Personal Trainer Salary – How to earn 50k per annum

How to earn a 50k per annum personal trainer salary

If a personal trainer job is where you’re heading, you’ll be thinking closely about the personal trainer salary you can expect to earn. Discover how to set your hourly rates to maximise your earnings and hit the £50k benchmark.

The majority of personal trainers enter the industry because of their passion for fitness, health and well-being. They are advocates about the benefits of exercise and want to help others. Top of the list is an ambition to inspire, motivate and coach clients, achieving results that often seem impossible.

With this in mind many PT’s find it hard to think about salary. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of going from one client to the next, delivering great results, but lacking a proper grasp on the financials. Soon despondency sets in as it becomes a struggle to earn a decent living that recognises all their hard work. But the reality is this isn’t a hobby or a free service, it’s your livelihood. To be blunt, you should expect a decent wage for your professional expertise and the transformational results you help deliver.

Industry Outlook

According to IBISWorld the personal training industry is expected to see more growth in the next five years. Savvy PT’s are coming out of the pandemic having embraced the online and digital fitness boom meaning they can work with clients on a global scale.

What’s more the gym sector continues to expand with new services, fitness concepts and state of the art equipment. This results in higher overall demand from clients wanting to shape up and become fitter.

Today, national gyms, budget gyms, boutique services, niche fitness centres and private PT studios are all common place. Undeniably this is excellent news for personal trainers keen to enter the industry and advance their careers.

How much do personal trainers make?

According to pay scale the average personal training salary per hour is £24.86 rising to £47.97 at the higher end. Reported salaries were highest in The Gym with an average hourly rate of £28.

Of course rates vary by location, with London and large UK cities like Manchester and Birmingham attracting a premium wage. On the flip side Belfast and Glasgow are at the lower salary end of the scale.

Another important point is that your level of experience also affects your earnings. You’ll need a level 3 PT certification to work as a personal trainer but can then progress and charge higher rates. For example, a level 4 PT can expect to earn a higher personal trainer salary in recognition of their advanced skills and expertise. Another great example is offering nutrition coaching. Here, pay scale suggest this can add 21% to your prices.

Did you know that working arrangements can also significantly affect the amount of money you earn? In most cases freelance personal trainers can make more money than gym based personal trainers. This is because they set their own prices and earn all of the money they charge clients, after costs, expenses and taxes. But this isn’t for everyone. The downside being you’re on your own and may find it harder to attract clients away from the gym.

What it takes to earn a £50k personal training salary

In order to hit your £50k salary goal you need to think about the hourly rate to charge your PT clients. Plus, how this stacks up overall financially.

As an illustration, here’s how different personal trainer wages stack up based on a 35 hour working week, spread across 48 weeks per year.

Hourly Rate (£)




Annual Salary (£/k)




Firstly, you charge an average of £20.00 per hour.

In this situation you are earning £33.6k per annum. To hit £50k at this price point you’d need to work an extra 17 hours, totalling 52 hours every week. Of course this isn’t something we’d advocate at the Academy of Fitness Professionals.

So let’s look at what happens when you decide to charge a higher hourly rate.

Secondly, you charge an average of £30.00 per hour

As shown in the table you’ve cracked it! Setting your rate at this level delivers a £50k personal trainer salary. What’s more you’re working a very realistic 35 hours a week.

Now consider this.

Thirdly, you charge an average of £40.00 per hour

Here, you’ve gone way beyond your salary goal and are heading towards the £70k per annum bracket. To maintain your £50k salary you can work less hours, totalling 26 per week. Or you can work the additional hours and enjoy the benefits of even greater earnings!

Summing up, the second and third options lead to earnings of £50k. However, charging £40.00 per hour offers a far quicker and easier route. Further, it frees up spare hours each week to see more clients, widen your skills, develop your PT business or enjoy the work life balance benefits.

Earning good money

Another key factor that influences personal trainer salary levels is how you structure your business, the clients you target and the services you offer.

We chatted to some of our leading PT’s and graduates to identify some tried and tested ways they’ve boosted their wages to much higher levels.

Prioritise your website

Once you’ve qualified as a personal trainer you’ll be thinking about getting your first few clients. Your focus is likely to be on how you can help them, delivering results that meet their goals. You’ll be excited to get going putting all your new skills into practice. While all this enthusiasm is great, it’s all too easy to neglect the business side of personal training and the importance of a web presence.

Most clients will carry out their research for a personal trainer, and make decisions about your business via the internet. Given this, getting a mobile friendly website with connected social media channels is a top priority.

Time taken here is well spent as your website is ultimately your shop window. It’s where clients will find you online, seek out information and hopefully decide to enquire about hiring you. Personal Trainer, Alex Atkins agrees that building an online reputation is key. She advocates starting small with a few clients to free up time to get the business operation up and running.

