2013 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report

I have commented many times on how much I value my membership to IDEA Health & Fitness Association. One of the many benefits includes access to the salary and compensation survey they distribute approximately every two years.  It’s extremely helpful for me, as well as to many of the emerging professionals I work with.  It’s important to be informed on compensation and salaries, especially if you are entering the job market.  Keep in mind that there are many professional organizations that can do this for other professions if you are still considering different career options.

In April 2013, IDEA sent an email to 62,104 fitness professionals (myself being one of them) to participate in a survey related to compensation.  There were 1,532 professionals who responded.  Respondents were:

  • 14% Personal Trainers
  • 28% Group Exercise Instructors
  • 6% Health and fitness facility owners
  • 6% Personal training studio owners
  • 15% Hybrid fitness professionals
  • 9% Fitness directors/coordinators
  • 4% General managers
  • 8% Mind/Body instructors
  • 5% Group fitness directors/coordinators
  • 4% Program directors
  • 1% Personal training directors

Seven different positions were examined.  The information I will share here will refer to national averages.  The full report provides much greater detail in regard to how these rates differ regionally.  Here some findings that I found particularly interesting across the different positions that were included in the survey.

  1. Fitness / Program Director:  These positions hire staff, manage equipment, schedule staff, develop classes and lectures/clinics, provide training, and prepare budgets.  There was a decline in average salary from $50,639 by $4,000 since 2010 and a lower percentage of directors are eligible for health benefits than in 2010.
  2. Personal Training Director:  These positions hire, supervise, and schedule trainers, plan services, and prepare budgets.  This position showed an increase in annual survey to $43,164, however, access to an education fund has decreased by 57%.
  3. Group Exercise Coordinator:  These positions hire, train, and supervise group exercise instructors, schedule and teach classes, and follow a budget.  For the first time in 7 years, the percentage of group exercise coordinators who are salaried has increased, however, benefits and education funds have decreased.  The average salary has declined to $32,733.
  4. Personal Trainers:  Personal trainers review medical histories, perform fitness assessments, develop personalized exercise plans, instruct individual clients on healthy lifestyle behaviors, and monitor client records and progress.  The majority of personal trainers are paid per session, with about 44% earning a percentage of the client fee.  The typical split between the trainer and the facility is 60/40.  About 65% of personal trainers are now working as employees in a facility, rather than in independent contractor.  The average hourly rate is now $30.50/hour, however if varies regionally quite a bit.
  5. Fitness floor staff:  This staff monitors patrons and equipment and provides customer service to people exercising within a fitness center.  The average hours for a fitness floor staff are 17.5 per week with an average pay rate of 10.75 per hour.
  6. Group Fitness Instructor:  These instructors provide instruction within a small or large class setting and the format can vary greatly.  The survey indicated that they teach an average of 5 classes per week with an average pay of $26 per class which is an increase since 2010.  Eligibility for benefits, and cash incentives has decreased.
  7. Pilates or Yoga Instructor:  These instructors teach either some form of yoga or Pilates.  They teach an average of 6 hours per week and are paid $32.50 per hour on average.

Hiring and Promotion

  • The top three criteria for hiring in all positions examined in the survey were certification, skills and abilities, and personality.
  • Performance was reported as the most important criterion used to determine pay for merit raises in all positions examined.
  • Leadership and communication skills were key factors for determining promotion in all positions.

If you are interested in seeing some other recent trends you can visit my other articles:

Source:  Schroeder, J.  (2013).  2013 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends.  Idea Fitness Journal.  September 2013.  58-69.

3 thoughts

Leave a Reply