In general, personal trainers that are just starting out or have little experience charge lower rates than personal trainers who have been perfecting their craft over a long period of time. Not only that, but personal trainers who have recognized certifications, or who have received training in specific areas like sports, rehabilitation, nutrition, or performance can often charge more.
For a beginner personal trainer, prices can range from as low as $20 to $50 per session, to as high as $100 or more. As you can see, the rate any given personal trainer may charge can be drastically different. And that rate will depend on several factors, so let’s dive deeper into what can justify such different rates.
The location you are in can play a huge factor in how much a personal trainer will charge. Big cities typically have higher costs than smaller towns or rural areas. Which will justify a personal trainer charging more – even if they are relatively new. Things that affect the price can include training space rental, insurance, equipment, and of course the general cost of living in that area.
If you are a personal trainer who is just starting out in a big expensive city, consider offering time limited deals or discounts for new clients. For example, you could offer new clients a rate of $25 per session for the first month only, then charge your normal rate of $50 per session. This will reduce the risk for the new clients, and help incentivize people to begin working with you.
Experience and Qualifications
Your experience and qualifications also play a major role in setting your rates. In the personal training industry there is no such thing as “fake it till you make it”. If you are inexperienced it will be immediately obvious to you clients, and if you are not certified you can’t just certify yourself.
Luckily for beginner personal trainers, getting certified is not difficult if you know what you are doing. And gaining experience can be as simple as getting certified, and offering very affordable rates to build your initial client base.
Experienced personal trainers who are certified know exactly what they are doing at all times. They have an abundance of knowledge from years of hard work to pull from, and rarely see a situation that they haven’t encountered before. This usually makes the entire process for their client much smoother, and provides greater value as they reach their desired fitness goals more easily.
If you are someone who is interested in becoming a personal trainer, check out our post How to become a personal trainer in Ontario.
- The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP-CPT)
Type of training
As briefly mentioned, the type of training you are doing can also have an impact on how much a beginner personal trainer can charge. The more specialized and niche your training is, the less competition there will be, but also less market demand.
Whether you are doing general health and fitness training, weight loss training, physique training, balance and mobility training, or rehabilitation. The price you can charge for your services will vary based on supply and demand for that area of expertise.
It’s a good idea to do some research and compare prices from trainers who offer the same services, and set a rate that is competitive. Keep in mind that while price is an important consideration for your clients, it is not the only factor. The most important thing for most clients, regardless of the type of training, is finding someone who has experience, certifications, and that they are comfortable working with.
How to set a good rate as a beginner personal trainer?
From our three factors above, take a look at your current location, level of experience and qualifications, as well as your training niche. Do some research to see what the competition is charging for the same services in the same area, and what their qualifications are.
If you are not certified, then get certified. And if you don’t have as much experience as most of your competition, then consider charging less to begin to build your client base.
Setting the right price for your service can be a complex task. Aside from the already mentioned factors you also have competition, market demand, and the cost of providing the service to think about.
Here are a few proven strategies that can help you when setting an appropriate price for your personal training services:
Cost plus pricing
The cost plus pricing strategy is about two things. One, calculate the cost of providing your service. And two, adding a markup to determine the final price. Utilizing cost plus pricing will make sure that your expenses are covered, and that you are making an actual profit.
We touched on competitive pricing above, but it is one of the staple methods of price setting. Competitive pricing involves researching the competition, and evaluating what prices they charge for the same or similar services. This will give you a good idea of what the going market rate is for what you are looking to provide.
Value Based Pricing
Value based pricing requires great marketing to pull off. This strategy is all about finding out the value that your service provides to the client, and setting the price accordingly. Value based pricing allows you to charge more for a service that has a perceived higher value.
Marketing your services as premium, higher quality, etc. can change its perceived value. Although easier said than done, if you have a lot of experience and can back-up your claims of providing a superior service, you can charge more.
