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Youth Fitness Specialist Salary, Outlook, and Benefits

Youth Fitness Specialist Salary, Outlook, and Benefits

Reading Time: 5 minutes


DATE: 2024-05-06

Specializing in youth fitness leads to a lot of career opportunities. With a personal training certification, you can work in a gym or as an independent trainer. With the addition of a youth fitness certificate, you can do the same work but with a wider range of clients. 

The salaries and outlook for youth fitness trainers are promising. As an employee of a gym of fitness center, you can earn a regular income. If you choose to work as an independent trainer, you can set your own rates. There are a lot of great benefits of working with kids too, including feeling like you’re making a positive difference. Consider a youth fitness specialization as you plan your career in the fitness industry. 

What Is a Youth Fitness Specialist? 

A youth fitness specialist is a personal trainer who has studied to earn a specialty certification. They have learned the skills and techniques necessary to work with children and teens. They know how to motivate young people and how to train them safely and effectively, which can be different from adults. 

Youth personal trainers can work in a variety of roles and settings: 

  • Training young people and leading group youth fitness classes at gyms or the YMCA

  • Training youth clients in traditional gyms

  • Working with young athletes as private coaches

  • Working as conditioning coaches for young athletes in the off season

  • Coaching youth teams

  • Consulting with youth sports team coaching staff

How to Become a Youth Fitness Trainer

It is essential that you earn a specialist credential before working as a youth coach or trainer. Being certified is important for working with adults, and even more so for working with kids and adolescents. They are different from adults and training them requires special knowledge. 

A good starting place is to earn a general personal trainer certification. This supplies foundational knowledge like human anatomy, proper form for exercises, nutrition, motivation, assessments and evaluations, and more. 

With that credential in hand, and ideally some experience training adults, you can enroll in and complete a youth personal trainer program. The course will teach you how to apply to kids and teens all the fitness principles you’re already familiar with. 

Learn to specialize within your specialty. Youth strength training is in demand, here’s what you need to know. 

About the ISSA Youth Fitness Specialist Certification

The ISSA offers many specialty certifications, including youth fitness. It is an online program that you can complete at your own pace. Finish it and be ready to work in two months, or take up to eight months to get ready. The certification comes with the backing and accreditation of an organization that is widely recognized and respected in the fitness industry. 

The course includes sports psychology, energy and growth needs of adolescents, nutrition, injury prevention, and more. It comes with an online textbook and study guide, practice exams, an online exercise lab and student forum, and a professional website. You also get unlimited support to help you succeed. 

The ISSA youth fitness specialist course is meant for anyone with a passion for fitness and a desire to work safely and effectively with youngsters. You do not have to have a personal trainer certification to get started, but it is recommended. 

What Are the Benefits of Being a Personal Trainer or Coach for Kids and Teens? 

Holding a youth training specialization allows you to work with young people, which can be even more rewarding than working with adults. Children and teens are often more open to learning and trying new things. They can be a lot of fun to work with. 

If you are already a certified personal trainer, adding this specialization opens up more career opportunities. You can take on a full time job working with youth, or use it like a side hustle, earning extra income coaching or training kids on weekends or in the evenings. 

If you are new to the fitness industry, starting out in youth fitness has a lot of benefits: flexible work hours, varied job opportunities, and the chance to make a difference as a mentor to young people in your community. 

Youth Fitness Specialist Salary Expectations

Salaries and hourly rates for personal trainers vary significantly by region, job type, certifications and experience, and more. To learn more about what you could earn as a youth trainer, look at your region and city for comparisons. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for fitness trainers of any type was $45,380 in 2022. The highest earners at that time were making more than $80,000 per year. These statistics include all of the U.S. and all specializations, to they are broad but a useful starting point. (1)

How much you can earn as a youth fitness trainer or coach depends on many factors, including location. According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly salary for a youth fitness specialist is $18, while the average annual income is $46,500. (2)

The salary for a youth sports coach can be a lot higher, but those positions may require more experience and credentials. You may need a degree in exercise science or education to be a full-time coach at many schools. Starting as an assistant or consultant can be a great way to enter the industry. 

A separate career is private coaching for young athletes. Many parents hire trainers or coaches to work with their children in the off season or during their sport season to improve their fitness and performance. If you work in this career, you can work independently and set your own rates depending on what comparable professionals make in your local area. 

There are many ways to make money as a personal trainer of any type, including working online. Here are some tips for earning a living in the fitness industry

Is Youth Fitness a Growing Career? 

Fitness is a growing industry in general. According to the BLS, jobs in fitness are growing at a rate of 14%, which is much faster than average job growth. The BLS predicts nearly 70,000 new jobs for fitness professionals across the U.S. every year. That’s a lot of opportunities for professionals in any area of fitness, including youth training. 

Youth fitness training is growing alongside all areas of the industry. It may even have a better outlook. Unfortunately, obesity is a big concern for youth in America. Parents are increasingly interested in any measures to help their kids get fit and maintain a healthy weight. 

There are plenty of opportunities for trained youth fitness professionals to provide group fitness classes, individual training, and nutrition coaching for kids who may struggle with weight and health. 

Youth fitness is a growing industry with plenty of opportunities to earn a good income. If you enjoy making a difference and like working with kids, consider earning a youth personal trainer certification. 

Become a Youth Fitness Specialist 

Not yet a certified personal trainer? The ISSA’s Certified Personal Trainer – Self-Guided Study Program is a great starting point. Once you have this credential you can start working. You can also think about working toward specializations, like youth or senior fitness.

Ready to specialize in youth fitness? Youth sports are serious business. There is a great need for youth trainers to help them stay active and improve agility. Just like adults, all kids can benefit from fitness guidance. Help the children of today and train the fastest-growing demographic in fitness. Get started with ISSA’s Youth Fitness Specialist program. 

Featured Course

ISSA | Youth Fitness Specialist

Dr. Hugh D. Allen stated in USA Today that 30 million of today's youth in the US will die of heart disease as adults. Additional health problems have all been linked to childhood obesity and lack of fitness in today's youth. As a result, youth fitness training is one of the fastest-growing segments in the health club and fitness industry. In addition, youth sports are a booming industry, starting as early as 5 years old in hopes of a college scholarship. Parents are willing to invest significant time and resources to help their kids get an advantage.


  1. Fitness Trainers and Instructors: Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, September 6). https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm#tab-5

  2. Youth Fitness Specialist Salary: Hourly Rate April 2024. (April 2, 2024). ZipRecruiter. https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Youth-Fitness-Specialist-Salary

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