Boston — February 23, 2018 — Today, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) released the U.S. Fitness Professional Outlook, a new report that analyzes trends in the fitness instructor market. This report also examines employment growth for fitness professionals since 2003, along with compensation trends, certification requirements, and key drivers for continued progress.

“By all accounts, the prospects for fitness professionals are positive,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA's executive vice president of global products. “IHRSA estimates roughly 409,000 fitness professionals provide services to fitness and sports participants in the United States, and we anticipate the number to continue to grow as consumers continue to seek expert guidance with their health, wellness, and sport goals.”

According to the report, multiple sources forecast growth for fitness professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the number of recreation and fitness workers will grow by 10% between now and 2026. IBISWorld, an independent research firm, also estimates growth in the number of fitness professionals, particularly instructors specializing in yoga and Pilates. As the report shows, the increase in employment opportunities and demand for fitness professionals can be attributed to the growth of the health club industry as club membership has increased significantly, from 33.7 million in 2001 to 57.3 million in 2016.

“The fitness professional market plays a critical role on club growth and profitability,” said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s senior research manager. “From a club’s perspective, personal training, small group training, and group exercise instruction can increase non-dues revenue and enhance the member experience. For members, one-on-one interactions with trainers and instructors contribute to ongoing participation and retention.”

IHRSA’s U.S. Fitness Professional Outlook is organized into four chapters:

  • Personal Trainers: reviews employment growth from 2003 through 2016 along with wages for full and part-time employees based on IHRSA’s employee compensation and benefits study,
  • Fitness Instructors: analyzes employment trends for group exercise, yoga, Pilates, group cycling, and barre instructors,
  • Fitness Professionals - Job Requirements, Wages & Benefits: details certification requirements, hourly wages, and benefits for personal trainers and fitness instructors;
  • Growth - Drivers for Growth & Looking Ahead: integrates IHRSA research and analysis from government and independent industry research sources in establishing the keys to growth for fitness professionals.

The report also contains infographic insights for personal trainers as well as instructors specializing in yoga, Pilates, and cycling.

The IHRSA U.S. Fitness Professional Outlook is based on data from The IHRSA Employee Compensation & Benefits Report, IHRSA’s Profiles of Success, IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, and IBISWorld Industry Reports: Gym, Health and Fitness Clubs in the U.S; Personal Trainers in the U.S.; Pilates & Yoga Studios in the U.S.

The report is available for $29.95 for IHRSA members and $59.95 non-members.

For more information or questions, contact IHRSA research or call +1-617-951-0055.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is the trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, racquet and sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. Its mission is to grow, promote and protect the health and fitness industry. As one of the world's leading authorities on the commercial health club industry, IHRSA regularly conducts industry and consumer research, along with club operator studies.