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9 Best Gyms To Work For As A Personal Trainer

Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer

Across the country, many of the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer are always looking to recruit employees, both newly qualified PTs and those with plenty of experience. 

In this article, we’ll break down:

If you've yet to qualify, you can take the first steps to becoming a personal trainer by completing OriGym's industry-leading Personal Trainer Diploma. Upon completion of this qualification, you will receive a guaranteed job interview with one of our corporate partners. 

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Best Gyms To Work For As A Personal Trainer

Deciding on the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer is important for establishing your ideal career in the industry.

Types Of Gyms To Work For As A Personal Trainer

Before we answer ‘what are the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer’, we’ll start by examining the types of gyms you can work for to help with your decision.

Commercial Gyms Can Be The Best Gyms To Work For As A Personal Trainer

Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer - commercial gyms

The most common type of gyms personal trainers work for in the UK are commercial gyms. These are typically franchise or chain gyms and will be the main focus of our article with our list of the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer.

These are great places to work for those who are starting their career in the fitness industry as a result of providing more security and a faster employment rate. Commercial gyms are also ideal for allowing beginners to gain industry experience before moving onto more specialised roles.

Pros

  • In terms of members and a potential client base, they’re generally the largest.
  • Provide entry-level positions, meaning little to no experience is required for most PT positions.
  • Employment is more secure and provides plenty of perks.
  • Dozens of location options across the country, even in less populated areas.
  • Equipment is often of a higher quality and there’s plenty to use during sessions.

Cons

  • Lower overall income compared to private or specialised gyms.
  • Fixed corporate structure of some commercial gyms can mean limited opportunities for career progression.
  • Due to the large scale of commercial gyms and the number of employees, it can be difficult to stand out as a personal trainer

Find Employment As A PT At Private & Boutique Gyms

Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer - private gyms

Anything from a small independently-run studio to a premium high end fitness facility can be a private studio or boutique gym. These kinds of venues usually offer a higher standard of training and are more specialised, making their membership fees more expensive. 

Most personal trainers only work here once they’ve gained more experience due to the premium nature of these venues.

Pros

  • Premium equipment and facilities to use during sessions.
  • Higher-end clientele means you can increase the prices of sessions.
  • Hours are generally more flexible than in commercial gyms due to a less corporate structure.
  • As there is a smaller, more tight knit community in these venues, there’s more of an opportunity to stand out more.

Cons

  • Unless you know someone in management or have connections, it can be difficult to find employment here.
  • Especially in independent gyms, there’s less job security than in commercial gyms.

Work At Specialty Gyms As A Personal Trainer

Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer uk - specialty gyms

As the name suggests, specialty gyms specialise in particular demographics such as:

  • Children 
  • Women
  • Elderly People

An example is women-only gyms, which have grown in popularity, or people wanting to work with young people. This can also be for specific types of workouts such as boxing or crossfit gyms.

However, most personal trainers don’t begin their careers finding employment in speciality gyms but will follow this route once they’ve gained plenty of experience.

Pros

  • Easier to advertise yourself using personal trainer marketing strategies if you can offer a more specialised service.
  • Allows you to gain more experience in a specialised area of fitness and pursue a particular passion.
  • It can be highly rewarding to train specific demographics or more vulnerable people such as children or those with disabilities.

Cons

 

Pursue The Fitness Career Of Your Dreams!

Open up a world of career opportunities by qualifying with a Personal Trainer Diploma! 

Best Gyms To Work For As A Personal Trainer

Now you’ve decided on the type of gym you’d like to work at, it’s time to check out our list of the 9 best gyms to work for as a personal trainer in the UK.

#1 - Anytime Fitness

Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer - anytime fitness

Average salary: £28,121

As one of the fastest growing gym franchises in the world, Anytime Fitness is certainly one to consider when deciding on the best gyms to work for as a PT. Although based in the USA, this franchise has over 185 clubs in the UK and Ireland, meaning there’s plenty of locations to choose from.

