Are you considering becoming a personal trainer?

How can you make a good living and make a difference in people’s lives to have longevity in your career? In this three-part exclusive PTA series, Be.Do.Body founder and personal trainer Martin Henry goes behind the scenes of the industry.

Part 1. A good living

Six figures. $100,000. There I’ve said it – I define a good living as a $100k income. I live in Sydney so this answer may vary from region to region, but it provides a good benchmark I will use to show you how to earn that amount annually in your PT career.

I’m not like the guy in the movie “Jerry Maguire” screaming “show me the money”, but I, like many of you, am someone who has contemplated and acted on a career change. Money is always an important factor in any career decision.

The next number: $120. Per hour. That is the number I will stick in your mind.

So, how does $120 an hour, and $100,000 per year work out in real life? 

No gyms pay their personal trainers at this rate. To earn a high hourly rate you will back yourself at some point and become either a franchise fitness trainer, a studio owner or some other variant (ie. boot camp or local park operator).

One of the most popular choices is a franchise fitness trainer, so I will use that as an example.

A franchise fitness trainer pays the gym or franchise a fee and can keep all or most of what you charge. You pay the gym, so you may start out working on the gym staff for the first year or two with lower pay to keep a flow of money, but there is room for growth.

They do not pay you, you pay them, so it may be for your first year or two you work for a gym that will put you on staff, but warning the pay in this scenario is usually not high.

In my case, the weekly charge is around $400 per week. Gulp. But it is worth it to have a big brand on your side and a “captive” audience.

4 scenarios:

1. At $400 per week, you can make $20,000 per year (I have factored in a two-week vacation and the gym giving you two rent-free weeks to try it out)

2. $40,000 income. This means earning $60,000 or $1200 per week, or 10 hours of paid face to face training.

3. $70,000 income. This means earning $90,000 or $1800 per week or 15 hours of paid face to face training.

4. $100,000 income. This means earning $120,000 or $2400 per week or 20 hours of paid face to face training.

You may not even have to do 20 hours in this last scenario because training a few small groups or even groups of two can ramp up the hourly rate. And I’m not suggesting you’ll just breeze in for 4 hours a day as there are cancellations and paperwork, but you can see how it works.

But…how do you earn $120 per hour? Look out for Part 2 and I will show you how to get there. This is what I earn, and I have been a PT for less than a year!

One thought on “Let’s Talk Money – Can Personal Trainers Make A Good Living?

  1. I recently became a trainer. I was hesitant to leave my job because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make enough money. I had a friend who was a trainer and helped me get started. He’s been a trainer for a long time and I know he makes good money… probably around $100K.

    He helped guide me, and I’m so glad because I’ve been doing pretty good as a trainer and making enough money to replace my job!

    He has a website for trainers. It’s

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