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How Much Does a Gym Owner Make in Today’s Fitness Industry?

If you’re curious about “how much does a gym owner make,” know that the income can vary widely. On average, gym owners in the United States can expect to earn around $90,000 to $130,000 a year. However, factors such as location, gym size, and revenue strategies play significant roles in these figures. Throughout this article, we dive into the elements that contribute to a gym owner’s salary, the challenges they face, and strategies to maximize earnings.

Key Takeaways

Gym Owner Salaries: A Comprehensive Breakdown

Gym owners’ salaries span a broad spectrum. In the United States, the gym owner salary averages at approximately $90,073 on an annual basis. This figure represents the average income in this profession. However, this figure is just an average—some gym owners make much less, while others gym owners earn much more.

Various factors contribute to this income disparity, including the gym’s location, its size, the owner’s business skills, and the variety of services provided.

The National Average Salary for Gym Owners

The national average gym owner salary for gym owners in the United States varies depending on the source. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary hovers around $131,526 as of July 2023. On the other hand, another figure places the average at $90,073 per year. This discrepancy in numbers illustrates the wide range of potential earnings for gym owners, influenced by factors that affect gym owner salary such as location, size, and the owner’s business strategies.

How Location Influences Earnings

A gym owner’s income significantly depends on the location of the gym. Urban areas, for instance, often allow gym owners to charge higher membership fees and attract a larger clientele. Among the highest-earning states for gym owners are California and New York. However, the level of competition in the local market can also impact profitability, with gyms offering unique services or superior amenities often faring better.

Size Matters

The size of the gym also directly affects the owner’s earnings. Larger gyms have the capacity to generate more revenue due to a higher number of members. However, they also face higher operating costs, including expenses for unused space.

On the other hand, smaller boutique gyms or specialized fitness studios may have lower revenues, but they also enjoy reduced operating costs and can foster a loyal client base through a personalized atmosphere.

Revenue Sources: Beyond Membership Fees

Membership fees are the main income source for most gyms, but savvy gym owners understand the benefit of expanding their revenue sources. By offering additional services such as personal training, group classes, and selling fitness gear, gym owners can substantially boost their income. The shift towards hybrid and online training models, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, has also presented new revenue opportunities.

Personal Training: A Lucrative Side Hustle

Offering personal training sessions is a substantial revenue-boosting strategy for gym owners. These sessions offer a high-value service that gym members are willing to pay more for. For instance, Pittsburgh FIT saw a substantial increase in revenue by focusing on personal training, which now accounts for about 52% of its total revenue. Thus, high-quality personal training services can serve as a lucrative side hustle for gym owners.

Expanding Income with Group Classes and Workshops

Income can also be diversified through the provision of group classes and workshops. These programs attract members interested in specialized fitness programs or learning new skills. Some examples include:
These offerings can contribute significantly to a gym’s revenue, especially when it comes to the gym floor.

Selling Fitness Gear: Capitalizing on Exercise Trends

Selling fitness gear and supplements can also provide a significant boost to gym revenue. Gym owners are in a unique position to sell these products, as members often seek nutrition and exercise advice from their gym, making it a convenient and trusted place to purchase these products.

Additionally, offering branded merchandise can provide an additional income stream, increase the gym’s visibility in the community, and keep revenue flowing during slower months.

Operating Costs: Understanding the Overhead

Running a gym involves managing various operating costs, including:
These expenses constitute a significant portion of the overhead. The average profit margin for gyms is between 10-15%, illustrating the impact of overhead on profitability.

Start-Up Costs: The Price Tag of Entering the Fitness Business

Potential gym owners need to account for start-up costs before they even open their doors. On average, opening a gym costs between $245,000 and $400,000. This figure includes costs for leasing or buying equipment, making facility modifications, and covering initial licensing and legal fees. Given these numbers, potential gym owners must be prepared for a significant upfront investment.

Monthly Running Expenses: Keeping the Lights On

Apart from start-up costs, gym owners must also factor in the recurring monthly expenses associated with running a gym. These expenses include:
Being aware of these costs is crucial for managing a gym’s budget effectively and ensuring financial sustainability.

Strategies to Reduce Overhead and Maximize Profits

Thankfully, gym owners can deploy certain strategies to lower overhead costs and increase profits. For example, introducing smart meters allows gym owners to closely monitor and manage energy consumption, leading to better control over electricity costs. Similarly, investing in energy-efficient equipment, such as LED bulbs and programmable thermostats, can lead to long-term savings.

Regular equipment maintenance also extends the lifespan of machines and avoids the higher costs of complete replacements.

The Profile of Successful Gym Owners

So, what qualities and strategies do successful gym owners possess? From business development and marketing to personal development and customer service, successful gym owners employ a range of strategies to boost their salaries and expand their businesses.

These strategies deserve a detailed examination.

Marketing Mastery: Attracting More Members

Effective marketing is key to drawing more members to a gym and enhancing its visibility. This involves:
Seasonal promotions and digital marketing campaigns can also help sustain interest and encourage sign-ups, particularly during off-peak times.

