Personal Trainer Job Satisfaction: How Happy Are PTs?

personal trainer job satisfaction

If you’re considering a career in the fitness industry, it would be a good idea to assess the current personal trainer job satisfaction rate so you can gauge an expectation for your future. With that in mind, we have covered the following:

Before we get straight into it, if you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, check out our CIMSPA-endorsed Personal Trainer Diploma. Find this and more in our downloadable course prospectus.

How Satisfied Are Personal Trainers With Their Job?

personal trainer job satisfaction

So, how happy are personal trainers within their jobs? The only way we could find out as close to the truth to this is by doing some extensive research into PT job satisfaction specifically which is exactly what we have done.

First, we looked at the statistical side of things and due to personal training being such a successful industry, and there was indeed research performed on real life subjects to determine how happy they are within their jobs. 

For example, this research gives an indication as to why the job satisfaction is high within the personal training industry specifically, take a look at this excerpt below explaining this well:

pt job satisfaction

We have highlighted some of the key indicators within this section, specifically those that are directly related to those who become personal trainers are happy in their jobs. This includes things such as:

  • Salary: Due to the fact that training is somewhat of a luxury for clients, the personal trainer salaries are typically much higher than many working class job roles, particularly if you’re freelance. This is because in order to hire a personal trainer, you would have a higher disposable income and thus, would be able to afford hourly PT rates of approximately £30 - £60+ an hour for X amount of times a week.
  • Possibility of growth: Like we mentioned, being freelance can be hugely beneficial for your salary and thus similarly, for growth within your career. It allows for uncapped earning potential and uncapped growth.
  • Working conditions: Working conditions as a personal trainer can be determined by what you want, making it an attractive prospect within the career. You can choose if you want to be a part of a commercial gym with a brand behind you, a private gym local to you or a freelancer who can bounce between all options. The point is the working conditions promote work freedom which has a hugely positive impact on job satisfaction.
  • Personal life: If you’re your own boss, you can create your own work-life balance and this can be another factor in the industry that people find so satisfying. 

You may notice that all of these things often boil down to the freedom that comes with a career as a personal trainer and the earning potential too. While there are of course some other contributing factors, these are the most prominent within research. 

Measuring Job Satisfaction for Employed PT’s

Aside from the general research about how happy PT’s are, there are some sources that provide us with useful information too, like popular job boards such as Glassdoor. This can provide insight into real testimonials surrounding job satisfaction for personal trainers, you can find a number of things regarding the job experience like these that we have highlighted below:

job satisfaction for personal trainers

Among the things like salaries and interview questions, there are insightful ratings that can help you understand the general job satisfaction along the sector, as well as within particularly fitness companies.

For example take a look at the review section below:

job satisfaction rates for personal trainers

You’re able to refine particular searches, including the challenges that may arise and the favourite parts of the job too. We have highlighted two of the many reviews that are on Glassdoor and you may notice how they align with the aforementioned scholarly research on PT job satisfaction too. 

Things like good work / life balance and career progression are both things that are highlighted often within reviews. There are clearly more than enough indications that the current industry of personal training are indeed happy with their jobs, but what makes it more reliable is the consistency of the same aligning factors that are mentioned.


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Become one of the many satisfied PT's with a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training here at OriGym!

With that in mind, you might want to understand some more on how this level of satisfaction and the things that make personal training different from other industries when it comes to job satisfaction.

How Does Job Satisfaction For Personal Trainers Compare To Other Jobs?

job satisfaction rates for a personal trainer

There are some statistics out there that will illustrate the level of job satisfaction you can expect as a PT compared to other industries and careers.

Following some research, we found one data set in particular that compared over 454 job roles in terms of their average pay, their meaningfulness and their job satisfaction.

In this data set, you can see these variables from left to right in that order below for what kind of response was received for the career of a personal trainer, alongside some other comparing careers:

how happy are personal trainers

As you can see where we have highlighted, fitness trainers have a job satisfaction rate of 71%, while this is pretty high within its own right, there are some comparisons that may surprise you.

