European personal trainer income

The average 2018 income for a male PT in Europe was €25,824 a year, whilst for females it was €16,452

Average session rate for personal training

The average session price for a personal trainer in Europe is €53 per hour. Hourly rates across Europe range from €35 up to an uncommonly high €119 per session. 

The geographical location of an accredited personal trainer can impact their typical session price, their weekly, and annual income. For example, an accredited personal trainer who works in Finland with 15 regular clients per week, typically charges an average of €75 per session, which amounts to €1,125 per week, or €51,750* across a 46 week working year. Whereas, an accredited personal trainer working in Portugal typically charges €35 per session, which for the same size client base earns €525 per week, or €24,150* across a 46 week working year. 

*Please note, these example earnings are dependent on an average of 15 clients per week across a full 46-week working year. 

Additionally, the amount of continuous industry experience and any further professional certifications obtained beyond the standard PT qualification may also have an influence on a personal trainer’s earning potential. A trainer with a fitness-related Bachelor’s degree typically earns 184% more income than a PT would has a basic fitness certification. Whereas a trainer who has more than 7 years personal training experience typically earns 208% more than a PT who has only been working for 1 year in the industry. Therefore, we strongly advise out student PT graduates to adopt an attitude of continuous education and ongoing professional development throughout their career. 

**All income data extracted from the industry report, Personal Training in Europe, 2018. 

Different types of personal trainer and their earning potential

A fundamental factor on how much income a personal trainer earns is whether they work as a freelance trainer, a licensed contractor, or employed by an established fitness company.

Freelance or licensed contractors

Working as a freelance personal trainer or licensed contractor will more likely result in a better income for most personal trainers. This is because personal trainers working under these business models can work to their own schedule, and set their own PT rates. They are not required to pay a percentage of every session to a gym or fitness facility. Freelance and licensed trainers will need to generate their own sales and marketing, so will need to have the skills and awareness to manage this as well. According to the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), independent accredited personal trainers have the potential to earn many times more income than employed personal trainers. 

Benefits of working as a freelance / licensed PT include:

Employed personal trainers

Many personal trainers begin their career by working for a commercial gym or fitness facility. A guaranteed monthly salary offers a certain amount of financial security compared to the uncertainty of freelance training. Employed personal trainers will usually be paid a wage that is higher than a Level 3 fitness instructor, but their income will also likely be rewarded with an additional percentage commission for each personal training session delivered across the month. The additional financial incentive encourages PT’s to actively build their client base from the pool of active members at the fitness club. The average PT commission is typically between 30% and 60% of the session fee paid by the client/member. However, it is possible that a trainer’s education level and experience may influence the agreed commission level.

Benefits of working as an employed personal trainer include:

Potential income considerations as a personal trainer

The following options may help to boost your potential income as a personal trainer:

1. Get certified!

Earning a recognised professional certification will almost certainly increase your earning potential within the fitness industry. Take the time to research and invest in an independently accredited personal trainer certification that will give you the skills needed to succeed. It will also meet the industry requirements to work as an employed PT. 

1. Get certified!
2. Leverage the internet

It is common practice to use the internet as our first mode of discovery when seeking out products and services, and that certainly includes personal training services. Investing in a good-quality website and generating engaging social media will likely help to establish your skills and reputation even before a client contacts you. Having an established, professional online presence will help to draw in new clients and increase your overall income.

2. Leverage the internet
3. Establish automatic payment methods

Once clients have signed up for personal training services, it may be wise to establish a periodic payment subscription or another from of regular electronic funds transfer to ensure that PT services are successfully paid on time. This will help maintain steady cash flow, as well as encourage ongoing renewals and decrease session cancellations.

3. Establish automatic payment methods
4. Offer paired or group personal training sessions

Personal training should not be defined by a single set session rate. It is important to offer several different price points to attract a range of different customers. Otherwise you will create a barrier to possible clients who simply cannot afford your standard hourly rate. Offering paired personal training or even small group training provides more pricing flexibility. As training a couple or a small group will be more work for the personal trainer, the key is to ensure the total income received from all session participants provides a higher value than the standard hourly PT rate. The rate charged to each individual, however, will be cheaper than the standard hourly PT rate. This is a win-win financial situation for all involved. 

4. Offer paired or group personal training sessions
Deloitte European Health and Fitness Market Report 2022

The future of personal training

The European fitness market is very strong and continues to grow. In 2022 the market boasted 56 million members, with more than 63,000 clubs, and €17 billion in revenue. The total European average population penetration rate is 12.5% as members of health and fitness clubs. Typical fitness club uptake of personal training services is between 3-5% of club membership, suggesting that there is the potential for 1.7-2.8 million personal training clients in Europe. These numbers would allow for 112,000 personal trainers all maintaining a very healthy client base of 25 clients per trainer. In 2018, the estimated number of personal trainers in Europe was approximately 71,000. So, there is still plenty of room for growth going forward. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for fitness trainers and instructors are projected to grow 39% from 2020 to 2030, almost five times faster than the average for all occupations. The job market is expected to add about 69,100 openings for fitness trainers and instructors each year, or 121,700 total openings over the decade.