Psychological pricing can seem a bit tricky, but there is a lot of research and data to back it up. This strategy involves setting certain price points which are perceived as more attractive to customers.
Well known examples are charm pricing ($1.99 instead of $2.00), innumeracy (buy one get one, instead of 50% off), flat rate bias (A, B, and C for $99), and price appearance (99 instead of $99.00).
Ultimately, you need to test the prices in the market and see what will work best for your service. You can also use a combination of these methods and adjust prices as needed based on customer feedback and market conditions.
How to offer good incentives as a beginner personal trainer?
As a personal trainer, there are so many ways to incentivize your services. As a beginner you should look at some of the most common, tried and true methods.
As a personal trainer, offering a discount is a very effective way to attract new clients, and encourage repeat business. Try mixing and matching the following types of discounts to increase your revenue:
- Percentage discount: This is an extremely common form of discount. Just take the regular price and offer a certain percent off (30% off).
- Dollar amount discount: This is also a very common discount, you have likely seen it many times in your own personal life. Take the regular price of your service and offer a fixed amount off ($30 off).
- Buy one, get one free: Also known as BOGO, this discount is very effective. This one is self explanatory, but you will be offering a free service when a client purchases another. It can be the same service or offered with a complimentary service (Buy X get Y free).
- Volume discount: These are extremely practical types of discounts for the service provider as well as the client or customer. Volume discounts are especially good when encouraging repeat business. Try offering a discount when a large quantity is purchased. For example, ($10 off the normal rate for 10 or more sessions per month).
- Advanced payment discount: Also known as the early bird discount, try offering a percent or fixed dollar incentive for clients or customers who pay in advance. For example, $10 off the normal session rate when you book one month in advance.
- Seasonal discount: These types of discounts can be good year round, either as a method of attracting new clients, or as a means to fill normally slow times of the year. Try offering discounts on holidays or during specific seasons. For example, 30% off all sessions between December 25th and January 1st.
Do you remember the bundle bias we mentioned before? Well it’s true, surprisingly the average consumer is willing to pay more for a bundled service, as it is perceived as less complicated. Trying to combine multiple services into a single, easy to digest package to make them more attractive, and increase their overall value.
Try offering a discount to any client who refers someone else to you. Referral incentives are an extremely cost effective way to grow your client base. The type of discount can be any mentioned above, or even something new – as long as it provides value to your customer. That is typically why a discount is the go to, as the client or customer is already paying and enjoying your service.
Limited time offers
Using these types of incentives create a sense of urgency. Try offering a promotion for a limited time to encourage new customers, and repeat customers to take advantage of it before it expires. For example, book 10 training sessions before next Friday for $15 off the normal rate.
As a personal trainer, a free trial (1 free session) can be one of the best ways to attract new clients. Although you will have some wasted trials, it is a 0% risk to the prospective client, and an excellent opportunity for you to prove the value of your service. Try offering a free training session to new clients, and use your expertise to convert them into paying customers.
As the saying goes, it costs much more to acquire a customer than it does to keep a customer. That is why client retention is so important! By using a loyalty program, you can reward clients for their repeat business. Setting up a loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat business can be a great way to retain customers.
Are you still wondering “how much should a beginner personal trainer charge?”
Overall, the rate a beginner personal trainer should charge will vary depending on a number of factors. Things like qualifications, location, and the type of training they specialize in will alter the price. Some beginner personal trainers can charge as low as $20 to $30 per session, while others charge $50 to $60.
It’s important to note that charging lower rates doesn’t necessarily mean a lower quality of service. Also while beginner personal trainers might have less experience, they can have the same qualifications, and offer fresh ideas, and a unique perspective or approach in their training.
If you are a beginner personal trainer in Toronto, Ontario Canada and need a place to train come to Placemade. We are the #1 personal training studio in the city, and home for growth with a community of like minded professionals. All our trainers are certified pros, and charge anywhere from $65 or more per session.