Anytime Fitness is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week! With their gyms operating 365 days a year, this gives you plenty of opportunity to work hours that suit you and gain a range of clients. For example you may want to take on clients in the early morning or late at night, something other gyms don’t allow you to do.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, Anytime Fitness ranks 3.8 out of 5 on Indeed’s employee reviews. Their highest ranking is for work-life balance meaning you should consider working here if this is important to you.

#2 - The Gym Group

Gym Group - Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer

Average salary: £9.79 per hour

Similar to Anytime Fitness, the Gym Group is another of the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This franchise prides itself on being the lowest cost nationwide 24/7 gym with 230 locations. 

With over 750,000 members, this means you have a very large client pool to choose from. The Gym Group also hires their personal trainers on a freelance basis, meaning you will get all of your income from clients and there is no monthly rental fee. The only stipulation is you need to spend 12 hours a week on the gym floor helping members and running inductions.

The Gym Group also ranks highly for employee satisfaction, scoring 3.8 out of 5 on Indeed. They rank especially highly for work-life balance and job security.

#3 - Virgin Active

Virgin Active - Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer

Average salary: £20.82 per hour

This is part of the Virgin Group franchise with 237 locations across the world, including 43 in the UK. These worldwide locations means you have the opportunity to work in one of these venues abroad.

With OriGym’s Personal Training Diploma being recognised internationally, you could make your dream of becoming a PT at Virgin Active, a reality.

Virgin Active scores well for employee satisfaction with 3.7 stars on Indeed, ranking highly for work-life balance, pay, and job security.

 

Pursue The Fitness Career Of Your Dreams!

Open up a world of career opportunities by qualifying with a Personal Trainer Diploma! 

#4 - Fitness First

Fitness first - Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer

Average salary: £26.25 per hour

Founded in 1993, Fitness First is an international fitness centre brand. With over 360 clubs in 17 countries, it’s one of the longest-running commercial gyms around.

Fitness First doesn't directly employ personal trainers. Instead, they hire purely freelance or self-employed PTs. Similar to The Gym Group, this provides added flexibility, allowing you to continue with other ventures alongside your personal training work.

The franchise holds a rating of 3.5 out of 5 for its employee reviews on Indeed, scoring well for job security and work-life balance.

Another perk of working in this gym as a personal trainer is the international locations meaning you can transfer to a new gym and work abroad. The reputable name of this fitness chain in the industry will enhance your personal trainer CV, helping you to stand out more.

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While it’s important to learn about the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer, you should also check out how to increase your employment opportunities:

#5 - PureGym

PureGym - Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer

Average salary: £23,443

With over 1.5 million members registered to their gyms in 327 locations, PureGym is one of the most well-known gym chains in the fitness industry. There are 500 locations worldwide, operating in 9 different countries.

Similar to some of the other of the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer, PureGym hires on a freelance basis. This means you aren’t directly employed by them but have more freedom and flexibility. When you become a PureGym personal trainer, they don’t take a cut of your earnings, meaning you receive 100% of your income from clients.

No loss of earnings - best gyms to work for as a personal trainer uk

However, the agreement as a freelancer is you have to work 15 hours on the gym floor completing a range of tasks. In order to have access to the club’s facilities for your sessions, there is a small monthly rental fee.

For employee satisfaction, PureGym has 3.5 on Indeed and 3.3 on Glassdoor, scoring well in areas such as work-life balance and diversity & inclusion.

You can read this article to learn more about becoming a PT at PureGym.

#6 - David Lloyd Leisure

David Lloyd - Best gyms to work for as a PT

Average salary: £18.24 per hour

With over 600,000 members, this is one of the most popular fitness venues in the UK. There are currently 130 venues across Europe with 101 in the UK. 

David Lloyd is one of the more high-end gyms on this list, with features such as:

  • Premium gym equipment
  • Tennis courts
  • Exercise studios
  • Heated indoor & outdoor swimming pools
  • Luxury spas

As a personal trainer in this kind of venue, this will be greatly beneficial as you will be able to use this equipment to train a large pool of clients. Similar to PureGym, you will receive 100% of your income from clients and won’t have to pay a rental fee.

