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Personal Training: What Kind of Earnings Can You Expect?

By Yann, published on 07/06/2018 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > What is a Personal Trainer Salary?

Sports coaching is a career choice that is undeniably attractive.

It is an occupation that at first, has a sexy and fantasy side, it is true.

What’s more appealing than sculpting someone’s body, helping a person lose weight, keeping fit or getting fit? It’s stimulating for everyone.

We can not deny either the “trend” or the “fashion” side that also surrounds the in-home coaching profession these days. We can see it in TV reports, reality shows, movies and commercials.

In a society more and more concerned with their self-image,  sports coaching has a bright future ahead of it by surfing the wave of interest in well-being!

But beyond the world of rhinestones and sequins that we are sold: what is the advice of an in-home fitness professional really worth? How much does an individual personal coach receive per month?

Is it viable to engage in this physical activity- personal service?

Let’s jump into the sports coaching business!

A Little Reminder: What is a Personal Trainer?

To be fair… the job of an in-home personal trainer or online fitness instructor is enviable in many ways!

This is why many sports enthusiasts are interested in jumping into sports coaching to make a real job out of their passion. Though we can find a lot of testimonials from sports coaches who have taken the plunge and reoriented their career into personal training, the monetary question remains largely unanswered.

Because indeed, beyond the passionate aspect of this profession, sports coaching has a lot of other assets such as being able to:

  • Manage your own schedule
  • Meet new people every week
  • And inevitably work with lots of different personalities and people who are interested in improving their lives

Far from the classic mould of working in a corporate company, where we tend to cross the same people every day of the week!

Personal training offers alternative jobs for teachers in physical education that involve a much deeper relationship with the athletes that your usual turn about the court in PE classes.

A coach supports his clients in mind, body and spirit. A coach offers physical support for his clients, but also emotional and psychological support! (Source: Pixabay)

But the most stimulating aspect is probably the monitoring and supporting of real fitness goals:

  • Overall fitness and conditioning
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle building
  • Nutrition and wellness
  • Recovery or endurance improvement through a suitable training program
  • To learn a new sport

And on top of all that, you’ll be paid to do it!

But before looking at the specific salary examples for those who wish to become a fitness instructor, it’s good to get on the same page as to what exactly is a “personal trainer” or sports coach?

Before considering re-inventing yourself into this environment, it is important to consider the profession by examining the two words that make it up: “coach” and “sports”.

If the sports aspect seems obvious to you, it includes many things:

  • Bodybuilding exercises
  • Cardio training
  • Abs, glutes, thighs, arms
  • Weightlifting
  • Learning a specific sport (boxing, kickboxing, zumba, pilates, yoga, rowing, running etc)

And not only all of this! Working in the world of sports also means having an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the human body! The science and techniques of the body, in short. Its possibilities, its potential and its limits. How to avoid injuries while at the same time helping a client to improve quickly.

Also… people often expect a personal fitness coach’s advice on diet and nutrition, i.e. the best ways to lose weight and burn calories.

Without being at the level of knowledge of a nutritionist, it will still be necessary to be able to bring specific and professional answers to your clients, according to the objectives and expectations of each of your future students.

Finally, the word “coach” is probably as important as “athletic”. A physical trainer cannot simply give instructions to a student by explaining the technique to do this or that exercise. Of course, it also means showing the techniques to your students with your own body and movements.

The purely coaching aspect is essential in this business. And it means to become much more than a sports teacher!

It will be important to convey motivation and energy to each training session:

  • To help your clients find energy through your encouragement where they didn’t know they had any more
  • Set goals and above all, ensure that your students never lose sight of them!
  • Manage small drops in morale and self-confidence
  • Help them to forget the stressors of everyday life

In short, show your understanding, determination, encouragement, motivation and flexibility all at the same time! What a program! But that’s what makes the coaching profession so exciting!

In other words, a job that is totally fascinating and stimulating!

How Much Does a Personal Trainer Earn on Superprof?

Now that the basics are laid out, and it’s important to do it: how much does a personal trainer earn?

With this question, we’re happy to be able to bring you a precise answer, as it’s been two years since Superprof has published annual reports on the figures of their private courses in the UK.

Like this, private teachers and their students can learn about major developments in the profession, and the two parties can finally know the average salary of private teachers based on subject and location.

Regarding personal training, we can already tell you that the average price is among the highest recorded on the site. Sports coaching at home, which has become one of our bestsellers, costs a lot more to a student than a math class would.

A fitness personal trainer asks on average £28/ hour to his students on Superprof of the more than 800 trainers registered. There is also an abundance of those offering online courses, the numbers climbing each year as online fitness becomes more and more popular. Superprof offers access to 553 Personal Trainers giving lessons on webcam with an average hourly rate of £24/ hour.