Retention Over Acquisition: The Key to Steady Income

While garnering new members is crucial, successful gym owners realize that keeping existing members is fundamental for a consistent income. This can involve:
A stable member base also supports the development of a community and encourages word-of-mouth referrals.

Investing in Quality: Why Top-Notch Equipment Matters

Another pivotal strategy for successful gym owners is investing in high-quality equipment. High-quality equipment enhances member satisfaction, attracts new members, and helps retain existing ones. Modern and advanced equipment can also inspire and motivate clients, creating excitement and enthusiasm for their fitness journey. Plus, investing in commercial equipment can help gym owners maximize their space efficiently, accommodating multiple users with multi-gyms.

Navigating the Peaks and Valleys: Seasonality and Gym Ownership

A gym owner’s income can vary drastically throughout the year, thanks to seasonality. Gyms typically experience surges in membership numbers and activity in January due to New Year’s resolutions and during colder months when individuals turn to indoor exercise. However, off-peak months can present challenges.

We should examine the cyclical highs and lows of gym ownership.

Identifying Peak Fitness Seasons

Peak fitness seasons typically occur in January, March, and April. January often sees a surge in gym memberships as individuals set New Year’s resolutions aimed at improving their fitness. March and April also experience busy gym membership periods as people prepare for the upcoming summer season. Understanding these peak seasons can help gym owners plan their marketing and membership acquisition efforts effectively.

Off-Peak Challenges: Keeping Revenue Flowing

Gym attendance often dips during off-peak seasons like the summer months. To keep revenue flowing during these slower periods, gym owners can implement strategies such as special promotions, hosting events, or introducing new services.

For instance, holiday-themed classes or fitness challenges can stimulate member engagement and increase sign-ups. Offering incentives and discounts on memberships or package deals can also help entice people to join the gym or keep their memberships active.

Scaling Up: The Impact of Multiple Locations on Income

Higher earnings become a possibility when owning multiple gyms. With potential earnings increasing proportionately with multiple locations, gym owners can significantly boost their income. However, managing multiple locations comes with its own set of challenges and requires strategic planning and efficient management.

The financial consequences of expansion in the fitness industry warrant an examination.

Single vs. Multiple Gym Ownership: A Financial Comparison

The income of gym owners varies greatly based on whether they own a single gym or multiple locations. While single gym owners may benefit from cost efficiencies and franchisor support, their average income could be lower without the scale of multiple locations.

On the other hand, money gym owners of multiple gym locations might have a higher earning potential, especially in densely populated or high-demand areas with the right gym location strategy.

Managing Growth: The Logistics of Expansion

Managing growth in the fitness industry involves building a strong management team, implementing systems for regular oversight, and leveraging partnerships with multi-unit franchises. These strategies are essential for successful multi-unit gym ownership and can help owners focus on overarching operational needs and growth initiatives.

The Future of Fitness: Trends Affecting Gym Owner Salaries

The potential earnings of gym owners evolve alongside the fitness industry. Emerging trends such as technological innovations, online fitness, and growing health and wellness movements are reshaping the industry and influencing gym owner salaries.

These trends and their potential effects on gym owner income deserve a thorough examination.

Technological Innovations and Virtual Fitness

The rise of technological innovations and online fitness is having a significant impact on the fitness industry. The shift from in-person to online training has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83% of personal trainers and gym owners adopting online training models.

As a result, gym owners who integrate virtual options into their business models may experience increased financial benefits.

Health and Wellness Movements: A Growing Market

The growing market for health and wellness movements offers potential opportunities for gym owners. As consumer health consciousness increases, demand for specialized gym apparel and diverse fitness programs is also on the rise. By aligning with societal health and wellness interests and incorporating diversity and inclusion initiatives into their business models, gym owners can potentially see financial gains.


Running a successful gym is a marathon, not a sprint. The journey involves navigating the complexities of overhead costs, seasonal fluctuations, and the ever-changing fitness landscape. However, with strategic planning, effective marketing, and a focus on quality and member retention, gym owners can maximize their income and enjoy the rewards of a thriving fitness business.

Frequently Asked Questions

How profitable is owning a gym?

Owning a gym can be profitable, with average profit margins ranging from 11% to 14%. However, these figures can vary based on location and other factors. Consider factors such as location, operating expenses, and member attraction and retention to gauge potential profitability.

What is the average expenses of a gym owner?

On average, the expenses of a gym owner can range from approximately $15,600 to $32,700 per month, covering costs such as equipment, rent, and staff salaries. It’s essential to carefully consider these expenses when planning to open or operate a gym.

How much do gym owners make a month in Florida?

The average gym owner in Florida makes around $6,000 to $13,000 a month.

How do gym owners pay themselves?

Gym owners pay themselves based on the profit the gym makes, which depends on factors like location, size, staff, and services offered. Ultimately, their salary is determined by the financial success of the business.

How much does the average gym owner make?

The average salary for gym owners in the United States ranges from $90,073 to $131,526 annually.

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