Are you paying your gym manager too much or too little?

Or perhaps you both own and operate your own gym. How much should you pay yourself, then?

The role of a gym manager is pivotal to the smooth operation of any fitness business. Gym managers are also known sometimes as a fitness manager. The fitness manager oversees daily operations, coordinates staff, and ensures that the gym is a welcoming and efficient space for members.

So, what is the earning potential for these dedicated professionals? In this article, we break down the numbers to reveal the average gym manager salary in the USA.

How much does a Gym Manager make?

Fair compensation begins with a knowledge of what’s expected of you or what you expect of your employee.

According to research by Glassdoor, the average salary for a gym manager in the United States is $70,399 in terms of total pay.

The average base salary for a gym manager is $63,295. The additional pay of $7,104 is made up of the following commissions, tips, bonuses, and profit sharing.

Glassdoor’s pay range for a gym manager in the United States is $54,000 per year to $92,000 per annum in total pay.

The three top-paying gyms, in terms of gym manager average salary, are:

  1. Anytime Fitness
  2. Planet Fitness
  3. Snap Fitness

What should I pay myself if I manage my own gym?

When determining how much to pay yourself if you manage your own gym, several variables need to be considered. You will need to take the following factors into account.

  • Financial Health: Consider the existing revenue, expenses, and profit margins. When it comes to paying staff, you, as the owner, should be last in line. So, make sure that whatever amount you pay yourself is feasible for the business going forward.
  • Industry Standards: Take note of the average salary of $63,295 to give you a baseline to work from. But don’t become wedded to that number. If you’re just starting out, it may not be realistic to pay yourself at the national average until you have achieved certain membership goals.
  • Personal Needs: Work out how much you need to meet your financial obligations, including your long-term financial goals. This will establish a bottom line that you will not go below.
  • Time & Effort: Think about the time and effort that you are investing into the facility. Your salary should be a reflection of the effort you put into the business.
  • Profitability: Ensure that your salary doesn’t interfere with the club’s ability to make a profit. It is up to you to find the sweet spot between paying yourself a fair salary and reinvesting in the business.

For more information, check out our analysis of how much gym owners make.

New Gym Openings Manager Salary

The new gym opening fitness manager salary is difficult to determine. Owners need to offer a competitive salary that will attract the best talent while also keeping within budget restraints and not committing an unsustainable amount to salaries.

The gym manager salary for gyms in the USA average at $63,295 also applies to new gym openings. However, the following factors need to be accounted for when determining the exact salary to offer prospective employees.

  • Startup budget. Know exactly what financial constraints you are working within.
  • Risk and uncertainty. Make sure that the salary structure you devise for the fitness manager accounts for fluctuations in income as the business gets established.
  • Experience and expertise: Ensure that the salary you are offering the fitness manager is commensurate with the experience and education of the candidate.
  • Local market conditions. Account for the local fitness manager pay rates and conditions that you are operating within.
  • Training and Development: If the gym manager duties include staff training and development, you should consider extra compensation for these duties.
  • Income Growth Potential: Develop a plan for career and income growth so the potential fitness manager can see a clear path to greater rewards going forward.
  • Gym Manager Benefits: Consider what, if any, additional benefits you will to your new gym manager. Benefits include health insurance, membership, a retirement plan, and flexible work arrangements.

What is the Director of a New Gym Openings Salary?

The average salary for a director of new openings in the United States this year is $74,676, according to data provided by Glassdoor.

The position of Director of New Gym Openings is distinct from that of gym manager. It is a high-level executive position focused on devising and implementing strategies to launch new gym locations. In fact, such a director works with a gym manager rather than replaces them.

Responsibilities center around market analysis, site selection, financial planning, and overall project development. The director often leads a team of people who are responsible for such things as real estate, construction, marketing, and operations. He will also probably have oversight of the budget for a new gym opening.

Wondering what your expected gym start-up costs are likely to be? Find out how much it costs to open a gym.

What does a Gym Manager do?

The gym manager oversees the daily operations and managing of the gym. Though the responsibilities of a gym manager can differ depending on the size and location of the facility, they generally include the following.

Staff Management

Hiring and Training: Recruit and train staff, including fitness trainers, front desk personnel, and maintenance staff.

