What Does a Pilates Instructor Make? 5 Tips to Increase Your Earnings

According to a 2016 Statista survey, nearly 9 million Americans are Pilates lovers. According to a 2016 survey by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), Pilates students can spend up to $2,000 per annum on private Pilates instruction. Students are willing to spend an average of $1,000-$2,000 annually for group Pilates classes (Statista 2016, 2016). These facts suggest that becoming a Pilates instructor could be a great way to make a steady income and have the potential to achieve long-term success.

Average Income for Pilates Instructors

Hourly Average Rates for Pilates Instructors

According to Indeed.com the average hourly salary for a U.S. certified Pilates instructor with less than 20 year’s experience is $33.13. This average salary is for full-time teachers across the country and does not vary by region or city. According to Indeed.com, the total range of compensation for Pilates instructors can be as low as $15.80 an hour up to $50.00 an hour.

PMA (2016): Just half of all Pilates instructors work less than 20 hours per week. The American Council on Exercise (ACE), 2010 states that the national average rate for part-time instructors is $24.49 an hour.

Remember that salaries for Pilates instructors vary depending on many factors, such as years of experience, certifications, geographical location, specializations, and certifications. The most high hourly and annual salaries, as well as the highest hourly rates, are for certified Pilates instructors who have more than five years of teaching experience. For Pilates instructors with less experience than one year, the hourly rates are typically lower.

You will be able charge more for your Pilates classes as you increase your skills and knowledge.

These averages represent all levels of experience, from entry-level through advanced.

Los AngelesDallasChicagoNew York
Average hourly rate for a Pilates instructor$34 – $46/hour$35 – $38/hour$24 – $37/hour$36 – $46/hour

Average Certified Pilates Instructor Salaries

An average annual gross salary for a certified Pilates instructor in the United States is $68,910. Payscale.com reports that certified Pilates instructors with more experience can earn 27% more than the average rate (Payscale.com 2018, 2018). This amounts to an average annual gross salary of $87 515.

This is an extra $18,000 in income because you have more years teaching and continue to learn about Pilates trends. This extra pay is a testament to the value of continuing your education. Your continued education and dedication will not only benefit your Pilates students, but also your bank account.

You can make about 12% less if you’re a new certified Pilates instructor, or $8,269 less than the average gross annual income. It’s possible to make more if you continue training.

Los AngelesDallasChicagoNew York
Gross Annual Salary (with 5 or more years of experience).$105,664$95,097$79,248$108,305
Average gross annual salary* (1-4 years experience)$83,200$74,880$62,400$85,280
Gross annual Salary (Entry Level, less than 1 year experience)$73,216$65,895$54,912$75,047

Based on 40 hours of per week

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Statistics on the Pilates Industry

Find out if benefits are available for full-time employees of a Pilates studio or fitness center. About 82 percent of Pilates instructors do not have any benefits, including medical insurance, maternity leaves, or paid vacations. These benefits may be included in your employment package, but you might want to negotiate them. While it won’t increase your hourly earnings, it will decrease your out-of pocket expenses. Good news: The Pilates industry is beginning to see an increase in the number of organizations that offer such benefits.

This is the percentage that Pilates instructors were able negotiate benefits as part their employment contract.

  • Medical Insurance – 18%
  • Dental Insurance – 14%
  • Vision Insurance – 11%

You should be aware that continuing education funds may be available to you even if you’re not employed at the gym where you work. According to reports, 33% of Pilates instructors who are not in 1099/contractor status can still be eligible for continuing education reimbursement. This perk is very valuable and will save you money as well as help you get ahead in your career. Check with your gym or studio to see if they have an educational fund.

Pay rates in your area are another important aspect to consider. The above tables show that the hourly and salary rates can vary among cities. This is normal and common for all jobs. How pay rates are calculated is determined by the cost of living. Higher living costs in certain areas of the country tend to mean that Pilates instructors are paid more to cover rent, food and utilities.

How to Make More As A Pilates Instructor

You might be just beginning your Pilates teaching career, or you may have been teaching Pilates classes for over a decade. There are many ways to make a better salary, no matter what stage you’re at in your career.

Here are five tips to help you get started on your journey to making more money.

