Gym Owner Salary: How Much Do Gym Owners Make?

Gym Owner Salary: How Much Do Gym Owners Make?

You’re a gym owner and you don’t know if you are underachieving, don’t you? Otherwise, why would you look for the average gym owner salary online.

Rest assured. You’ll find what you are looking for in this article.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

The fitness industry is growing like never before. Serious competition has made it more difficult than ever to turn a profit.

There is huge potential in a wellness business. Yet 8 out of 10 of them will come up short in their first year.

As with most organizations, an exercise center has peak periods and respite periods. During the first year, owners see these become an important factor.

They learn to leverage this seasonality to help them reach higher profitability.

By and large, the primary quarter of the year is the best time to acquire new members. This is due to the obvious factor of New Year’s resolutions.

The year starts with fresh goals to improve health and fitness. This proceeds through cold weather days and months when outside sporting comes to a halt.

Finding out early on how to overcome obstacles is essential. Gym owners thus become better business persons, ready to deal with any challenge.

How Much Money Can Gym Owners Make?

How Much Money Can Gym Owners Make?

As of January 14, 2021, ZipRecruiter reports the normal yearly compensation for an Exercise Center Proprietor in the U.S. is $65,685 per year. This breaks down to $1,263/week or $5,474/month.

ZipRecruiter also indicates yearly salaries to be as high as $224,500 and as low as $15,500.

At present, gym owners’ salaries are between $26,500 (25th percentile) and $78,000 (75th percentile). Top workers (90th percentile) make $140,000 every year across the U.S.

The normal compensation range for an exercise center owner differs by as much as $51,500. This is no doubt affected by the factors considered above.

It shows tremendous potential for increasing earnings. Indeed corroborates the findings above.

Gym owner salaries will also vary from state to state and depending on locale.

What Factors Determine How Much Money Gym Owners Make?

There is a wide range of factors that affect gym owner salaries. These range from the size and type of gym to the geographical location.

In addition to these, many operational aspects will affect the money it generates. The following tips will help to make a gym successful.

The Size of the Gym

The Size of the Gym

The biggest factor to consider is how many members the facilities can accommodate. This affects the potential revenue a gym can generate.

Therefore it has a big impact on gym owner salaries.

Some gyms operate in small spaces with fewer facilities. Their expected revenue is much less than that of gyms operating in larger facilities.

Gyms with larger facilities can provide more equipment and offer more services to their members.

So be selective about the space leased or bought for a gym. Make sure that it will generate enough income and not be too expensive for the budget.

If the space is too large this can lead to unused space that costs money but doesn’t generate income. If it is too small it may not be able to attract as many members.

The Business Model of the Gym

There are a wide variety of established gym business models to choose from. These vary in the overhead costs as well as the revenue they can potentially generate.

Some of the different models include and may combine:

  • traditional health club style
  • Crossfit style
  • yoga studio
  • aerobics studio
  • cardio studio
  • spin center
  • weight lifting center
  • aquatics center

A business model may include any of these options or hybrid combinations of them. Some gym owners also explore strategic alliances.

For example, a Crossfit gym may obtain a discount for their members at a local aquatics center and vice versa. These types of collaborations can improve revenues and drive memberships.

Startup Cost

Startup Cost

The start-up cost has a big impact on any business.

A small Crossfit style gym may start as low as $10,000. A larger facility with more equipment would see start-up costs well into 6 figures.

Take time to decide how to fund these start-up costs. It could be by personal savings, private loans from friends or family, or a small business loan from a bank.

No matter the type of gym, to start with, more money is going out than is coming in. Initial costs include rent, electricity, insurance, and salaries.


The critical thing about setting up a wellness business is the expense. Expenses will vary depending on the business model.

For example, a Crossfit gym might have low rent but higher salary expenses for trainers. An equipment-based fitness club might have lower trainer salary expenses but higher utilities and insurance expenses.

Staff payroll and salaries are a major expense to factor in. The more efficiently the gym operates the lower this expense will be.

Good maintenance, organization, and scheduling are all excellent ways to control this expense.

Variable expenses include:

  • rent/lease
  • trainer salaries
  • support staff salaries
  • utilities
  • insurance


All businesses require some reinvestment of earnings. For example, an anticipated annual profit, after-tax, of $150,000 could mean a gym owner receives a salary of $150,000.

But there are good reasons to be cautious about this. Taking the entire profit out of the business as a salary means there is no capital left.

Without capital, a gym cannot invest in marketing, advertising, staffing, repairs, and maintenance.

This will make it difficult to gain new customers. If equipment starts to fail the current customer base may leave for a rival gym.

So it’s important to keep an eye on the future and reinvest some profits for future expenses.

Reinvesting profits into the business can help it grow, leading to higher profits in the future. There can also be tax benefits to this strategy.

Business Ranges of Abilities for Gym Owners


There are many tasks to complete on a normal day as a Gym Owner. For this reason, it is vital to have a solid business plan.

As a gym owner, it’s necessary to oversee various parts of the business. This can be stressful and tedious.

Take advantage of tools and software that can help gym owners make wise use of their time. These tools will allow them to focus on tasks that require their attention.



As is true of any business venture, good negotiating skills are necessary. These skills are useful for many different things.

Negotiable agreements include leasing a space, building business alliances, and more. Costs to consider negotiating include:

  • space rental/lease
  • equipment leases
  • staff salaries
  • marketing partnerships

Customer Service

An exercise center proprietor may not generally need direct correspondence with clients. But, they will require solid client assistance abilities.

Gym owners have the duty of dealing with significant client grievances. They need to create and enforce policies.

This is a balancing act. There are many factors to consider, from ensuring profitability to caring for staff.


Marketing is an essential aspect of any business model. It helps attract potential customers and increase sales.

Marketing includes more than paid advertisements. Whatever the size of the marketing budget a good option is to make full use of social media.

Social media can help to build a gym’s culture and develop a grassroots following. Social media is also beneficial for networking relationships and business alliances.



Since communicating often with clients is good, the gym should do the same with the staff. It’s important to have good communication and rapport with staff.

Working with any customer base can be stressful. As the owner, set the example of how to handle these situations.

Gym owners should be ready to work with all representatives. This requires enforcing rules, guidelines, and policies.

Ending thoughts on gym owner salary

There are a variety of factors that will impact a gym owner’s salary. But the fundamentals are true across all business models.

Keep overheads low to keep profits high. Take a long-range view and invest in the business.

As the owner, set the tone for the gym’s culture. Find tools that will help to focus time and effort on the most important aspects of operating a gym.

Get more gym memberships with the right tool for the job

Staying organized has never been easier.

You can now manage your business and grow your brand with a single, powerful software that keeps all of your appointments in line, your clients organized and your business booming.

Trafft is the perfect gym management software for business owners who need to streamline their booking experience both for their staff and their clients.


Trafft handles everything for you, even sending automated email or SMS reminders to your clients. No-shows? Not anymore!

The Trafft booking software adapts to different industries for a blissful online booking experience and employee management.

Want to know more? Check out Trafft’s awesome features to see what you are missing.

If you enjoyed reading this article about the average gym owner salary, you should also check out this one on how to start an online personal training business.

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