Working out how much you should charge as a personal trainer can be difficult when you’re newly qualified or relatively inexperienced.
You want to avoid underselling yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want to set your prices so high that you miss out on potential clients.
It’s a good idea to consider a few things when setting your price—from projecting your expected income to assessing the competition. Thankfully, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you decide.
With the help of some experienced personal trainers, we’ve identified several key factors to help you answer the question: how much should personal trainers charge?
Where they’re based greatly affects how much PTs charge for their services.
In areas like London, personal trainers can charge up to £200 for a one-to-one session, depending on experience. Some can charge as little as £15 per hour outside the capital.
As a rule of thumb, the average personal trainer cost per hour in the UK is around £30.
However, finding out what other local personal trainers are charging for their services will give you a good idea of the going rates in your area.
Tim Walker, the founder of Evolve Fitness in London, who was recently listed as one of the capital’s top personal trainers, said:
“I know other PTs who work with some of the top lawyers in London, and they charge £7-800 per session because they can—because people round there will pay it.
“We charge £75-85 an hour. I could charge more, but my fee is already high enough, and I’m passionate about loyalty and customer retention.
“If I moved my business two miles further south of London, I would go under. The client base wouldn’t be the same, and I couldn’t charge half of what I’m charging now.
“My advice to other PTs is—scout the area, look at the demographics and set your price from there.”
Andre Mellor, a personal trainer at DW Brooklands in Cheshire, also knows the value of location in deciding how much to charge.
He said: “Where I work is on the border of Cheshire, in an affluent area, which benefits me as a PT.
“People with spare cash aren’t worried about bills and can put money aside for gym memberships and one-to-one sessions.”
Related: How to write a personal trainer bio
It’s not exactly a secret—the higher the demand for your services, the more you can increase your cost per hour as a personal trainer.
You’re unlikely to be short of work if your target customer base is celebrities, footballers, and actors. These people not only pride themselves on their appearance, but many don’t also work traditional 9 to 5 jobs and have a bit of money to spare.
Mellor said: “I’ve found that people in affluent areas are more health-conscious because they’re not stressed about having mouths to feed and have more spare time on their hands.
“What this means is that where I work, you might get more one-to-one sessions than you would in another part of the country.”
Walker added: “If there are thousands of people in your area who exercise regularly and can easily afford it, you can set your prices higher.
“You just need to be realistic about how in-demand you are—don’t just think that you should charge £100 per session because some fitness ‘guru’ has said you can make this much.”
Some lucky personal trainers have a waiting list of hundreds of people—however, you obviously can’t expect to get to this level overnight.
Good marketing is the best way to increase the demand for your services. This encompasses everything, from managing your website and social media channels to digital inbound marketing and paid social media.
Ollie Lawrence, a Manchester-based personal trainer who has previously trained the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team, said:
“Always work on your website—when potential clients are searching online, your website is the first impression they’ll have when looking to train with you, so make sure your website reflects what your business does.”
Once you’ve gained more experience and expanded your skillset, don’t be afraid to increase how much you charge as a personal trainer.
Mollie Millington is a personal trainer and fitness writer who runs group and one-to-one sessions in East London and a digital-only service.
Millington has raised her prices twice in her first five years of business.
She said: “As my CPD courses started to add up and as I became more confident, I also increased my fees. Don’t be afraid to raise your prices yearly, provided it’s still a competitive rate.”
Walker added: “Experience brings confidence, and confidence allows you to charge more for your services. If you’re prepared to be patient and hone your skills, you’ll gain the experience you need to charge a higher fee.
“Don’t do what I’ve seen some PTs do and act like the world’s best salesperson from day one because you’ll reach your ceiling very quickly and fade away.
“You’ll also come across like you don’t care about providing a unique, good-quality service to your clients.
“You can’t rise to the top in a few months. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years, and I’m still not at the top. I’m still learning. You gain experience all the time.”
It’s more than just your skillset, specialisms and experience you need to consider when deciding how much to charge.
You also need to look at your competition—what type of service do they provide? What level of service do they provide? Is it more or less advanced than yours?
Darren Craven, a personal trainer with Amaven who has five years’ experience, warns against setting your fees high initially, especially when you don’t have the experience or advanced qualifications to support your perceived value.
He said: “As a new PT, it’s tempting to jump into a high pricing strategy to cover all of your overheads, gym rental fees, uniform, travel etc. But unfortunately, clients aren’t going to pay huge sums for a trainer with no experience.
“When I started training in the gym, I stuck to a competitive pricing strategy, but I made sure I offered clients something that others didn’t, so they had a reason to choose me over the other trainers in the gym. For me, this was the option of online fitness training to supplement their weekly sessions.”
Walker added: “Don’t charge the most in your area unless you’re the most qualified, experienced and in-demand PT in that area. You’d rather charge £30 and pick up some clients than charge £60 and get nothing.
“At the same time, don’t set your price too low to undercut the competition because you’ll end up taking on cheap clients. They’re difficult to train, never pay on time and can cause many problems.”
In addition to your skills, location and experience, there are numerous business costs you need to factor into the fee you charge.
Depending on your client’s goals, you might need to charge extra for personalised nutritional advice and individual meal plans. If you visit clients at their homes, you need to take travel costs into consideration.
There are also the costs that no one likes to consider—the business costs like tax and national insurance contributions. The amount you need to pay for NI contributions will depend on your earnings, but they start at £3.15 per week and are paid via self-assessment.
The personal tax allowance is currently £12,570 for the tax year 2022/23, so any earnings over that threshold (after business expenses are deducted) will be liable for tax.
The HMRC website is a great resource that gives you the lowdown on self-employment if you’re new to it all.
Then, of course, there is your gym equipment—if you’re providing a bespoke, high-quality service, you need high-quality equipment, which can be expensive.
You’ll also need to factor in the essential costs like personal trainer insurance, which you need if you train clients. This protects you if a claim is made against you for injury to a client during a session, or if the equipment you use to train is lost, damaged or stolen.
According to Statista, there are 7.2 thousand health and fitness clubs in the UK, of which 10 million Brits are members.
With the market becoming increasingly saturated to meet this soaring demand, making your business stand out is vital if you want to grow your business and increase your personal trainer prices.
Ashley Kissane, a REPs Level 3-qualified and self-employed personal trainer based in Peterborough, said:
“Compare yourself to other PTs with REPs Level 3 and work out your unique selling point. Have you got any further qualifications? These should be included on your website to highlight your credentials. Any testimonials from clients will also boost your reputation.”
Specialist personal trainer insurance with Insure4Sport
If you’re serious about a career in personal training, you may want to consider protecting yourself and your clients with specialist insurance.
With Insure4Sport, specialist personal trainer insurance is designed to cover you if your equipment is lost, damaged, or stolen, or if a client makes a claim against you.
If you suffer a serious injury while carrying out your PT sessions, you’ll also be covered for loss of earnings for up to 52 weeks.
Discover more about how we can help here, or click the button below to get an instant online quote.