How To Earn $100,000+ as a Personal Trainer

January 23, 2018   ·  Trainers Journey

Earning six figures per year as a personal trainer is a very doable task. It would make anyone consider your personal training career a financial success.

There are a few things you’ll need to have in place in order to make this $100,000+ annual income thing happen, I’ll cover each below in a short yet easily digestible manner.

Here's what you’ll need:

  1. Select a desired six-figure yearly income amount. 
  2. Reverse engineer that number in detail. 
  3. Your marketing tools in place. 
  4. A system/strategy for training clients in place.
  5. Are you offering any other services to clients?

After all of this is covered, you’ll see how this same process can be used to actually hit any yearly salary number you want. Even if that number is $500,000 per year. This topic is about to become super clear. Let’s dive in.

#1 - Select a desired six-figure yearly income amount

Yup, it really is that simple. The problem is most trainers will say things like:

"One day I’ll earn a six-figures per year as a trainer"

But they never actually declare a number. They never come out and say:

“I want to make $120,000 this year” OR “I want to make $180,000 this year” 

There really isn't any voodoo magic to this. I don't believe in that "secret" hoopla. Where if you think about it long enough and hard enough it'll just come to fruition. The money fairy is going to descend from the skys and tap you with her magic wand to let you know it's your time. You need to make a declaration.

So, what number would make your life as sweet as can be? After you declare a number, i’ll show you how to break it down into something that is actually achievable and no, you won't need to opt-in to some e-book promising you the secret to success as a personal trainer or a 10-step course that'll show you to riches.

You’re getting everything right in this blog post. Imagine that...

Ok, my ideal salary as a personal trainer is $120,000 per year. If we chose the same number then high-five, we’re telepathically communicating. 

Lets move on to step #2. 

#2 - Reverse engineer that number in detail.

Ok, I’ll go with my number for now and you can follow along with yours, you can use this google sheets document I created which will do the breakdowns for you if you’d like. 

$120,000 yearly salary number. 

How much money do I need to make per month to hit my $120,000 per year goal?

$120,000/12 Months = $10,000 per month

This might sound like quite a bit, but not really… once you start breaking it down even further to get an understanding of what’ll be required from you each month, things will start to make a whole lot of sense, the ideas will start flowing.

Next we’ll break it down by both session & monthly packages, but I highly recommend reading my post on: should personal trainers sell sessions or monthly packages?

How much money would I need to charge per session? 

$10,000/ Your session rate = Number of sessions you’ll need to do each month. 

If your session rate is: $70 per each session. 

$10,000/$70 = 143 sessions per month or 36 sessions per week

Not bad, however don’t be fooled, that’s 36 hours of training. That’s not considering hours spent traveling, responding to questions and taking care of the other weekly needs of your clients. 

This in my opinion is the downside to session based training as opposed to monthly packages. However, you can read more into that strategy in the post I just mentioned: should personal trainers sell sessions or monthly packages?

How much money would I need to charge per client based on monthly packages?

For this you’d have to set a monthly package amount. Let’s use an easy amount. $300 per month. 

$10,000/$300 per month = 33 clients

This becomes extremely doable, because unlike selling by the session, where you might not be able to find X clients who can pay $1,500 per 22 sessions etc. 

You will be able to find many more people who can afford $300 per month for training thanks to these here internets    

You might be able to tell which way I lean. But the above mentioned post goes into much more detail.

Now that we’ve reverse engineered our desired yearly salary into a monthly amount and then again into a per session amount & per package amount. Let’s move on to step #3. 

#3 - Having Your Marketing Tools In Place.

I’ll keep this tip short and sweet. Go where your clients are and when you’re there be presentable. Here’s what you’ll need. 

  • A website that is presentable and looks great.
  • A social media presence where your potential clients are.

A website that’s presentable. 

Think of your website as your storefront. Your website should be well designed and be set up to accept payments. You can absolutely make over $100,000 per year completely in person, but it might be harder to build up to and take much more time.

Your website is your storefront and cash register to all of the potential clients you could be working with.

In-person personal training really only allows you to work with clients based with a 10-mile ish radius. Online training means you can be living in California, but still train a client in New York. 

You don’t want your website looking like extremely long blocks of text or a poorly designed heap of images strewn all about. It’s all about building trust in you as the trainer and the brand.

Try to go with something custom or get it built by someone with design skills who can make your website both look like it was made at least in the last couple of years. 

ThunderFit has customizable themes for personal trainer websites you can use for your business that both come well designed and have the ability to accept payments.

A social media presence where your clients are. 