For example, take a look at the similarities between job satisfaction between a personal trainer and the likes of physical therapists and even first line workers. 

The reason you should take notice of these similarities is because while some of these jobs may require degrees and years of education, you can still get the same job satisfaction that you hope for or more with just a vocational PT course. 

Data sets such as this are crowdsourced, meaning that this is based on people who are a part of all of these industries giving you an accurate representation of how happy PTs truly are.

Let’s find out what it is specifically that makes personal training an enjoyable career in case you have any doubt about what your future will look like as a PT.  

- - - -

Before we get straight into the things you can look forward to as a PT, here are some helpful resources on the exicting direction your career can take:

What Makes Personal Training A Satisfying Job? 7 Reasons to Join the Industry

#1 There is Uncapped Earning Potential as a Freelance PT

are personal trainers happy in their job

Aside from the job satisfaction in terms of the enjoyment that comes with being a personal trainer, there is of course the financial satisfaction.

As a freelance personal trainer in particular, the possibility to keep progressing and earning more has no limit. You’re able to set your own rates, work where you want to work, manage all expenses yourself and climb the ladder as time goes on.

Your personal trainer salary is managed solely by you if you’re freelance, and even if you decide to take a hired role, there is still a healthy amount of money to be made no matter the route you take. 


Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym...

Become one of the many satisfied PT's with a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training here at OriGym!

This is due to the fact that there are so many different routes into the personal training industry and all of them, more often than not, pay above the national wage should you have the correct qualifications behind you.  

You don’t have to simply take our word for it though, for example, take a look at this job advertisement from Virgin Active for a personal training role at one of their gyms:

are personal trainers happy in their jobs

This isn’t just Virgin Active either, it is most commercial gyms across the board in the UK. So whether you want to work in a private gym, open your own gym or utilise the reputation of a commercial gym to boost your business your earnings will be able to soar.

#2 You can Consistently Be Motivated by Clients’ Achievements

do personal trainers enjoy their job

As you now know, the sociable aspect of personal training can really help to boost the overall job satisfaction, but one aspect between you and the client that is unique to personal training is the consistent achievements your clients reach.

As a PT, it would be hard to fall short of motivation when you are seeing results in your own clients each and every day. You’re consistently gaining new clients, seeing them grow and setting new goals.

This is something that many people in other industries will never experience. You may often see testimonials from personal trainers who say they love their job because they’re able to help others. 

For example, take a look below at this excerpt from a PT’s blog below sharing why she became a PT:

do personal trainers enjoy their jobs

As you can see, not only are they satisfied with their job, but something that crops up again and again is the desire to help others achieve. 

This sense of accomplishment isn’t just for the client, it is for you as the instructor too. You get recognition for the hard work that you have put in to get to where you are in your career every time a client reaches a new milestone - this is what really increases the job satisfaction for personal trainers.

#3 Personal Training is A Sociable Activity

do personal trainers enjoy their job uk

One of the many reasons why people join the fitness industry is due to the nature of your day-to-day job responsibilities. It is a job in which no two days are the same since you’re consistently encountering new people and challenges.

It is an extremely sociable job, you are in a client facing role and as a PT, it is likely that you have the traits to make for a sociable trainer and would enjoy this kind of day to day life. You’re able to pick your clients and ensure that you’re not dealing with people who you don’t want to train.

You can get to know all of your clients, as you should, so their achievements are your achievements and meeting milestones becomes not just a win for you business, but for you personally as well. Aside from the B2C (business-to-consumer) relationship that you will naturally build, there are some other sociable aspects that make for a satisfying job prospect. 


Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym...

Become one of the many satisfied PT's with a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training here at OriGym!

The main one being the ‘team’ aspect of personal training. As a PT, you’re creating a community by gathering your clients and creating a group of people with one common ground - to feel better. This might mean getting stronger, losing weight, managing medical conditions, no matter what it is the end goal is improvement.

With this common motive, you can push the sociable aspect so much more. You can create group challenges, competitions and contact groups where everyone can share their achievements and you can celebrate them as well.  