Scheduling: Develop and manage staff schedules to ensure adequate coverage during operating hours.

Member Relations

Customer Service: Provide excellent customer service to members, addressing inquiries, concerns, and feedback promptly.

Membership Sales: Implement strategies to attract new members and retain existing ones, which may involve membership sales and promotions.

Facility Maintenance

Maintaining Equipment: Oversee the maintenance and functionality of gym equipment, ensuring that it is in good working condition.

Cleanliness: Ensure the cleanliness and hygiene of the entire facility, including workout areas, locker rooms, and common spaces.

Safety Compliance

Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that the facility complies with safety standards, health regulations, and other relevant industry guidelines.

Emergency Procedures: Develop and implement emergency procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of staff and members.

Financial Management

Budgeting: Contribute to the development and execution of budgets, managing day-to-day operational expenses.

Financial Reporting: Prepare financial reports and updates for the owner, highlighting key performance indicators and areas for improvement.

Marketing and Promotion

Implement local marketing strategies to attract new members and promote your services.

Foster relationships with the local community to enhance the club’s visibility and reputation.

Program Development

Collaborate with fitness trainers to develop and implement fitness programs, classes, and events that cater to the needs and interests of members.

Maintaining Gym Management Software

Oversee the implementation and utilization of cutting-edge solutions such as membership software, point-of-sale systems, and other technological tools.

Utilizing gym management software like what we offer here at Gymdesk, the gym manager can seamlessly integrate and manage membership data, streamline the sign-up process, and enhance overall member experience. This sophisticated software not only assists in day-to-day operations but also provides valuable insights through analytics, contributing to accurate and informed decision-making.

By leveraging technology, club managers can efficiently handle administrative tasks, track membership engagement, and optimize processes, allowing them to focus more on strategic aspects of fitness center management.

Policy Implementation

Develop and enforce gym policies, including membership rules, code of conduct, and other operational guidelines.

Ensure that staff and members adhere to established policies and procedures.

Average Gym Manager Salary in Major Cities

Here is an overview of the average gym manager salaries in major US cities, based on research carried out by Glassdoor, Payscale, and You will notice that the largest cities generally have a higher salary:

  1. New York City, New York: $85,000
  2. Los Angeles, California: $82,000
  3. Chicago, Illinois: $78,000
  4. Houston, Texas: $75,000
  5. Phoenix, Arizona: $72,000
  6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $70,000
  7. San Antonio, Texas: $68,000
  8. San Diego, California: $65,000
  9. Dallas, Texas: $62,000
  10. San Jose, California: $60,000

Gym Management Salary in Other Areas

Here is a round-up of the average salary for a gym manager in other parts of the world in US dollars:

  1. United States: $75,000
  2. Canada: $70,000
  3. United Kingdom: $68,000
  4. Germany: $65,000
  5. Australia: $72,000
  6. Brazil: $40,000
  7. India: $30,000
  8. South Africa: $35,000
  9. China: $50,000
  10. Russia: $45,000


The average gym manager salary in the United States is $63,295. An additional $7,104 in bonuses, commissions, and tips brings the total pay for such a manager to $70,399.

Owners need to consider a range of factors when coming up with their fitness manager salary, as they balance out financial and job realities with an offer that will attract the best talent.

Gym Manager FAQs

What degree do you need to manage a gym?

There is no specific education degree requirement to apply for the position of gym manager. However, candidates who have the following degrees may have a competitive advantage:

  • Administration
  • Sports Management
  • Exercise Science
  • Recreation and Leisure Studies

How do you become a general manager of a gym?

The first step in becoming the general gym manager is to gain relevant experience. Work in as many gym roles as possible, including jobs as a fitness trainer, front desk staff, or assistant manager. Depending on your specialization and role within the gym, consider obtaining certifications such as those offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), or other recognized certifying bodies.

Develop leadership skills by taking on roles within companies that involve decision-making, team management, and problem-solving. Showcase your ability to lead and inspire a team. You should also consider gaining education and obtaining a relevant degree.

You are now ready to start applying for general manager positions.

Do gym leaders make money?

Yes, gym leaders in the fitness industry can make a substantial amount of money. This compensation may include a salary and additional pay such as bonuses and benefits. The average income for a gym leader ranges from $54,000 to $92,000, with an average of $70,399.

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