Part of your agreement will be spending 8 to 10 hours a week taking gym inductions and leading group classes. This differs from other gyms on this list who have a slightly higher minimum number of hours freelance PTs are required to work.

However, when it comes to employee satisfaction, David Lloyd Leisure has a rating of 3.2 on Indeed, slightly lower than others on this list. While they score well for work-life balance, there appears to be complaints regarding management.

#7 - Nuffield Health

Nuffield Health - Best gyms to work for as a PT

Average salary: £31,250

The largest healthcare charity in the UK, Nuffield Health operates 114 Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centres from when it was established in 1957.

Unlike other franchises on our list, personal trainers are employed directly by Nuffield Health. Being an employee means you will receive employment benefits such as holiday pay and won’t have to pay rental fees, saving you money.

Receive employment benefits at the best gyms to work for as a pt

While you’re employed directly by the gym, you get 100% of your income from clients in exchange for 15 hours of your 40 hour working week carrying out tasks around the gym floor such as delivering inductions.

When looking at the best gyms to work for as a PT, it’s important to look at employee reviews. However, Nuffield Health ranks lower in terms of star rating on Indeed’s employee reviews, scoring 3.1 out of 5.

Although they rank moderately for work-life balance, there are complaints regarding a lack of progression and they score lower than 3 for job security and management.

 

Pursue The Fitness Career Of Your Dreams!

Open up a world of career opportunities by qualifying with a Personal Trainer Diploma! 

#8 - Total Fitness

Total fitness - Best gyms to work for as a PT

Average salary: £15,000 - £23,000

One of the smaller gym chains on this list, Total Fitness is based in the north of England with 16 health venues. The reported salary range comes from Glassdoor and is accurate for a smaller fitness franchise than some of the other ones in this list.

If a more intimate gym chain is something that appeals to you, then this is one of the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer. While one of the smaller franchises, it’s still established enough to provide perks and will look impressive to employers on your CV.

personal trainer CV - Best gyms to work for as a PT

However, it’s still important to look at what past employees have said about working for the company. It’s worth mentioning, Total Fitness ranks among the lowest on our list when it comes to employee reviews.

With an average score of 3 out of 5 stars, Total Fitness ranks below 3 in most categories of their employee review, especially in terms of pay & benefits. However, they have an almost equal number of 5 star and 1 star reviews, meaning it can be difficult to judge the company as a whole.

#9 - JD Gyms

JD Gyms - Best gyms to work for as a PT

Average salary: £28,391

Since JD Sports Fashion decided to venture into the fitness industry in 2014, it has since taken the low-cost market by storm with 31 gyms open across the UK.

When it comes to personal trainer employment, JD Gyms has two options. This is to either work for them directly or on a self-employed basis. Similar to others on this list, if you work for them on a self-employed basis, you get 100% of your earnings. 

You will also not be charged a monthly rent to operate your PT business from a JD Gym and will have access to a clientbase at the venue. However, you will be expected to complete duties around the gym such as cleaning and delivering sessions.

Cleaning best gyms to work for as a personal trainer

According to Indeed, the average salary for a personal trainer at JD Gyms is £28,391. In terms of salary, this places it amongst the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer.

JD Gyms ranks moderately for working there as a personal trainer with many having positive experiences, compared to other roles in the company. It also ranks well for culture and work-life balance although there are a couple of complaints regarding management.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Gym To Work For

When it comes to choosing the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer (UK), there are several other factors you should consider before making your decision.

Explore The Salaries For The Best Gyms To Work For As A PT

 Salaries For The Best Gyms To Work For As A PT

How much you will earn is arguably the most important factor to consider when deciding on the best gym to work for as a personal trainer. Although money shouldn’t always be the deciding factor, it will still have a major impact on your decision.

There is no definitive answer for what the personal trainer salary is on average. This is influenced by number of factors, including:

  • Experience
  • Location
  • Type of gym you work for

The number of qualifications you have also has an impact on your personal trainer income. The more knowledge and services you can offer clients, the more employment potential you will have.

