A personal trainer is a qualified fitness instructor who helps people get fit, gain muscle, or lose weight, and increase their willpower and physical stamina. They make their clients sweat one-on-one, accept no excuses, and give personalized dietary advice, as well.

As a personal trainer, you might work in a gym or take your clients outdoors. But wherever the training takes place, what really matters is creating a trusting relationship with your clients. Setting realistic goals and designing a tailored and effective exercise plan will be crucial as well because nothing is as motivating as seeing your own progress.

This is a currently booming profession that may be rewarding both monetarily and personally because no one decides to become a personal trainer overnight without having experienced the numerous growth opportunities working out can lead to. Not just thinking about your biceps here, obviously.

What Does a Personal Trainer Do

There are certain skills that many personal trainers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, communication skills and listening skills.

Learn more about what a Personal Trainer does

How To Become a Personal Trainer

If you're interested in becoming a personal trainer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 66.7% of personal trainers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 6.8% of personal trainers have master's degrees. Even though most personal trainers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Personal Trainer

Personal Trainers in America make an average salary of $37,214 per year or $18 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $53,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average Personal Trainer Salary
$37,214 Yearly
$17.89 hourly
$26,000
10 %
$37,000
Median
$53,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Personal Trainer
How To Become a Personal Trainer Career Overview

States With The Most Personal Trainer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active personal trainer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where personal trainers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Personal Trainer Jobs By State

Personal Trainer Education

Personal Trainer Majors

10.2 %

Personal Trainer Degrees

Bachelors

66.7 %

Associate

14.2 %

Masters

6.8 %

Top Colleges for Personal Trainers

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

5. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

7. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

8. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

9. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

10. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,099
Enrollment
21,404

Top Skills For a Personal Trainer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 23.4% of personal trainers listed cpr on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and communication skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Personal Trainer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Personal Trainer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Personal Trainer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Personal Trainer Resume
Personal Trainer Resume
Personal Trainer Resume
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Personal Trainer Demographics

Personal Trainer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
63%
Female
Female
37%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among personal trainers, 36.7% of them are women, while 63.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among personal trainers is White, which makes up 77.0% of all personal trainers.

  • The most common foreign language among personal trainers is Spanish at 62.1%.

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Best States For a Personal Trainer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a personal trainer. The best states for people in this position are California, Hawaii, Washington, and Connecticut. Personal trainers make the most in California with an average salary of $49,724. Whereas in Hawaii and Washington, they would average $48,936 and $48,140, respectively. While personal trainers would only make an average of $47,835 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Connecticut

Total Personal Trainer Jobs:
431
Highest 10% Earn:
$77,000
Location Quotient:
1.76

2. North Dakota

Total Personal Trainer Jobs:
74
Highest 10% Earn:
$60,000
Location Quotient:
1.08

3. Washington

Total Personal Trainer Jobs:
449
Highest 10% Earn:
$70,000
Location Quotient:
0.83
Full List Of Best States For Personal Trainers

How Do Personal Trainer Rate Their Jobs?

What do you like the most about working as Personal Trainer?

No punching a time clock. Ability to set own hours - although you’ll make more if you are flexible with client availabilities. Rewarding helping others get healthier and seeing the positive outcomes in their fitness/health. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Early mornings and late evenings - midday naps are often needed. Typically need to work Saturdays. People think that a personal trainer’s time is worthless because they rarely call to cancel… no-shows are always happening and it really sucks for the trainer, especially since it happens so often. Show More

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Top Personal Trainer Employers

Most Common Employers For Personal Trainer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1AEA Investors$115,018$55.302,037
2Equinox$46,342$22.28456
3Curves$41,674$20.04137
4CrossFit$40,826$19.6384
5Life Fitness$40,196$19.32285
6Rush Fitness Complex$38,871$18.69119
7Sport&Health$38,802$18.6595
8Fitness Together$38,146$18.34372
9Blink Fitness$37,947$18.2488
10Charter Fitness$37,725$18.14107

Personal Trainer Videos

Becoming a Personal Trainer FAQs

How Hard Is It To Become A Personal Trainer?

No, it is not hard to become a personal trainer. However, it does take serious work and a high level of motivation.

What makes it hard to become a personal trainer is the initial time to become qualified and build your brand. Personal trainers need to spend a lot of time experimenting in the gym to gain knowledge. They also must put the necessary effort into marketing themselves to succeed.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Certified Personal Trainer?

It takes between three to six months to become a certified personal trainer. To receive a personal trainer certificate through bodies like ISSA, NASM or ACE takes several months to study the course materials and pass the test.

How Much Is A Personal Trainer Usually?

A personal trainer is usually $25 to $50 per 30-minute session. Alternately, they charge $40 to $70 per hour session and $60 to $100 per 90-minute session. Hiring a personal trainer to come to your home costs $60 to $100 or more hourly.

Is It Worth Getting A Personal Trainer?

Yes, it is worth it to get a personal trainer. While this largely depends on personal goals and needs, getting a personal trainer is generally a good idea.

Even if a person only hires the personal trainer for a few workout sessions, these will be packed with helpful information that the average person would spend hours researching and learning. Instead, you can hire a personal trainer who will give you that information and help you craft a workout that works specifically for your body and your goals.

Personal Trainer Vs Physical Therapist

A personal trainer is someone who helps a client achieve physical fitness goals through exercise training, while a physical therapist is a medical professional who helps a patient to recover physically from an injury, surgery, or other medical procedure.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Personal Trainer?

To become a personal trainer, a person needs to complete a personal trainer program or degree and pass the certification test. It takes between three months to four years to become a certified personal trainer, depending on the program that a person chooses.

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