Google and other search engines use complex algorithms that decide how your site will rank. So, the more you can focus on building your credibility online and positioning yourself as the go to personal trainer in your area, the better. Update your website content on a regular basis with inspiring testimonials, before and after pictures, informative blogs and lifestyle hints and tips.

A great website doesn’t need to cost that much. But we do recommend using a professional web designer who can assist with optimising your site so it ranks for your target markets and locations. Learn to track the sites effectiveness, observe key results and understand who you’re competing with on-line in your area.

Benefits to your PT salary

A great looking website that ranks well in search engines will help you stay one step ahead of the competition. Interested clients can easily find you online, browse articles, services and pricing and easily make contact. You can even integrate a PT booking app so that clients can easily book and pay for sessions online and schedule their appointments.

Remember, the more prospects you have the greater opportunity there is to gain new clients and accelerate your earnings.

Identify key client markets

Maximising your salary is also linked to being really clear on which client groups and markets you wish to service. Sounds simple, right? In practice for the newbie personal trainer it can be really tempting to take on all clients that come your way, whatever the hourly rate. After all it’s all money in your back pocket.

Unsurprisingly, this scattergun approach can easily backfire. We know of PT’s who thought the weight loss market would be the way to go and then realised this wasn’t for them, only to then struggle to deliver the results they hoped for.

So, make sure you would actually enjoy working with your target client groups from the outset. From here you can build up a reputation and credible results and truly shine in your profession.

This brings us nicely onto how you know what client groups you’ll work best with? A great place to start is thinking about why you wanted to get involved with personal training in the first place. Ask yourself, what interests you the most and inspires you about this career?

Perhaps it’s helping clients manage stress and adopt healthier, more active lifestyles? In that case the corporate market may be perfect for you!

On the other hand, maybe you have a real passion for professional sports and would love to work as an elite PT? This involves working alongside athletes focusing on complementary programme design and fitness to help maximise their sports performance.

Or, it might be that exercise rehabilitation, seniors or coaching general fitness is what appeals to you the most.

First and foremost, personal training is a people business. To reach your salary goals and hourly wage potential you need to be passionate about the clients you work. Combine this with the right skills and qualifications to turn their goals into reality and you’re onto a winner.

So, if strength conditioning and body building is your thing, know your market, and don’t feel you have to assist every client that enquires!

Benefits to your PT salary

By focusing on the things you really enjoy and do best, you’ll attract clients that you genuinely connect with. This sets the foundations for delivering motivational training sessions that deliver. In the long run this creates happy clients who will stay with you, and this means ongoing bookings. Unsurprisingly this is core client base is the key source of regular income month in, month out.

Seek out niche groups

Another great way to increase your personal training salary is to seek out a health and fitness niche. This allows you to pinpoint a small group(s) of clientele who are seeking a specialist service.

From kids through to seniors, fat loss to gaining strength, and sports specialisms to rehabilitation, personal training attracts many specific client groups.

Targeting the right customer groups for your business is key to growing your personal trainer salary and the secret here is to know your locality. Spend a little time understanding your area, it’s population and social and economic factors. I live here is a great place to start, you can search your local area and find out heaps of really useful information to help determine your customer base and target audience.

For example, if there is an ageing population then personal training for seniors is a potential niche group and pursuing this segment makes perfect business sense. A young at heart programme on your website will enable you to promote a range of specific services that tap into this lucrative niche group.

Invariably this demographic has the time (2-4 sessions per week are attainable) and disposable income to afford your services. Do a fantastic job with them and typically the word will spread making for some decent PR and potential referrals.

Furthermore, client recommendations are gold dust to the personal trainer and convert at the highest rate of all referral sources! With this in mind, its great to reward a referral that converts with a client specific gift. For example, a gift voucher for their favourite shop.

Benefits to your PT salary

By focusing on niche groups your services will be closely aligned to the things people want in your area. As word gets round this is a great way to generate new enquiries and new clients, accelerating your earnings.

Personal Trainer Salary

Set clear targets

Earning an awesome PT salary takes careful planning. Personal training is so client focused that it’s all too easy to spend all your time planning awesome programmes for your clients, delivering transformational PT sessions and having little time left for anything else.

When it comes to earnings however, it’s all about the numbers. Without targets and objectives, the days will simply whizz by and you’ll be left wondering why you’re not meeting your salary expectations.

Set monthly, quarterly and yearly financial budgets and targets based on the personal trainer salary you’re aiming for. This should include revenue, gross profit, your costs and net profit. Plus, remember to add a contingency.

Why the contingency? By aiming for a higher salary than the one you ultimately want to end up with you can still meet your goals when you encounter something unexpected. For example, a client relocation, change of financial circumstances or a long term illness.

While this may be true we hear of personal trainers who for whatever reason do not know how much money they will earn today, this week, next month and so on. Simply put, if your goal really is to maximise salary then you get what you focus on. So focus on knowing how you will meet the salary targets you set yourself and build a client pipeline that reflects this.

