How to Earn More as a Pilates Instructor

pilates instructor

Pilates is already a major field in the fitness world, and it’s still constantly growing. In fact, a Statista study released in 2016 found that there were already close to 9 million people involved with Pilates in the United States alone.

While the benefits of Pilates to learners are well-documented, the explosion of this market also makes it a lucrative opportunity for incoming teachers. Students are willing to spend $2,000 per year on private Pilates instruction, and typically between $1,000 and $2,000 for group lessons. Anyone with an interest in fitness can turn Pilates instruction into a long-term career.

How Much Do Pilates Instructors Make?

The exact amount a given Pilates teacher can make depends on a wide range of factors, including their previous experience, specializations, and location. That said, the average range of hourly rates goes from roughly $15.80 to $50.00, with an average of $33.13 for those with fewer than 20 years of experience.

One common benefit of teaching Pilates over other professions is its relative flexibility, which is why close to half choose to teach under 20 hours each week. Part-time instructors usually make a little less, averaging out at around $24.49 per hour. Of course, as you expand your practice and reputation, you’ll be able to charge more for sessions. These are average rates for a few American cities:

Los Angeles Dallas Chicago New York
$34-$46 per hour $35-$38 per hour $24-$37 per hour $36-$46 per hour

Average Certified Pilates Instructor Salaries

If you’re working full-time, the average Pilates instructor can expect to make approximately $69,000 each year. That said, becoming certified as a teacher can significantly increase your earnings potential and allow you to charge higher rates for more exclusive classes. No matter where you are in your journey as a Pilates teacher, getting certification is a great financial decision.

Compared to a typical Pilates instructor, someone with certification will earn an average of 27% more money each year, or roughly $87,500. Therefore, simply acquiring certification can net you $18,500 every year (or more). Continuing education can also help you stay updated with trends in the practice and teaching of Pilates, helping you be more effective for your students.

You will also earn slightly more each year as you grow your reputation and clientele. While your earnings will likely vary depending on a number of factors, this table illustrates what you can expect to earn depending on your location.

Los Angeles Dallas Chicago New York
Average Gross Annual Salary (5 or more years of experience) $105,664 $95,097 $79,248 $108,305
Average Gross Annual Salary (1 to 4 years of experience) $83,200 $74,880 $62,400 $85,280
Average Gross Annual Salary (less than 1 year of experience) $73,216 $65,895 $54,912 $75,047

The Numbers Behind Teaching Pilates

Many new Pilates instructors enter the industry as a way to improve their health and help clients do the same, but it’s important to also be aware of the business side of the job. While under 20% of teachers receive benefits, some full-time employees at gyms or fitness centers may be eligible for things like maternity leave, health care, or vacation time. 18% of instructors were able to negotiate medical insurance, 14% could receive dental insurance, and 11% got vision.

Another common benefit many teachers are unaware of is the ability to receive compensation for ongoing education-in fact, roughly a third of all instructors are eligible. This will help you earn money from your current job while improving your future marketability. Take advantage of whatever benefits you’re able to access!

How Can I Earn More as a Pilates Instructor?

Regardless of your current standing as a teacher, there are several simple ways to increase your earnings potential. Whether you’re a beginner or an established veteran, there are still easy things to improve your qualifications!

1. Specialize

As you become more comfortable with teaching Pilates, you may become interested in more specialized knowledge. Clients often pay more for teachers with unique skill sets, and specializing will help you become an expert in your favorite field. These are some common Pilates niches:

  • pre- and post-natal
  • athletic performance
  • osteoporosis
  • scoliosis
  • orthopedic concerns
  • cancer survivorship
  • spine care

2. Certification

As we covered above, certification is a great way to market yourself to new clients. More specifically, many instructors aren’t experienced or qualified with certain common machines and becoming certified on those will widen your target audience. These can include:

  • Pedi-pole (58% of all instructors are untrained)
  • Spine corrector (29% of all instructors are untrained)
  • Ladder barrel (26% of all instructors are untrained)

3. Get Insured

Accidents can happen to any Pilates instructor, and it’s important to be covered-by spending a few dollars a day, you can save money on settlements or legal fees down the road. Insurance is a necessity for many business opportunities, and it’s cheaper than you think! BizInsure can give you an online quote to help you work insurance costs into your budget.

4. Encourage referrals

The biggest challenge in earning more money is increasing your audience, and referrals are the easiest way to reach new people. Networking with other fitness professionals (or even Pilates instructors with different specializations) is a great way to give each other referrals and help each other grow.

5. Host Your Own Workshops

Workshops are another easy way to find new clients and give them a taste of your style and capabilities. Hold one on an occasional evening or weekend and have your students invite friends who may be interested. You can even leverage social media and other channels to expand the outreach for your event.

Not only is Pilates a great way to maximize your physical and mental health, it’s also a lucrative business opportunity for anyone with a fitness background. Whether you’re just starting out or you have years of experience, following the guidelines laid out in this article will help you expand your business and increase your income.


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