Independent Contractor Versus Employee—Are You Reporting Accordingly?

by Robert C. Linkul, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, RCPT*D, FNSCA
Personal Training Quarterly April 2016
Vol 4, Issue 2

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Little information is available for personal trainers in regards to differentiating the requirements and responsibilities of working as an employee or an independent contractor. Personal trainers and gym owners would benefit from understanding professional guidelines, details, and general knowledge of these two options.

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This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »



1. American Council on Exercise. Salary report for personal trainers. Retrieved March 2017 from salary/docs/ACE_SalarySurvey.pdf. 2013.
2. American Council on Exercise. The personal trainer’s legal armor guide. Retrieved April 2017 from https://www.acefitness. org/acefit/fitness-programs-article/2727/ACEFit-workout-adviceand-exercise-tips. 2016.
3. Exercise studio program insurance program and enrollment form. K&K Insurance. Retrieved April 2017 from http://www. Form.pdf. 2017.
4. Freeborn, V. Personal trainers: Independent contractor vs employee. International Sports Sciences Association. Retrieved 2017 from Personal-Trainers--Independent-Contractor-vs--Employee. 2011.
5. Herbert, D. Legal aspects of personal training. In: Coburn, JW, and Malek, MH (Eds.), NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training. (2nd ed.) Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 633, 2012.
6. Knowels, M. Is your independent contractor truly independent? PFP Magazine Sept-Oct: 18-19, 2016. Retrieved April 2017 from pfp_20160910/index.php#/18. 2016.
7. Linkul, R. 5 self-governing requirements for business owners. PFP Magazine Jan-Feb: 10, 2017. Retrieved April 2017 from index.php#/10. 2017.
8. McMillan, S. How to determine a fair compensation package for your personal trainers. Club Industry. Retrieved May 2017 from 2012.
9. U.S. Small Business Administration. What is a sole proprietorship? Retrieved May 2017 from https://www.sba. gov/starting-business/choose-your-business-structure/soleproprietorship. 2017.
10. U.S. Small Business Administrations. What is a limited liability company (LLC)? Retrieved April 2017 from 2017.


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Robert C. Linkul, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D

CPT Consultants

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Robert Linkul is the owner of TOA ( a personal training studio and online continued educationprovider for fitness profession ...

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