T Nation

Career Change

To all those who are Personal Trainers - Can I support a family of 4 on income from personal training? My current job is sucking the life out of me but it pays well, with health benefits and a savings plan . With my current knowledge of personal training and the income I can expect I’m not sure I would be doing the responsible thing by making the change. I know some of you are do this (Personal Training) for a living. Can I expect an income of 50 to 70 thousand dollars per year?

What are you thinking? Fifty to seventy grand for a personal trainer? You better have some kind of degree. If not, I know personal trainers who reel in about 20,000 a year with an ACE certification. Keep your day job, man.

Only the ones who REALLY know how to market themselves, and can become essentially a “trainer to the stars” will make that kind of money. Of course that also almost requires having some sort of title to your name, and I’m not talking a certification – more like “champion” whatever (Billy Blanks has several martial arts titles). It’s tough. If you really want to give it a go, try starting out part time and keep your day job.

Personal training can take time to get started, so I would suggest keeping your day job and try training part time to see if it something you really want to make a career of. I have worked as a trainer for 24 Hour fitness for over a year now. That might be a suggestion for you to try training through a gym. 24 Hour Fitness pays to put you througha certification and it is a very good one at that. It deals with a lot of techniques which Paul Check talks about. Training can be a good career, but make sure you really do enjoy it before you make a career of it.

Personal trainer salaries vary tremendously. I work at a university gym and make 10 dollars an hour. In general, the going rate is 20-30. It is extremely difficult to make a good living training at a commercial gym. I’ve 2 people who make an excellent livings off personal training. One has his own personal training studio and the other goes to the houses of his clients. It has taken both quite a while to build up a large client base. Although you can make 50K-70K personal training it won’t be easy. As others have said, it is extremely important how you market yourself. If you get a couple of wealthy clients who like you, it should be easy to get new referrals. Good luck.