T Nation

Becoming A Personal Trainer.. Again

Okay well I have posted a post exactly the same as this and i didnt really get many replies from anyone. I am looking to be a Personal Trainer in the near future and I have been researching on it. Every site says something different so I would like to get some info from anyone here that might be/has been a personal trainer.

I currently live in michigan and on career cruising it says that they make up to 30000 tops… no matter the experience unless you own your own buisness. Now is this true? Because I dont plan on having my own business in the future.

Would it just be bette to try and be a PE teacher or… I just want some opinions. Thank You

If you do not/cannot sell yourself you will make much less than that.

Do the math. 5 days a week 6 hours of training a day with you receiving $20 per hour. Gym takes a major chunk. Thats $31,200 per year. Thats cosidering your client list is continual and perfect. You will usually fluctuate between 3-6 hours a day of training.

If you do it on your own and use a certain gym as your facility you can make more per hour but you still have to kickback some.

Its a rewarding job with helping people not so much a rewarding job financially. You can put in more and more hours but you run the risk of burning yourself out and losing your mind. I’ve seen people do it first hand.

PGA200x is right, a gym is a great starting point and it will give you a feel if you want to do this full time, it is all about selling yourself and how well people like you, and also if you look the part.

There are some trainers out there who are on their own who make $150.00 an hour, one in my town, but he sure doesn’t look the part, he’s a good salesman. I will admit he’s successful, has a few trainers under him.

[quote]michaelmr wrote:
There are some trainers out there who are on their own who make $150.00 an hour, one in my town, but he sure doesn’t look the part, he’s a good salesman. I will admit he’s successful, has a few trainers under him.[/quote]

How the hell did he get himself to that point? Simply by being a marketing genius? That is incredible.

To the OP, I am in the middle of becomming a personal trainer here in Canada. We don’t have any certs that are very intense or overly challenging to get. They basically involve alot of anatomy, and basic program design and basic counselling.

I am just using it as a piece of paper to get jobs, and/or clients. Can Fit Pro is the name of the agency. Hpwever, as far as the States goes, I’m not sure what is available there. And no, the money is not great, especially if you are working for a gym.

It’s kind of a paradox, if you’re in it for the money, you wont earn much money.

I’ve been personal training for about a year (at a gym). If you are knowlegable, have good people skills and good selling skills you can do very well.

It’s not easy money! You will be frustrated, worn out, your training will suffer, say goodbye to a social life for a while, and hello to being poor for a few monthes, but for me, it does pay off. And I don’t mean that in a financial sense.

As far as getting educated, forget any online course. I would highly reccommend the school I attended, the National Personal Trainers Institute (NPTI).

It is a six month course, half classroom instruction and half gym time, cousting about $5,000 US. However, I learned more in the first month of being on the job than the time in school. That’s not to negate the value of school, since without that base I would have been lost, but rather to make the point that you have to love what you do.


The PT business is definately tough to make it in. That’s why nearly 1/2 don’t renew their cert.

It’s one thing to know anatomy and training, it’s another to be a good business person and have great people skills.

It’s going to be a struggle at first too financially while you build up clientelle.

And like mentioned, you can’t be in this for the money or people will know right off the bat and you’ll suffer. If you genuinely love this field and care about people then in the end as long as you put in the effort it will pay off.

Okay now as a full time independant CFPT i’ll throw in my 5 cents, first you will never get rich as a PT ( you might make real good money if you find the right nitch ) I do post therapy rehab and get referals thru medical offices for this service I charge more than 20.00 hr ( more like 60.00) my wife is a medical Ins biller and bills when she can my fee’s to the ins company.

and I do non medical Personal Training which I only charge 35.00 an hr if you come to me 15.00 more if I come to you! I have access to a private facility and do not have to split my fee’s.

Now for the part that you should want if you have a burning desire to improve the present industry and teach proper techniques and help others be succesful then I would say yes check into one of personally 2 Certifications of which I am Certified by both the NFPT / and ISSA both were origanally created by professional bodybuilders with assistance by top medical and sports medical professionals, with the emphasis on resistance training then cardio ect, most of the others got thier start as aerobic organizations.

I make a good living and one day will own my own studio, this industry gives me the time and opportunity to fulfil that one final dream to get on stage and compete at least once in a national contest!I say go for it but if you do go ISSA please call and ask for Debbie tell her charlievan refered you I get a little stipend, same with the NFPT if you decide to go with them email me so I can let them know I referred you.
thx and good luck.

If I can help PM me.