For those with a passion for fitness, and considering becoming a fitness instructor, you really should consider the financial implications. It’s one of the main drawbacks to this career, but there are ways that you can make decent money, working privately for yourself.
Starting out in this career as a trainee fitness instructor, with a level 2 certificate in fitness instruction, you can expect a starting salary of around £13’000. Not a great deal, and more disheartening is that if you choose to work in a gym, you’ll also be working unsociable hours, with no extra allowance for that. Most people tend to workout in the evenings, after finishing work, and at the weekends, so that’s when you’ll be most busy.
On the upside though, you do get the benefit of a free gym membership. Full-time instructors can expect to be doing 2 or 3 classes per day, in a range of different exercises. In leisure centres, you could be doing water basic exercises, and in the gym, you’ll be doing step aerobics, maybe dance classes and perhaps yoga classes too.
There’s a whole range of workout classes you could be doing, and you’ll need to plan each lesson out, and then teach your students in one hour sessions. You’ll certainly get fit and keep fit in this line of work.
As you gain experience in the fitness sector, you can expect to earn around £17’000 per annum. Not something you’ll be living a luxurious lifestyle off, but still, a decent earning nevertheless. That’s why for the most part, people who choose this line of work will have a real passion for fitness, and the drive to help others achieve their fitness goals. That’s where the real rewards are, and not so much in the salaries.
For those that feel they could handle their own clientele, marketing their services, and providing classes in different areas, or perhaps even one on one personal fitness coaching, there can be more of an earning to be made.
Typically, self-employed fitness instructors will charge around £16 per hour. If you’re going to be doing classes, you’ll need to hire a gym, or a room with the equipment you’ll need for your class. Groups will normally be around 8 – 10 people, so £160 per hour, with expenses to come off that.
You’ll also need to have a public liability insurance policy in place if you go self-employed.
Depending on how you market your service brand yourself, you could additionally benefit from not going with the market rates, and charging whatever you feel you’re training is worth, or go the other way and find out how much people are willing to pay.
It’s not uncommon for people to pay £50 to £70 per hour for a fitness instructor to provide them with one on one coaching. This type of services will be more tailored to high-end clients, with more of a lifestyle choice, where they don’t want to be travelling to the gym to keep fit. They’d rather pay for a personal trainer to come to them.
If that’s the path you choose to take, you can make quite a bit of a salary in that field, but in standard employee positions with privately run health clubs, you’ll start at around £13’000 and with experience, go up to £17’000 per annum on average.
Some private health clubs typically offer additional employee benefits, to dress up the low pay. You get to save your gym memberships, as you get free access to the facilities.
There’s also the additional services in some clubs, where they have relaxation rooms, saunas and sometimes offer health supplements too. Similar to working in a high street store, there are some places where you’ll be given a staff discount on more premium services offered. Staff training is also provided and that can assist you in your career progression.
The fitness industry has seen a huge boom over the past decade, and that shows it isn’t a fad career, destined to fade with time. Every year people make their resolutions, take on gym memberships, then quit. That’s a given, but there are also a number of those people actually stick to their fitness and continue to go the gym regularly, as they find they enjoy the experience, and realise how it can help them relax.
The fitness industry is one that’s continually seeing national growth. With growth, comes demand. With the right training, there could come a time when health clubs start to increase the salaries of their fitness instructors, to help them retain the best in the business.
There are some places already paying slightly higher salaries, as some workers put the pressure on good, to negotiate a better deal, by explaining the benefits they’d have should they leave to go into self-employment. The only drawback is that you’d have to manage the business yourself. That can be another full-time job in itself.