conditions described above. Moreover, this formula is good in that you can substitute any number of clients into it. With it, you can calculate how much you can earn in a month. Who knows, maybe these are the exact numbers that you will have to start your career with.
Ways to increase the income of a fitness trainer
Now let’s figure out how much a fitness trainer earns if he can’t or doesn’t want to look for a second job. Below I will give five ways how you can increase your income in the shortest possible time.
- Method number 1. Take refresher courses. It can be said in another way – invest in your development. The more you learn and study, the more valuable you are as a specialist, and this, in turn, gives you the opportunity to add value to your personal training. The fact that the cost of your personal training is now $20 doesn’t mean at all that this price will always be the same. Once in half a year, take refresher courses and after receiving the next certificate, increase the cost of your services. This way you will earn more.
- Method number 2. Take additional clients who you can train even after the end of your shift or even on other days. Among the trainers, there is an unspoken rule “On the shift of one trainer, another one shouldn’t look for clients for himself”. However, if on your shift you find a client who is ready to buy personal training from you, but only after 6 pm and your shift ends at 3 pm, there is nothing to worry about. You just come to the club on the agreed day and time and work with “your” client. Which trainer is now on the shift doesn’t play a role in this case.
- Method number 3. Take extra shifts. This option is only possible if there are not enough trainers in the club. Either one of them went on sick leave, or asked to replace him, or quit and the management has not yet found a replacement for him. Everything is simple here, additional shifts include additional clients and additional paid duty hours. Both on the main and on the additional shifts, your task is not to stick around but to approach clients and communicate with them. Clients tend to be shy and prefer to be approached by the trainer first.
- Method number 4. Promote additional club services. It can literally be anything your fitness club sells. Discuss with the management the amount of interest that you will receive from each sale and earn extra money on this. Most often, a fitness bar works according to this principle. The trainer receives a percentage from each unit of sports nutrition sold. This is how both the club and the trainer earn. In the same way, on a percentage of sales, you can promote the services of a massage parlor, solarium, sauna, and even other trainers.
- Method number 5. Create your own product or service and sell it within the club. These can be the training courses (but only experienced trainers-methodologists should do this). Recently, fitness tours combined with a trip to the sea have become very popular. It can also be, for example, a 3-month program for pumping up or reducing body weight. You can also organize a one-time tournament with membership fees and prizes. But just remember that your profit should always be included in each of these options.
The main principle of working with clients
Since a trainer’s job is to train, no matter how trite it may sound, the main source of income for him is clients, and the main thing that any trainer earns on is the sale of his personal training. All five ways to earn more from the previous paragraph bring you income precisely and only through clients. Thus, how much a fitness trainer earns largely depends on his ability to find and retain clients, and here’s why.
In marketing, there is such a concept as CLTV (Client lifetime value) – it means the total earnings received during the entire time of cooperation with the client. This refers to how much money you will make from one client if he uses your services all his life. This term clearly demonstrates why retaining customers is much more effective than looking for new ones every time. Let’s take an example.
The trainer has a client who buys personal training three times a week. If one session costs, let’s say $10, then this is 30/2 = $15 per week x 4 = $60 per month. If you can retain a client for a year, then with a rough estimate, he will bring you a total of 60×12 = $720. Now imagine that he stayed with you for only a month and either went to another trainer or stopped training altogether under any pretext. Firstly, you missed a source of income in the long term, and secondly, you urgently need to look for a new client, and this can take time, during which you will actually lose money. There is also a special term for such a case. It’s called lost profits. In this case, this is what you could have made if you had saved the client. Hence the conclusion – if you want to earn more, don’t scatter clients, but on the contrary – keep them, make friends with them, get acquainted with their families and they will come only to you and bring to you their children, friends, and relatives.
Summing up, the following can be said for sure. How much a fitness trainer earns depends primarily on his ability to work. Even if you have a desire, but you don’t have the time or energy, pay attention to passive ways of earning money that doesn’t require your participation or presence. Spend your efforts, time, and money once on creating some value that will generate income without your active participation, and then only reap the fruits of your work. Ultimately, if passive income becomes more profitable than basic income, it will be possible to retire altogether, quit work and do some other favorite thing. But it will be later. And first, you have to work, work and work again anyway. Your earnings always depend only on you.
Felix Palmer – author of the blog crusfit.com