Qualifications to work for the best gyms to work for as a pt

Aside from the necessary Level 3 Personal Training Diploma, employers will look for additional qualifications that will allow you to work in a gym.

This may be specialist qualifications such as Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition or Level 4 Obesity Control & Weight Management.

Indeed provides an average personal trainer salary in the UK as £29,315 based on over 2,000 salaries:

 Salary For The Best Gyms To Work For As A PT

However, once again these average salaries should be taken with a pinch of salt as there are many different factors affecting this national average.

When deciding on the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer, some questions to ask yourself include:

  • Will I have a fixed yearly salary or will I be paid by the hour?
  • How often will I be paid?
  • Do I have the opportunity for pay progression?
  • Are there any additional charges such as rent or insurance?

Asking yourself these questions helps you to understand what kind of work you want and will help you make the right employment decision in the end.

 

Pursue The Fitness Career Of Your Dreams!

Open up a world of career opportunities by qualifying with a Personal Trainer Diploma! 

Check The Operating Hours Of The Best Gyms To Work For As A Personal Trainer

Operating hours for best gyms to work for as a personal trainer uk

When deciding on the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer, you need to consider contract type. This means working part time, full time, or freelance.

The hours you choose to work is determined by your current schedule, commitments, and personal preference. For example, if you’re looking for stable full time work, it’s unlikely you’ll want to work freelance in a gym.

There are many factors to consider when choosing your type of employment. Working as a part-time personal trainer provides more flexibility which means you have the chance to take on other work around these hours. However, the overall income is less than a full time personal trainer position.

Consider The Location Of The Best Gyms To Work For As A PT

Location Of The Best Gyms To Work For As A PT

Location is a major factor when choosing the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer. Not only is this important for making your life easier by commuting to the gym but it also determines the wage you’ll earn.

Depending on where you are in the UK, various areas will have a higher wage compared to others as the cost of living is higher. For example, a personal trainer in London will likely earn more than anywhere else in the country, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. 

For example, Indeed reports an average salary for a personal trainer in London to be £30,497 based on 669 salaries:

best gyms to work for as a personal trainer uk - london

This is much higher than when we compare this with working as a personal trainer in Liverpool where the average salary is reported as £26,661 based on 41 reported salaries:

best gyms to work for as a personal trainer uk - liverpool

Although the wage in London is higher, this doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better to work there. The income is higher because it is more expensive to live there so you should take this into account when deciding on the best gyms to work for in the UK.

However, if travelling to clients isn’t something you want to do, you may consider becoming an online personal trainer and conduct sessions from home.

Read Employee Reviews For The Best Gyms To Work For (UK)

Read Employee Reviews For The Best Gyms To Work For (UK)

Before applying for a job with a particular company, you should check out reviews from past and present employees. This is a great way to get a well-rounded view of a workplace and while not every review should be taken as fact, it can still be beneficial.

Websites such as Indeed provide employee reviews from most gyms and fitness venues in the UK from real people who have worked there. As you’ll be spending a lot of time at your job, you need to ensure the environment is pleasant to work in.

To read reviews from employees, you can search for the company and will be presented with the number of reviews and the overall star rating:

Best gyms to work for as a personal trainer uk - reviews

The larger a company is, the more reviews there will be to read. However, you shouldn’t be put off applying to one of the best gyms in the UK to work for as a personal trainer just because of one negative review.

Before You Go!

The more experience and skills you acquire, the more employment opportunities you will gain with the best gyms to work for as a personal trainer. 

You can pursue your dream career at a gym following the completion of your Personal Trainer Diploma. Here you will acquire vital skills and knowledge to stand out to employers! 

Download our course prospectus here to find out how to do this and get started today!

Written by James Brady

Fitness Writer & Enthusiast

James graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. His desire to find a place where he could combine his passion for writing and love of fitness is what brought him to OriGym. He believes his passion for daily exercise, especially running, is imperative in keeping him motivated and productive. As a result, he has a particular interest in the psychology of health and fitness and the relationship between physical and mental health. Outside of work, James enjoys reading, swimming, writing short stories, watching classic movies and has a keen interest in journalism and filmmaking.

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