I’m about to save you a whole lot of time. If you’re going to focus on social media as a way to gain new clients, i’d focus solely on Facebook & Instagram. 

Logo images of facebook and instagram.

Between these two platforms there are almost 3 billion accounts and while yes there is some overlap between the two. You can spend your whole life building connections with the right people and grow to way more than $120k per year without ever having to leave these platforms. 

That’s not even thinking about paid marketing and all of the other nifty advertising tools available to you as a business. Do yourself a favor and don't waste time thinking you need to be involved in every single social media and advertising platform on planet earth. You'll just spread yourself too thin.

Let’s move on to step #4. 

#4 - Have a strategy/system in place for training all of your clients. 

Personal Trainers who make $20,000 per year to $40,000 per year can get by in business by doing things based on remembering who has how many sessions left and barely keeping track of things. 

Excel spreadsheets are an honest step up and it might work in the interim for your in person clients but if you’re looking to grow to $100,000+, or even $250,000 per year and then some. You’ll need a real system in place. 

A way to keep track of your clients workouts, offer an amazing service with detailed reports on your clients progress and so much more. This is what will drive referrals to you and your business.

You’ll get most of your new business from word-of-mouth referrals. If you’re planning on growing your personal training business to the six-figure level, you’ll want to to have processes in place to work with clients effectively. 

You won’t get many referrals from people if you’re the trainer who forgets how many sessions are left, or never offers homework to clients, or never gives progress reports. 

Remember to think of yourself as a business that runs like a well-oiled machine. If you do you’ll begin to earn money like one. 

I personally use the ThunderFit software for my own personal training business, I won’t go into too much detail about all of the features because that’s not what this post is about. But if you’re curious you can read about ThunderFit’s features here

Finally, let’s move onto step #5. 

#5 - Are you offering any other services to your clients?

This is one of the biggest keys to immediately receiving a huge boost in your personal training income. Are you simply satisfied with what you already have? Let me give you an example. 

Say you’re working at a local gym with 10 clients. You see each client 2-3 times per week, and that’s it. 

You make around $30 per session through the gym which nets you a decent living, but here you are craving the knowledge on how to earn more money as a personal trainer. 

Well, those 10 clients who are training 2 times per week, will likely want some kind of homework and detailed structure to it as well. Come on, there are 7 days in a week, remember?

You don’t want to just regurgitate plans across all of your clients. That’s a no-no. Especially since each client is different in needs and levels of progression. 

But what if you could up sell each of your 10 clients on an extra $100-$200 per month, for consistent workouts scheduled each week for when they aren’t with you, and you promise them that you’ll also write a once per week report for them based on their progress.

That’s some of the awesome things you can do with the help of ThunderFit. This is an image of what a week for one of your clients might look like when you've scheduled workouts for them through ThunderFit's software.


Do this for your 10 clients at a $100 - $200 up-sell per month and that’s an extra $1,000 - $2,000 revenue in your bank account each month just on your 10 clients at the local gym. Think of where you can take this working with 50+ clients.

Now sure, that’s a perfect world scenario that all 10 will say yes. But what if 4 say yes, and 6 say “they can’t”. Is an extra $400 - $800 per month still worth it to you? I'm sure it is. 

The key to blowing your revenue up is up-selling your services, while gaining a steady stream of new clients. There are many other things you can do in this space but trainer beware. Some may get you labeled as a “Marketer for cheap products”. Therefore I suggest you take caution when doing anything that requires you to sell someone else's supplements and the like.

Here are some other ideas: 

  1. Become an affiliate with a supplement company and put your clients on the right supplements for them. 
  2. Same with fitness clothing, or equipment. 
  3. Can you up-sell your clients some 1-hour long stretching sessions? Surely the 5-10 minutes you stretch before or after a session isn’t enough and in most cases clients aren’t actually stretching at home on their own. Let's be honest.
  4. Can you work out a deal with a meal-prep company? You can gain an affiliate commission there too. 

Word to the wise if you’re looking to blow your revenue up. See what ways you can earn the up-sells for your pocket first, before offering other products like supplements.

As an example: 

Up-sell the weekly training package & reports OR up-sell the extra stretching sessions. Before up-selling supplements and other things. 

But nevertheless, ALWAYS do things in your clients best interests. That’s how you’ll get referrals.


Resources in this post: 

Revenue Breakdown Google Sheets Document


I hope you got something out of this article. If you did, feel free to share it with another personal trainer friend of yours to help him/her out. If you have any questions or want to make yourself heard, join the discussion below. 

Join The Discussion!


Sign Up For ThunderFit

and get started with a free trial for your business.

Sign Up Now