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“Don't underestimate the cost of starting a personal training business. Be realistic with budget and cash flow projections.” (about me)

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Personal Training Cost

Updated: January 2022

How Much Money Does it Take to Become a Personal Trainer and Start a Business?

This article is going to discuss the costs associated with becoming a personal trainer and starting a personal training business. 

If you are really serious about starting your own company, be smart and learn everything that you can about personal training costs and determine the best way to put aside money so that you will have enough money to them. 

For more information about how to budget, please see Step 5 of our guide where we discuss budgeting in detail.


Certification Costs

The biggest initial personal training cost involves getting certification.  Unfortunately, it will be very hard to find employment if you do not have certification.  So, this is the first thing that you should budget for.

How much does it cost?  That depends.  Getting certified will cost anywhere from free (see our review for ACTION Certification) to $5000.  But, not all certification programs are created equally. So make sure the program is recognized or reputable school. 

personal training costBut until you decide which route to go, budget between $500-$1000 for certification and education costs. If you already have a background in fitness, you make be able to reduce some of your certification and education costs.

If you want to work for someone else in a gym or health club, then certification is the main thing you must budget for.  However, if your goal is to start your own personal training business, there will be additional personal training costs that you must budget for as well.

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Costs to Start Your Business

Basically, you will have to dish out a lot of cash to start your own personal training business.  Your physical location costs will require the most money.  Where will you do business?  How will you pay for it?  Don’t forget to budget for things such as equipment, rent and utilities.

These expenses might not be as high if you do house calls and go to the client’s facility instead.  As a result, your expenses might be limited to things such as a few pieces of equipment.  But, factor in the cost for gym memberships, if you train with the client in a gym and not at his home.  But, don’t forget about things such as your laptop, clothes, web site and computer supplies.  You have to budget for these things  too.

personal trainer budgetWhen starting your business, you will have plenty of start up costs.  Our personal trainer starter kit contains a spreadsheet that lists a few estimates of the things that you will need.  It may boggle your mind, but expect to pay around $24,000 to launch your business.  This includes things that we have already discussed such as equipment, utilities, certification, clothes, laptops and other computer accessories.  But, were you aware that you will also have to pay for things such as a business license, lease deposits for your physical location, promotion costs and legal costs?

Also, you will need at least $10k worth of working capital to operate your business.  Keep in mind that you will not have cash flow in the very beginning.  So, you will need money to conduct business on a daily basis until the business sees a profit.  This too is a very important personal training cost that many trainers fail to account for.

All in all, there are many different personal training costs associated with becoming a personal trainer and starting your own business.  There are not that many costs if you want to work for someone else.  However, if you desire to start your own business, it is much more expensive, but worth it in the end.


Expense Estimate Notes
Certification  $800.00  
Licenses, fees and permits  $600.00  
Establish business entity  $200.00 Allow $800-$1200 for corporations
Legal  $400.00  
Lease Deposits  $2,000.00 If you have a physical locations
Equipment  $5,000.00 Depends on what type of machines you want
Marketing  $1,500.00  
Grand Opening  $1,500.00  
Utilities  $250.00  
Clothing  $400.00  
Software  $250.00  
Computer, PDA  $800.00  
Working Capital  $10,000.00 This is your buffer while you wait for the business to get up to speed
Total  $23,700  


by Katie Donnelly


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