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ntroduction:  Business success will require someone to be knowledgeable and skilled in exercise science and application.  It will also required business expertise.  The below information was released in  (2019), current data is available for a fee so for purposes of this assignment, please use the below information as a reference. I have requested the current data from one of my professional membership affiliations but unfortunately do not have access at this time.  This information below still gives us a great overview.  


Please read and review and then consider your responses to the below questions.  

Personal Trainer

Personal trainer instructs individual clients; monitors and records progress; enrolls new clients; collects fees.

  • Of the facilities surveyed, 65% employ personal trainers.
  • The majority of the trainers in this study are paid per session/class (62%), with 50% earning a percentage of the client’s fee, and with the fee-split remaining at about 60/40, similar to findings since 2004.
  • Program directors report that in their facilities more personal trainers are working as employees (62%) than as independent contractors (28%).
  • In 2015 the average hourly rate ($30.50) is consistent with 2013 ($30.50), but lower than it was in 2010 ($34) and 2008 ($34.75). When the 2010 hourly rate is adjusted for inflation ($37.08), we see an even greater decline in pay.
  • The average number of hours trainers work per week (18) has come back to 2010 levels (18) after declining slightly in 2013 (16).
  • The average session fee has increased for 30-minute sessions (to $37.75 in 2015 vs. 34.50 in 2013); 45-minute sessions ($51.50 in 2015 vs. $48.50 in 2013); and 60-minute sessions ($60.75 in 2015 vs. $56.50 in 2013).

Group Fitness Instructor

Group fitness instructor teaches general classes set to music, such as step and mixed impact.

  • Of the facilities surveyed, 60% employ group exercise instructors.
  • Group fitness instructors teach an average of 5 hours per week, a decrease from previous years (5 hours per week in 2013; 6 hours per week in 2010 and in 2008).
  • Instructors in this category are typically paid per session/class (62%) or per hour (39%).
  • They currently earn an average of $27.50 per hour. This reflects the second consecutive increase after a decline ($26 in 2013; $24.50 in 2010; $25.75 in 2008).
  • Eligibility for benefits has declined significantly in 2015 to 11%, after remaining fairly stable for several years (17% in 2013; 18% in 2010; 21% in 2008). Cash incentives have stayed steady (17% in 2015, 2013 and 2010; 19% in 2008), while access to an education fund has continued its slide (26% in 2015; 31% in 2013; 41% in 2010; 35% in 2008).

Pilates or Yoga Instructor

Pilates or yoga instructor teaches classes and has specialized training in yoga or Pilates.

  • Of facilities surveyed, 56% employ Pilates and/or yoga instructors.
  • These instructors teach an average of 5 hours per week, which is an hour less than in 2013 and 3 hours less than in 2010.
  • The average hourly rate for Pilates and yoga instructors is $31.25, a decline from 2010 ($32.50) and 2008 ($33.00).
  • Few instructors are paid by salary (2%), so the results should be interpreted with caution.

Regional Differences in Wages and Salaries

Living costs vary by region, and, consequently, so do salaries and wages. The 2015 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report provides regional comparisons of average pay rates for fitness professionals located in the Northeastern, Northwestern, North Central, Southeastern and Southwestern states.

  • Fitness directors in the Northwest lead the earnings chart with a higher salary than their counterparts in all other regions.
  • Personal training directors make more money in the Northeast and Southwest regions than they do in other regions of the United States.
  • Group exercise directors in the Northwest earn the highest salaries for their position, while those who work in the North Central and Southwest regions earn the least.
  • There is about a $6 per hour difference between personal trainers across regions.
  • Fitness floor staff who work in the Southwest make almost double the hourly wage of those who work in the Southeast region.
  • Group exercise instructors in the Northwest make approximately $8 more per hour than those who live in the North Central United States.
  • Pilates or yoga instructors who work in the Northwest make more per hour than instructors in the Southeast.

Hiring and Promotion

In 2015, the top three criteria for hiring in all positions are certification, skills and abilities, and personality.

  • Certification and years of experience were important criteria for determining pay upon hiring.
  • Performance was reported as the most important criterion used to determine pay for merit raises in all positions.
  • Leadership and communication skills were key factors for determining promotion in all positions.

The Personal Trainers, Group Exercise Instructors and Pilates and Yoga Instructors Report on Compensation.

For the second time, IDEA surveyed personal trainers, group exercise instructors, hybrids, and Pilates or yoga instructors on individual compensation matters. These groups of fitness professionals represent the majority of the survey respondents.

Personal Trainers

  • Personal trainers work at an average of 2.2 facilities (range of 1–10 facilities).
  • Personal trainers who are classified as employees are paid as follows: hourly (45%); by class or session (64%); by participant (21%); and by salary (9%).
  • Personal trainers who are independent contractors make over $20 more per hour, class or session than employees; independents also work nearly twice as many hours per week as those who are employees.
  • Session rates for employed trainers and independent contractors are comparable.
  • A personal trainer who is classified as an employee receives on average 49% of the client fee when splitting with a facility, while a personal trainer who is classified as an independent contractor receives 66% of the split.

Group Exercise Instructors

  • Group exercise instructors teach at an average of 2.5 facilities (range of 1–10 facilities).
  • Group exercise instructors classified as employees are paid as follows: hourly (45%); by class or session (59%); by participant (8%); and by salary (4%).
  • Group exercise instructors who are independent contractors make over $7 more per hour, class or session than those who are employees.

Pilates or Yoga Instructors

  • Pilates or yoga instructors teach at an average of 2.5 facilities (range of 1–9 facilities).
  • Pilates or yoga instructors classified as employees are paid as follows: hourly (48%); by class or session (70%); by participant (31%); and by salary (0%).
  • Pilates or yoga instructors who are independent contractors make about $5 more per hour, class or session than those who are employees; independent contractors work 6 hours more per week than employees.

Answers are to be typed to each (18) of these questions and submitted online in Canvas. Practice having someone at home or in class prepare you by interviewing you with these questions. This is not a video upload (that will come later).  Please take your time thinking about these responses and answer with a minimum of 2-3 sentences.  

Getting Hired at a Gym

  1. What certifications do you have or are you preparing to obtain?
  2. How do you keep up to date on your fitness knowledge?
  3. Why do you want to be a personal trainer?
  4. What experience do you have in customer service?
  5. Tell us about an experience you had serving an unhappy customer. What did you do?
  6. How will you find new clients to train?
  7. Are you willing to work long, hard hours?
  8. Do you have what it takes to motivate others to work hard?  

Getting Hired by a Client

  1. Do you have insurance?
  2. What do you think about supplementation?
  3. What assessments can/will you do?
  4. Why should I work out with a personal trainer?
  5. Won’t I get the same results working out on my own or taking an exercise class?
  6. I downloaded some training programs on my phone app. How is working with you going to be different?
  7. Do you have references from previous clients?
  8. How much does this cost?
  9. What is you cancellation policy? Refund policy?
  10. What motivates you, personally? 
  11. What is your availability? What hours do you train?
  12. Give me a 30-second elevator speech as to why I should hire you.  (Hint: this is preparation for next week’s video upload) Consider this the script.  

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