What Is the Average Annual Income for Personal Trainers?

Explore the career requirements for personal trainers. Get the facts about education and certification requirements, potential job outlook and average salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Fitness Trainer degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Personal Trainer?

Personal trainers use their knowledge of physical fitness and exercise techniques to assist customers with their workouts. They work one-on-one with customers to understand what their fitness goals are and then develop a plan to help them achieve these goals. Personal trainers watch clients perform exercises and provide feedback to make sure they are doing it correctly. They help chart their progress and also may provide information regarding nutrition and healthy eating upon the client's request. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering the field.

Degree Required High school diploma required, associate and bachelor's degrees available
Certification Applicants with certifications are favored
Key Responsibilities Knowledge of exercise techniques, motivational ability, personal physical fitness
Job Growth (2014-24) 8% (for fitness trainers and instructors)*
Average Salary (2015) $40,970 (for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certifications for Personal Trainers

In some cases, you need to be certified by an accredited organization or agency in order to work as a personal trainer for the public. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is one such accrediting agency that offers appropriate certification. The process you would go through for certification involves taking an exam that covers exercise science and related topics. Prerequisites for the exam involve successful completion of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) courses.

Employment Opportunities for Personal Trainers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), if you want to become a personal trainer the job outlook is expected to be about as fast as average (www.bls.gov). The main reason for the positive outlook, according to the BLS, is the growing interest in personal health and fitness within the baby boomer generation. Additionally, lack of physical fitness classes in schools and rising obesity concerns have led to parents relying more on personal trainers as an alternative to traditional physical education. In general, the BLS predicts that these factors will produce an expected 8% increase during the 2014-2024 decade for job prospects.

Job Options for Personal Trainers

According to the BLS, around ten percent of personal trainers are self-employed or work on a contract basis with fitness centers. Many fitness-related jobs are part-time; therefore, many personal trainers work at multiple jobs in different locations. These individuals teach or provide personal training at several different fitness centers. Part-time personal trainers can increase their hours and income by working at several different facilities. Many personal trainers work nights and weekends to be more flexible with clients' schedules.

Average Annual Income for Personal Trainers

Because personal trainers may work either full- or part-time, salaries vary considerably. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a full-time certified fitness trainer can make an average annual wage of $40,970 as of 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

You may also choose to work as a recreational worker, which doesn't require a degree and may involve leading out in physical activities at public parks, activity centers, and pools. If you have achieved a degree in a topic like exercise physiology, you may be qualified to work as an athletic trainer. This job involves helping athletes prevent injuries, as well as diagnose and treat existing injuries. You may also be interested in becoming a fitness instructor and lead out in fitness classes like yoga, spin, or step.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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