So you’ve decided to become a fitness professional, or maybe you’re just curious and wondering how the world of personal training works.
Well, whatever your level of curiosity or interest, I’ve put together a few statistics and facts to help shape your idea of what goes in and comes out of the fitness world.
If you do happen to be on your way into the illustrious career of a personal trainer, I recommend you consider the necessary first step, getting certified.
I’ve put together a little quiz, a survey so to speak, which will help you decide on the right cert for the career you chose in the fitness world. Check it out here.
In this article, I’ve gathered data on various aspects of the fitness and training business and split them into what I find to be the three main components of the industry.
The first section is just about you, the personal trainer.
Its a summary in numbers to help guide your decisions and inform your prospects as a working PT.
The second section looks at the Industry itself.
The functioning commercial machine in which you will be working your way up. This will help navigate the various tiers of operation and let you peer into what makes it all tick.
The final section puts a lens on the end consumer.
Exposing trends and habits that dictate where the fitness industry is and where it’s going, helping you tap into an ever-increasing demand for health and fitness.
If after reading this article, you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll respond within 24 hours.
Without further ado, let’s get into some stats and figures.
Personal Trainer Stats Infographic
As mentioned, these statistics pertain to your direct involvement in the fitness industry as a personal trainer. My goal is for this data to help you learn how to get in, stay in and grow.
These stats were obtained via multiple sources. From web sources, to google trends searches and direct outreach to relevant industry professionals.
Number of trainers
In the United States, there are approximately 340,000 certified personal trainers working professionally.
This number has increased by 21.5% from the 2012 number of 267,000.
This indicates a healthy growth in the number of opportunities, but also in the amount of competition, so stay sharp, and check out my PT marketing tactics that will help you maintain an edge.
As a personal trainer, you’ll have the chance to make a decent living and even a very lucrative career if your work long, hard and smart enough. Here’s what you can expect to take home each year:
- Average minimum: $42,000
- Median: $59,000
- Average maximum: $72,000
Most common qualifications
When becoming a personal trainer, getting the right certification is your first port of call.
In order to maximize your chances, your best bet is to obtain one of the most popular accredited certifications. Here they are in rank order according to google trends:
Getting any one of these certs is a great way to ensure your chances, especially when you’re just starting, in fact, who are we kidding, you can’t really start a fitness career without one.
Always remember to go for an NCCA or DEAC accredited certification.
Anything else will only leave you a few pennies lighter with maybe less credibility than you had before.
Avoid online crash courses at all costs. Go with one of the above certs instead.
Most common specializations
Outside of a general CPT cert, and in no particular order, here’s a list of commonly sought after specializations in fitness.
Getting these will set you up for better opportunities and a higher overall income.
- Group Fitness Specialist.
- Nutrition/Weight Management Specialist
- Corrective/Rehab Specialist
- S&C/ Performance/ Sports Specific Specialist.
- Special Populations Specialist.
- Mind-Body (Yoga/Pilates) Specialist.
Specializing instantly boosts your reputation and adds an extra bargaining chip to your resume and client conversions.
Specialist trainers form the majority of the top-earning personal trainers, so It definitely pays to find an area of special focus.
Quality of Life
As a trainer, or any professional for that matter, your choice in career is heavily determined by a passion for what you do and the sense of fulfilment you could gain.
According to CNN Money, the quality of life ratings for a personal trainer are as follows:
|Quality of Life Factor|
|Personal Satisfaction||Low Stress||Benefit to society||Flexibility|
The fitness industry in America has a current market value of $32bn with a 2019 revenue of $9bn.
This isn’t huge in corporate terms, but with the way things are going, it’s going to get bigger and really, really fast.
The fitness industry shows a growth rate of around1% per year, which means in the next 10 years, it is projected to grow by 10%.
10% might not sound like a lot, but in business terms, that’s huge!
Most common types of gyms
The fitness business has four main modes of operation in terms of client/service interaction. These are, in rank order of most frequent:
- Mid-market gyms (franchise)
Gyms such as 24 Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, Crunch Fitness, and Gold’s Gym are in this group. These big chain franchise gyms offer the most frequent and affordable access to the general fitness consumer, giving you access to a ceaseless pool of potential clients.
- Boutique, studio gyms
These small specialized fitness clubs are trending up today. Offering an intimate tailored experience with a limited focus on specific areas of fitness, these gyms are all the rage. The high energy atmosphere and trendy aesthetic come together to make these a great way to build a reputation as a trainer.
- Upmarket gyms (Franchise)
Upmarket gyms basically take the mid-market gym model and give it the shine and attitude of a boutique. Basically put, these are large scale gyms that put a premium on service and aesthetic. These gyms are good if you’re on the hunt for high-income clients.
- High-performance centers/ Sports
These specialist facilities are designed with one thing in mind, maximized performance for athletic population groups. This means you need to be specialized in the field of strength, conditioning and sports specific training.
Number of Fitness facilities/gyms
Currently, there are up to 39,570 fitness facilities, health clubs and gyms (not counting complimentary fitness services such as hotel gyms and student health clubs at colleges). This number is growing almost on a daily basis.
The last thing you want to get a handle on is what trends consumers tend to follow when it comes to fitness.
This will help you position yourself as good as possible.
The end consumer is ultimately who you’ll be working with and where the money will be coming from, so always aim to please and connect with clients as well as you can.
Number of people with gym/fitness club membership
20% of Americans have an active gym membership.
That’s a fairly decent number, which seems to be growing, and rightfully so. America needs to get fitter, so these numbers are promising.
Total number of fitness consumers
America currently has approximately 71.5 million fitness consumers. The demographics’ breakdown as follows:
- 51% male
- 49% female
- Average age 40 years old
The current 2019 level of 71.5 million is up by 57% since 2015 (45 million in 2015)
Another interesting aspect of how people consume fitness services is the market segmentation, and by that, I mean the inherent motivation that drives people to go to the gym.
Bear in mind that it’s hardly ever just one or the other, but often a mix between.
- Weight loss.
- Performance enhancement.
- Skills optimization
- Medical requirement
40% of America is obese! That means 94 million people in the US are dangerously overweight. This is probably the only awful stat in this list, which is kind of why I’ll end with this.
That’s because being a personal trainer is about more than just making a good income and building your status and rep. It’s also about making the people around you healthier and happier.
Providing fitness should be seen as a necessary service to society and not just another job. Trust me, America needs it!
So there you have it! A few interesting and essential statistics to give you a quick overview of the trainer industry.
I tried to cover enough essential points without overdoing it with the facts and figures. If there are any specific stats you’d like to know more about, just drop me a line in the comment section below, I’ll be sure to respond.
One thing to keep in mind and a sharp eye on is industry growth. Change is the only constant as they say, and the fitness industry is no exception.
It’s showing growth figures way above the national average for all industries.