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The Fitness Zone

Should I Become an Employee or Contractor?
June 8, 2014

As well as where you want to start your career when you finish at the Australian Institute of Fitness, you'll also need to think about whether you want to become an employee or contractor, says Luke Ward, Australian Institute of Fitness SA/NT Career Scout.

First, you need to remember that you are starting or changing into a new career, so the decision that you make needs to reflect the long term, rather than a short term job'.

Now take a look in the mirror: are you the person who relies on the security of others around you or are you driven by a higher risk environment that you are in control of?

Employee Model

This is where you get paid a wage on a regular basis for the hours you have worked for a gym/studio/business. Your tax and super is taken care of and you have little expenses as the equipment and materials are supplied by the workplace.

This is a supportive and enjoyable environment to create a steady and successful career helping people change their lives.

What you need to remember is although you have security you can be restricted in a key area, which is the value of your services. As per the Fitness Award the minimum wage at Level 7 is $22.20/hour, and this time may consist of helping members, cleaning, doing programs, admin duties and your hours are generally dictated by the employer.

One of the challenges that the industry faces is that there is a risk that an employee' does not always have the drive to perform at their highest level because they are getting paid a wage. So if you decide to follow this path, be sure to give it 100% and support and promote the gym/studio/business as if it was your own as this will be appreciated by the Manager or Owner.

Contractor Model

This is where you are running your own Fitness Business out of a gym/studio/business and you either invoice the client for your fees or the workplace. Both occasions require you to take out a portion of this payment for tax, super and expenses.

One of the expenses for using the facilities is that you pay the workplace a rent' or they take a portion of the personal training fees. This rent' needs to be viewed as an investment, and with any investment you want a return on investment (ROI), so find out what you have available to you and see if that matches the rent' and equals good value. Although you have the support from the workplace, the growth of your business and clients depends heavily on yourself.

On the occasions that the workplace helps to generate leads for you they may then dictate the fee and the portion of that fee that you are entitled to. Whereas if you are in charge of gaining your own leads and then invoice the clients direct, you have control of the value of your services and this can increase as your knowledge and experience do the same. Now that you are in control of your business, what now becomes your responsibility is your marketing, accounting and client management.

So as you can see, the type of person you are, where you are in your career and the goals you have will dictate which option you will choose. Whichever you choose, get stuck in, learn lots and grasp every opportunity!

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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