Switching to a platform like Superprof means making sure you have direct contact with potential customers and sets aside a part of the need to search for clients, which is an extremely time-consuming part of being a freelancer, especially in the first few weeks or months after you begin.

This is the easiest way to find students quickly, and in addition, it’s free! All you need to do is create your profile, fill in your information, set your rate and voila, you’re up and running!

Set your own schedule as a personal trainer. Being a sports coach at home offers real freedom in your life and career! (Source: Pixabay)

How Much Can I Expect to Earn Per Month?

Of course, Superprof is not the only player in private lessons and sports coaching at home in the UK. Many teachers today, thanks to all the platforms available online, manage to find students for their sports sessions.

It is therefore interesting to gather testimonials to find new answers to the question: how much does a sports coach earn?

Let’s try to make a business report.

Is it really the lucrative Eldorado that it’s claimed to be?

If we listen to TV reports in England or in the USA, we’re working at a dream job, but are they really in touch with reality?

Everyone will have to form their own opinion, there is no question of stating a firm yes or no in this article, we simply want to give you all the info so you can start out ahead of the game!

Big disparities according to the profiles

As we can see on many platforms, there are certain differentiating criteria that can explain how salary levels can sometimes range from four times more and even higher in some rare cases.

  • First, salary differences can be explained by geographic location. Indeed, according to many Superprof statistics, sports coaching courses are more expensive in London and the surrounding areas than in other cities in the country. In London, the average climbs to £33 as an hourly wage whereas the average is £23 for smaller cities which also have a smaller pool of teachers.
  • Researching and choosing the best region for you can be a good business decision. Do you want to work in an expensive city where you can charge more for the same services (but have more competition)? Or would you rather work in a smaller region with less competition (but charge less)? In summary, it is possible to find customers willing to pay higher from one region to another.
  • Diplomas and experience are also a differentiating factor and, therefore, offer a potential increase in rates. Although there is no formal recognition of the personal training profession by legal authorities, this doesn’t mean that customers don’t want to choose an experienced and educated trainer… and will be willing to pay for the quality and confidence in your abilities. Indeed, it is much easier finding a job and clients if you can show them a degree or diploma focused on sports, fitness and coaching. There are many courses and training options, which you can read about below and in other informative blogs on Superprof.
  • Nevertheless, it is quite possible to start without any diploma and to bet on your personal experience helping you build your reputation bit by bit. Keep in mind, however, that a thorough knowledge of the body is an essential prerequisite to ensure the safety of your students!

Train celebrities and increase your popularity. Adding a celebrity’s name to your address book greatly increases your rates! (Source: PopSugar)

But how to become a personal trainer? How to become a sports teacher? How to become a coach? There are many sports professions, so which training should you choose?

As we started to say above, schooling and a sports instructor training will allow you to ask for and receive a higher salary.

And for good reason, showing a diploma in personal training, or a degree in sports and fitness, will always make you more desirable as a coach.

It shows you are a top athlete and a professional!

Here are some course options which you can take beforehand, to start your career with a higher salary:

  • If you’ve already worked as a Gym Instructor, you can qualify as a personal trainer by getting a Certificate in Personal Training
  • If you are an experienced fitness instructor you could take: Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing – Gym, Level 2 Diploma in Health, Fitness, and Exercise Instruction, Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
  • If you want to take further qualifications to specify even further in this career, you can take the advanced training and receive either a Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training, Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training
  • There are also University degrees such as: Sports Studies BA (Hons), Sport Coaching and Development BA (Hons) top-up degree, Physical Education BA (Hons)
  • among many other options…

Note that specialization is a double-edged sword, it will be possible to charge more for your classes as a true specialist and professional but on the other hand, the target audience can be reduced. It’s a decision to make with a lot of thought.

Become a specialist in yoga, pilates or boxing? Specializing, a good or bad idea? (Source: Pixabay)

These courses allow you to establish a legitimacy in your personal training practice.

They are a guarantee of the seriousness and reliability of you as a coach.

Obviously, at the financial level, these training options allow you to charge more than a trainer who has none.

Once again they are not mandatory, however, these courses should be seen as an investment in your career development and future success.

Finally, it seems obvious that an in-home sports teacher can boost his profile with experience and references:

  • These references can be purely athletic: dramatic weight loss in many clients, or effective muscle building techniques. Results that you can prove by videos or photos.
  • The reference can also be a name: a personality. If a celebrity trusts you and has been satisfied with your services, you can greatly increase your rates!

Therefore, despite all these factors that can explain the differences in salary between two or more coaches, it is difficult to have a truly representative average and the range skews very wide.

According to Payscale, the average yearly salary for a UK personal trainer is about £20, 000 per year which amounts to about £1665 per month.

This a very rough estimate as salaries can vary widely depending on many factors we discussed, region, professional qualifications and especially if the coach is just beginning or is a seasoned professional.