1. Specialization

After you have taught Pilates for a while, it is worth pursuing advanced education in a specialty track. You will be different from other Pilates teachers if you can offer specialized instruction. This will attract new students who have a particular focus or need. A Pilates specialization can also give you more income.

Many Pilates specialty niches focus on helping fitness professionals (i.e. While some specializations in Pilates are geared towards helping athletes, others support the rehabilitation and therapy of injured or disabled people.

Here’s a list with some Pilates speciality tracks that you might be interested in learning:

  • spine care
  • pre/postnatal
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Orthopedic concerns
  • scoliosis
  • osteoporosis
  • Athletic performance

2. Certificates

A comprehensive certification, which allows you to teach mat exercises and Pilates equipment, is the most lucrative. This certification will increase your earning potential.

According to the 2016 PMA “Pilates In America”, survey, instructors are less competent at teaching the following Pilates machines. You will be able to learn more about the equipment and make more money.

  • Ladder Barrel: 26% Of Pilates Instructors are Not Trained
  • Spine Corrector: 29% Of Pilates Instructors are Not Trained
  • Pedi-Pole – 58% of Pilates Instructors are Not Trained

3. Purchase Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance is available for a small premium per day. It is a great deal considering the amount of money you can save by purchasing professional liability insurance. If a student of Pilates files a civil suit against you for negligent teaching, improper advice or other negligence that led to injury, you can afford to defend the case and possibly pay a judgment without having to dip into your business bank account.

An additional bonus is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), allows premiums for liability plans to be deducted from a business expense. This will allow you to save income taxes.

A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is required by any organization that you submit a business proposal for guest teaching or hosting a special Pilates event. The COI must include proof of in-force liability insurance. Your organization will want to make sure that you have insurance in case you need it. Your business proposal is most likely to be thrown out if you don’t have any liability insurance.

BizInsure allows you to easily get a quote online for liability insurance. This will allow you to get a better idea about the budget you need.

4. Referrals

It is a smart move to increase the number and quality of Pilates students that you teach throughout the year in order to increase your salary. How do you find new students? Exchanging business referrals with complementary businesses is a great way for students to connect. You can find great referral partners for Pilates in nutrition counsellors and massage therapists as well as fitness trainers, karate instructors, acupuncturists and chiropractors.

If you do follow our advice and specialize in a particular area, then another Pilates instructor could be a great resource. Let’s suppose that Samantha, a friend of Pilates, is currently pregnant with her first baby. Samantha is not qualified to teach neonatal students. Samantha is able to refer the student to you for support over the next nine month. This is an extra income!

You can get started with a referral partner by calling their office, sending an email, or stopping by during normal business hours. Send business cards, a brochure or flyer describing your services and experience. You can also grab the information of your referral partner to return the favor.

5. Host Pilate Workshops

Invite your students to a weekend or evening Pilates workshop. Invite your students to bring at least one friend or neighbor that they have never met before. You could even team up with other fitness professionals like a running coach, yoga instructor, or nutritionist. You can both share the costs of hosting the workshop as well as the responsibility of organizing it.

Workshops can be a powerful marketing tool that actually makes you money. You can charge a premium fee to share your knowledge and time.

Although you only need to create workshop materials once, you can host the same workshop several times per year. You can promote the event through word-of mouth networking and social media. This helps to keep overhead costs low.

You can also offer additional materials for workshop participants as an added bonus. You and your co-hosts could create an e-book or supplemental program materials or even T-shirts or hats for the workshop that you can sell at the event. All it comes down to marketing more and ultimately making more money.

There are many career options for Pilates instructors. We have already explained that full-time Pilates instructors make an average of $33.13 an hour. Their earnings power can reach as high as $50.00 an hour. In the Pilates industry, more instructors are negotiating additional benefits like vision, medical, and vacation days. To increase their financial security, and to improve their chances of success as a Pilates instructor, there are several key steps. We discussed the following key steps: specializing in a specific area of Pilates instruction, such as spine care or post-natal, obtaining liability insurance to protect you future and win job bids. Creating referral partnerships with other members of the health industry, such as chiropractors and masseuses, and hosting workshops to help generate additional income and marketing tools. You will be able to achieve your Pilates dreams if you follow our key points and implement the plan.