Although some celebrities such as Queen Latifah or the late John Candy have achieved wild success even while having fuller figures, celebrities typically try to stay slim and fit. To maintain healthy bodies and stunning physiques, celebrities often turn to personal trainers who work exclusively with the stars. These trainers often are the most demanding in the industry, have a reputation for getting impressive results and pull in the best salaries for the field.
Celebrity personal trainers charge anywhere from $100 to $500 per session, according to 2011 data from the Los Angeles Personal Trainer website and 2009 information from Jim O'Connor of Wellness Word. Annual salaries vary because the number of sessions and celebrity clients is not consistent. However, celebrity personal trainers can make $100,000 or more, according to O'Connor.
Comparison to Other Fitness Trainers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a general fitness trainer was $35,920 in May, 2010. Those in the 90th percentile earned $63,400 per year, or about $30.48 per hour. Thus, celebrity rates for personal training exceed the norm for the fitness training industry by as much as 16 times what the best everyday trainers make. As Personalpowertraining.net notes, only about 2 percent of personal trainers ever break the $100,000 barrier.
As Peter Savodnik of the Bloomberg Businessweek website reports, celebrity training is becoming more of an industry of its own within general fitness training as of 2011. Examples of earnings in this niche often are impressive. Savodnik reports that Michael George claims to have made $10,000 per month with actress Meg Ryan. Joe DiAngelo, a celebrity fitness trainer from New York, charges $300 a session, while John Spencer Ellis, a fitness trainer who teaches other trainers how to work with celebrities, reportedly earned "several million" dollars in 2010.
Once a personal trainer has worked with celebrities, he may become somewhat of a celebrity himself, particularly if he is known for getting results from the stars. Such a trainer may capitalize on the fame garnered from his celebrity work. For instance, he may guest lecture, write fitness books, or perhaps most commonly, sell fitness CDs, DVDs and equipment. Perhaps one of the most famous trainers at the time of publication who has created her own brand is Jillian Michaels, trainer on the hit reality TV show, "The Biggest Loser." Trainers who work with celebrities earn less than they might if they were better at negotiating contracts, organizing themselves and marketing themselves. Celebrities don't all earn the same pay rates, and some choose to reject luxurious lifestyles. This means that appropriate or affordable pay varies from celebrity to celebrity.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.