This sense of community is certainly a contributing factor to overall personal trainer job satisfaction, it is unlike most other roles and the unique structure of it all makes getting up and going to work in the morning easier than it ever was before!

#4 Personal Trainers Have Career Freedom

do personal trainers enjoy being a PT

Something else that makes personal training a fulfilling and satisfying job prospect is the freedom that comes along with it. Since you’re able to be your own boss, you can have complete freedom over your business.

Whether it is how much you want to earn, or your general schedule that you want to have more control over, you can take charge of any of these things as a personal trainer.

You even have the ability to become a travelling personal trainer should you want to take your services outside of the UK. This level of freedom allows for you to trial and error what works for you, you can test out new PT niches and come to terms with what you’re passionate about.

For example, if something doesn’t work out for you, you have the career freedom to make adjustments and changes so you can keep going forward and not have to go through the process of changing jobs or companies. 

This kind of freedom can help combat any work stress, for example, take a look at these top 10 reasons for workplace stress based on research surrounding workplace health. 

do personal trainers enjoy being a PT

As you can see, number two on the list is a lack of control. This is something that you wouldn’t have to worry about as a personal trainer, since you could be your own boss and take full control of everything you need to be successful.

#5 There is Plenty of Room for Progression as a PT

is personal training an enjoyable job

We have mentioned how personal training is a career that has unlimited potential, but in what ways can PT’s progress that makes it such an enjoyable career?

Once you have become a personal trainer, you could branch out into some other areas of fitness, such as:

  • Yoga teaching
  • Gym manager
  • Gym owner
  • Exercise referral PT
  • Fitness tutor
  • Online personal training

There are tons of different ways to keep progressing your career as a PT, these are simply the more common routes to climbing the ladder. 

All of these routes to progression make for fulfilling careers and the prospect of these opportunities is what can contribute to the high level of job satisfaction for personal trainers.

#6 You can Network with Other Fitness Professionals

will I enjoy my job as a pt

As a personal trainer, you can begin to network with various fitness professionals to vary up your typical schedule and grow your PT target audience

By partnering up with relevant other fitness professionals, you have the ability to offer more services and market your PT business more successfully.

This is a great opportunity to create some sort of reputation and partner up with others who will benefit from your partnership too. For example, partnering with a sports nutritionist could be a great way to target sport professionals. 

Whatever it may be, networking and building relationships within the industry can be a great way to make your job more enjoyable and keep it exciting and new so the job satisfaction can stay high.

#7 You can Turn Your Hobby into a Career

will I enjoy my job as a personal trainer

Finally, one of the best things that makes personal trainers happy within their workplace is the fact that they have turned their passion and hobby into a career.

It is unlikely that you’re going to go through a PT course if you don’t already have a level of interest in fitness. Being able to turn your hobby into a career is the dream of most people, but being able to reap all of these benefits that we have mentioned and a fulfilling career is the ideal situation. 

Not only that, but your passion for fitness would only grow. As your career goes on, you can gain more and more knowledge for you and our clients, your passion behind training would push you for a more successful career and before you know it you’re living your dream.

This is almost always an answer when you ask personal trainers why they love their job, you will often see the answer -

 “to turn my hobby into a career”

This is because even just being in the gym is a hobby for many, the atmosphere and the sociability that comes with it turns it into a habit that millions of people enjoy. For example, take a look at what this personal trainer had to say about what they enjoy about working in the gym:

will I enjoy my job as a personal trainer

As you can see, this PT loves to be in the gym. It is a place that makes them happy and keeps them entertained, thus, boosting their personal trainer job satisfaction overall.

Think about your hobbies, then imagine being able to get paid to be there and learn more about what you love - this is what personal training can do and it is why the percentage of people happy within their jobs as a PT is likely to stay high.

Before You Go…

If you’re convinced that you’re ready to start your career in the fitness industry, personal training could be the best start for you. 

So, what are you waiting for? Become the next person writing about a PT job by completing our Personal Trainer DiplomaFind out more in our downloadable course prospectus here.

Written by Kimberley Mitchell


Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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