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The Salary for a Personal Trainer With Certification

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
The Salary for a Personal Trainer With Certification
A personal trainer helps others achieve their fitness goals.

If you love fitness and exercise, you may be thinking about a making a career out of your love for the gym. Before you pay anything to become certified as a personal trainer, learn more about the job, its salary and its outlook. See how becoming a trainer fits your lifestyle.

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The salary for a personal trainer will depend on your work environment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that if you work for a private gym or fitness center, expect to make around $30,610 per year. If you work for a medical institution, the salary is about $32,140. The BLS notes that many personal trainers work part time, which could be the reason for some lower salaries. The American Council on Exercise projects that a certified trainer working full time should make around $53,323 per year.


Before you receive your certifications, consider how you plan to use them. If you plan to work at a commercial gym or fitness center, growth options may be limited. Other trainers choose self-employment and find little to limit their earnings. Overall, the BLS projects a 29 percent growth in the fitness trainer industry from 2008 to 2018.


You have a variety of choices when it comes to your certification. In general, it's best to choose one that is well-known in the fitness community, such as the American Council on Exercise, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America or the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Certification occurs through a course load that will include basic kinesiology, fitness safety, fitness evaluation and other material that is usually completed at home. After a successful exam, the association offers certification.

Work Environment

Personal training is a career path ideal for someone who doesn't like the office environment. One of the benefits of the job is that it isn't monotonous. You'll be planning for training sessions for a wide variety of clients -- and get to spend time in the gym yourself. Because you can work for yourself as a trainer, it gives you plenty of freedom. The downside: You may not have job benefits if you are part time or self-employed. Still, if fitness is your passion, may be your ideal job.

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