There is no catch to this. There is a way for an 18-year-old to get a job and, 12 months later, have earned $35,000 or more, and get this: by working only 25 hours a week.
The job? Personal training.
Yes, you read that right. When I was doing personal training at Bally Total Fitness, I was making around $38 per hour. It depends on what kind of training package you sell, but the range was $26 per training session to $38. Private trainers make a lot more, but then, getting private clients is a heck of a lot harder; and there are liability concerns; plus you must supply the equipment.
But at a club, as an employee, you can easily make $35,000 a year by working only part-time hours. This includes the low hourly rate you’ll get paid for doing new-client recruitment work on the gym floor. Other chain clubs operate in a similar fashion. You do have to put in your time to get clients. But once you start getting clients, the need to roam the floor looking for new clients lessens, as your schedule book fills up with training sessions.
I was booked four to five days a week, from late afternoon through to the evening. This doesn’t mean I didn’t have gaps of time in there. A typical busier day might be sessions running at noon, then 1, then 2:15, then 5:30, 6:30 and 7:45. That’s five hours of work. But what did I do during that big gap of time between 3:15 (after the 2:15 session) and 5:30? I did my own workout, showered and ate dinner. If you live close to the club, you can just spend that time at home. Or, you can stick around and try to get new clients.
Some health clubs do NOT require you to be certified in order to get hired. However, they WILL require you to get certified within 90 days of the hire date. This will cost at least a few hundred dollars, including the cost of training materials. But you’ll quickly get that money back once you start getting clients.
The hours you work, again, will include recruitment time, as well as time spent giving the consultations that you hope will lead to a new client. One out of 10 consults will result in a new client. Or, it might be one in eight, or one in five, or one in 15, depending on how good you are.
If you’re 18, a club will hire you if you are enthusiastic, look fit, and are eager to learn. Many clubs do NOT require a college degree. The club will probably require drug testing. If you exude eagerness, excitement, willingness to learn, and look fit, you’re in.