How much can I earn?
This is dependent on several factors, not least how hard you want to work, but the low overheads associated with the profession does mean it can prove quite profitable. Steven Jones, sales manager at Savage Strength, says the average hourly rate charged by fitness trainers is between £20 and £50. “It depends on several factors such as how well known you are, your location, your specialist skills etc. I know one guy in London who charges £100 per hour.” It is also dependent on whether you are using your own equipment or someone else’s and how far you have to travel.
Linda Grave, a former personal fitness trainer from Suffolk, says that, during her training days, she charged up to £30 per hour, and began charging as soon as she left the house. She adds that she always made sure she did a triangular route, avoiding the need to go back on herself and waste petrol - and enabling her to make a significant profit.
In addition to working with individuals, there is a considerable opportunity to work with businesses and teams depending on how busy you want to be. Industry business leader Michael Scott Scudder recently told industry website PTontheNet that one of the most significant developments in the personal training sector has been the rise in small group training sales; indeed larger corporates are increasingly offering gym membership or even in-house gyms as an incentive to employees, and many sports clubs and teams now hire someone to oversee their fitness.
Bradley got into working with teams because his wife plays hockey for a local club and they enlisted his services. “I now coach two local hockey clubs, and charge anything from £50 to £100 per hour for a team, depending on what work we are doing.” Bradley also runs a circuit training class in a local hall two evenings a week, attracting in the region of 30 people who each pay £5. Rent for the hall is £25 and Bradley looks to make a profit of about £60 for an hour’s work.
If you're keen to train clients outside, you should be able to turn a healthy profit - but be warned that more and more parks and now charging personal trainers who run classes on their land.
In April 2011, Hammersmith and Fulham Council made headlines for imposing a £350 charge on personal trainers using its network of parks, and a number of neighbouring London authorities seem likely to follow suit. Although this has yet to become a nationwide policy, the introduction of financial charges for outdoor trainers seems likely in several areas.
Terms and conditions
It is wise to include a clause in your terms and conditions to protect you from people dropping out at the last minute or simply not paying. Grave says that, after the initial assessment, she asked people to pay in advance for their first session.
Thereafter, customers were charged 50% of the fee if they cancelled within 24 hours and the full fee if they cancelled within an hour. “It protected me from people letting me down and certainly helped my cash flow,” comments Grave. “It also meant that people think twice about cancelling on a whim – it helped to motivate them!”