Getting your master personal training certification is not as simple as becoming a personal trainer. To become a master at your craft means that you are putting in the hard work and dedication to master what you do.
When I started my fitness career I was a personal trainer at 24hr Fitness. At the time I began with a personal training certification and was the new guy. Being at the bottom of the totem pole sucked, because you didn’t get paid as much as the master trainers, but lets face it, I didn’t have the education or experience.
As a personal trainer in the big gyms you start out on an hourly wage ($7 a session in 2012) and earn commissions for what you sell. Once you get your master personal training certification, you earned a higher wage ($26 a session) and higher commissions. And the kicker was you even charge your clients more!
How To Know If You Should Become A Master Personal Trainer
If you work for the big gym, then becoming a master personal trainer is the best way to maximize your income and worth as the go to trainer. Working for the big gym does have its benefits, but also has drawbacks. As an independent personal trainer you can make more money per session, but you also have to be good at marketing and running a business.
However, for this article’s sake I will focus on your Master Personal Training Certification.
3 Ways To Get Become A Master Personal Trainer
1 Specialty Certifications
After you become a personal trainer, you will need to continue with your continuing education. And one way to do that is to get more certs like:
- Strength and Conditioning
- Sports Nutrition
- Functional Training
As you rack up more certifications, you will eventfully get the title of Master Trainer.
2 The Big Box Way
If you work for a big gym, you will eventually become a master trainer. The benefit here is that they will usually pay for all or portions of the certification costs. At 24hr Fitness you have a certain protocol of certifications you need plus 2000 sessions trained. If you train 25 sessions per week, you should be able to hit your Master Trainer session goal within 2 years.
That takes dedication to the cause, but if you are planning on working for the big box then this is a great way to increase your training wage.
3 Be Your Own Boss
As an independent trainer you don’t need to be a master personal trainer by definition, but multiple certifications will help you differentiate yourself from other trainers.
Look at it this way, if you are a master personal trainer at a big gym then you have been there for up to two years. You have put the time and energy into working for someone else and get paid well for your time and experience.
Lets compare the two:
A Master Personal Trainer At Mega Gym:
You earn $26 per session and train 20 sessions per week that costs $90 per session to the client.
Lets say you earn 20% commission on all packages you sell. So, 80 sessions @ $90 per session is $7200 of which you earn 20%.
Your pre-tax income for that month is $2080 ($26 per session x 80 sessions) plus $1440 in commissions equals…$3520. On an annual basis, you will earn a little over 40k per year.
An Independent Personal Trainer
Use the same scenario but instead of charging your client $90 per session as a master trainer, you charge $75.
80 sessions per month @ $75 per session equals $6000. Take out 15% for business expenses (gym rental, credit card processing, other expenses). You will net $5100 on the same amount of clients which is over 60k on an annual basis.
In both these scenarios you are training the same amount of clients, but as an independent trainer you earn almost 20k more per year! Not including all the tax benefits you receive for owning your own business.
Master Of Your Domain
When I was a personal trainer at the big box gym I ran this same scenario to get my master personal training certification and decided it was not worth it for me to wait to train 2000 hours so I can let the gym keep all the money for being the product my clients are buying.
However, not everyone can be a successful independent trainer! It is up to you to decide, but if you are in this business to provide a better life for yourself while you are helping others get healthy, then starting your own fitness business may be the best way to get your master personal training certification!