Benefits to your PT salary

Recent reports indicated that the global fitness industry is worth more than $87 billion. Setting clear targets sets you well on the road for success and cornering your share of this lucrative market.

Know your plan B

Every job has its ups and downs and personal training is no different. Imagine you’ve set a target to earn on average £1000 a week working as a personal trainer. Charging £40 per hour you need to see 25 clients to hit your weekly goal. Everything is going great, then suddenly you encounter a day where three clients can’t make it. Suddenly, you’re looking at being down £120 on your target and moving a step away from hitting that £1000 wage.

This is where your plan B comes in. This is your alternative plan that keeps you pressing forward, focused on what it is you’re aiming to achieve.

By tracking earnings from each client and knowing how many bookings you have, you can form a much clearer picture of your likely income. Not only for the week, but the month ahead and beyond.

It may turn out that the lost £120 in cancellations doesn’t matter. For example, because you’ve set a goal to attract 4 new clients a month which more than covers this. On the other hand, these clients may be vital to your PT wages for that week. So, regrettably you inform them that a cancellation fee will apply.

Alternatively, you may realise you’re tracking a little below target and decide to run some new initiatives. This way you can recoup lost income and assess client demand. Great examples include; a ‘pop up’ seminar or starting a weekly boot camp class.

Whatever the solution, it starts with an innovative plan B enabling you to develop creative ideas that keep your earnings on track.

Finally, don’t forget to recognise your success as you go along. That means rewarding yourself as you meet mini earnings targets. This will spur you on to an even better income and before you know it that 50k personal trainer salary will become a reality.

Benefits to your PT salary

Knowing your plan B means you’ll be ready to expect the unexpected. Rather than phase you this will enable you to constantly take a different direction and won’t be blown off course.

Setting correct prices

Understandably price is a huge factor in how much a personal trainer gets paid. Set your hourly rate too low and it can seem that all your hard work is getting you nowhere fast. On the other hand, set it too high and you risk putting clients off. Perhaps the solution is to charge the average salary of a personal trainer? While this may seem a great idea, it may not reflect your location and associated costs such as rental payments. What’s more you’re not necessarily fulfilling your potential.

So where to begin?

Think about your skills, qualifications and what’s special about your business and the services you offer. Perhaps you can offer nutritional coaching, run exercise to music classes, work in senior fitness, or provide online PT coaching.

Once you know the clients and niche groups you are aiming for conduct market research to ascertain the prices personal trainers are charging in your area. Ask questions such as; do they offer pay as you go rates? Are there packages and block bookings at a discount? Can two people train together? From this point you can establish the pricing range and set prices that are aligned to market forces and your salary expectations.

Benefits to your PT salary

You’ll be confident your prices are set correctly for the types of clients you work in your locality. What’s more when you crunch the numbers you’ll find that how much you make working as a PT truly stacks up.

Personal trainer salary range – UK

As discussed above, there are a number of factors at play that greatly influence your personal trainer salary. We have seen how thorough research, correct pricing and tracking earnings can enable you to hit £50k earnings. What’s more this is a realistic threshold to aim for in exchange for your expertise and client results.

For the majority, Personal Trainer jobs are freelance or self-employed. Some gyms will ask you to pay a rental for using their facilities. On the other hand, you may be asked to work set hours on the gym floor in exchange for access to their facilities and members. We are also seeing personal trainer jobs advertised on sites such as Indeed at a fixed salary.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a wide range of Personal Trainer jobs available in the UK with a range of personal trainer salaries available to match. How much a PT can expect to earn on average varies from about £13,500 part-time to £65,000 plus full-time, in a location like London.

Like many professions salary is influenced by a number of factors including;

  • Qualifications
  • Location
  • Employment Choice
  • Expertise
  • Working hours
  • Facilities
  • Services on offer

Individuals are typically attracted to a personal training career because they enjoy keeping fit and working out. They are keen to help others lead a healthier active lifestyle. A popular start point is to work for a national or independent gym chain. Here, your personal trainer wage may not be as high as the freelance route, but this option has a lot to offer.

It’s a great way of developing on the job skills and settling into the industry. Also, there’s easy access to established personal trainers to help you develop. From here, you can advance your career at a later date by running your own Personal Training business.

This offers the ultimate in work flexibility and puts your firmly in the driving seat maximising your own salary expectations.

Get your Personal Training Course Guide

The Academy of Fitness Professionals provide the gold standard in accredited personal training courses with state of the art training fully endorsed by CIMSPA, the NCFE and Ofqual. Their specialist knowledge features in the UK health and fitness media including the Mirror, BBC2 and Women’s Running. This is the ultimate learning destination for those serious about their fitness industry education and long term career as a Personal Trainer.

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