Discovery.uk.co notes that a beginner coach can expect to make about £14 to £18k a year freelancing in a health club. Whereas a freelancer in a health or fitness club with an established reputation could make between £40 to £60k a year. What a large range in monthly wages, between £1100 to £5000 per month!

And then there’s those lucky few who because of a combination of luck, skills and marketing can ask up to £1000 per HOUR!

Another example is found in the interview conducted by Le Parisien Etudiant with Jean-Pierre Clémenceau, a celebrity personal trainer and connoisseur of the profession.

For his part, he is happy to charge his services between 80 and 150 € per hour and takes home about 2800 € per month. However, he mentions others who start out at about 1300 € /month as a beginner, and those lucky few who make up to 10 000 €/ month for coaches with a wealthy clientele!

Note that in sports coaching and especially when working with various personalities, word of mouth is a great tool to help fill up your schedule and your wallet!

As you can see, a monthly personal trainer’s salary varies widely across the spectrum, but does point to a reasonable wage in an enjoyable career as an in-home fitness instructor.

Don’t Forget: Business Fees and Extras!

While it is important to look at where the money might be coming in from, it is equally important to look at your cash outflows and, therefore, to have a tax regime and bookkeeping adapted to your profession as a sports coach.

Most of those who engage in sports coaching do so either as a salaried worker with a company or as a self-employed entrepreneur.

As a salaried employee, you may have access to benefits, sick leave, holidays and other pluses as being part of a company.

Whereas, as an entrepreneur, you may have the benefit of claiming small business deductions such as the use of your car, home, advertising, equipment and more. Plus you’ll have all the freedoms of being your own boss!

It will be important to speak with an accountant to discuss your options and especially to seek support with bookkeeping and taxes as an entrepreneur.

Controlling cash flow and the sustainability of an activity also means managing the expense items. All of the potential costs must be taken into account (bookkeeping, taxes, advertising, training and more) before embarking on this career path, even if it’s not your strong suit! Planning, research and organization are key elements to being successful!

Note that it will also be necessary to subtract from your salary a personal training insurance, which is essential for your protection in case of the unfortunate injury of one of your students.

Making a Living as a Personal Trainer: the Pros and the Cons!

The Pros

The big advantage of earning a living as an individual coach is to be able to offer a rather high hourly rate. To which it will obviously be necessary to subtract charges, but still remains at the end of the day, a decent salary.

Especially since you are the only one to decide on the amount. According to local prices, but also according to the value that you give to what you have to offer! This can be a positive factor for some, but pose problems for others, when it comes to numerically evaluating the value of the services they offer. However, it is important to find a fair price, both consistent with the market but also with your skills. Do not underestimate yourself but do not overestimate your prices, especially at the beginning. It is always possible to increase your rates as your calendar fills up and your reputation grows.

In addition, the job of a self-employed personal trainer has few limits. Freedom is great. Like that of being your own boss. To be able to do something productive and lucrative between your own fitness classes too. Deciding to work more during certain periods to maximize your income. Or a little less sometimes if you need to take time off. You can decide it all.

Save up for a rainy day.. especially as a personal trainer! Make sure to have savings in case of a dip in clients and courses! (Source: Pixabay)

The Cons

The big disadvantage, in our opinion, lies in the slightly “unpredictable” side of the schedule. A sports coach can indeed end up teaching late at night, during weekends or holidays, between noon and two… For coaches giving courses to celebrities, it will even be necessary in some cases to remain reachable at any and all times, which can restrict the feeling of freedom.

The management of sometimes irregular tax forms and bookkeeping can also be a disadvantage if this kind of thing is not your strong suit.

It’s not just personal training that can cause these problems but being self-employed in general.

Thus, to avoid going into debt, it is important to “balance your spending”, that is to say, to save a lot in the months where you have many contracts and customers and watch your spending in the leaner months.

This allows you to have a more or less consistent lifestyle and limit the impact of an irregular schedule and income.

Finally, as the physical body of a coach is his main work tool, it also poses a risk to your finances in the case of a personal injury.

The advice we give you is to take a specific insurance to alleviate the burden in case this kind of mishap should ever arise. You’ll avoid being without money for several weeks or even months in case of a more serious injury.

And of course, take care of yourself! You are a physical trainer.

The advice you give your students to not hurt themselves also applies to you! Do not go beyond your limits!

In Summary:

  • Sports coaching has been on the rise for a few years. The increasing interest in health and well-being proves this fitness trend is not going anywhere for awhile.
  • Through the article, we saw that it was not possible to precisely quantify the salary of a personal trainer, as there are many variables which can influence it such as the choice of work environment, region, professional accreditation, advertising, the experience gained over the years, the nature of the clients, or the specificity or originality of the courses offered.
  • The more advantages you put on your side in personal training, the better, and the more value you can add and price you can charge for your sessions!

Now discover the ins and outs of becoming a personal trainer in the UK…

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