The question I’m asked most often as a Pilates teacher trainer by prospective trainees is about the financial side of training and teaching. How much does Pilates teacher training cost? How much does a Pilates instructor make? Let me shed some light on these questions.
Let’s talk money. As with pursuing any type of education, it’s always important to understand how much money you’ll be putting in and how much money you’ll be making.
When it comes to a good, reputable Pilates teacher training program you can expect to pay in the ballpark of $6,000 for the group in-studio courses, required materials (manuals/books/videos), and test-out fees. If you choose to take any of the required courses privately, which people do for scheduling reasons, that will be an additional cost.
You’ll need to take into consideration how you’ll be completing your 400+ out-of-class required hours because you’ll need access to Pilates equipment for the majority of those hours. Some people choose to buy equipment, especially if they are planning on opening up their own studio eventually, but due to financial or space constraints that’s not an option for everyone.
Many studios, including mine, offer Pilates teacher trainees the ability to use the studio to do their hours for a reasonable fee every month. You need to look into how you plan on completing your 400+ hours before the start of the Pilates instructor program in case this will require you to increase the amount of money you have budgeted for training.
If budgeting for the training is difficult for you there are other options. Some studios or businesses will pay you to go through training in exchange for teaching a free class for a set period of time. Also, many Pilates teacher training programs offer early sign-up discounts for the in-studio courses when you register early enough. At Spiral Spine Pilates Studio in Brentwood, TN, you receive an early bird discount of 15% if you register 6 weeks or more ahead of time. Don’t ignore these discounts! While they may seem small, they add up. Finally, some studios will trade the monthly equipment usage fee for work around the studio. Remember, it never hurts to ask.
Next, you have to weigh the cost of becoming a fully certified Pilates instructor (meaning you have not only tested out of your training program, but also completed the Pilates Method Alliance exam) against other career choices. Pilates teacher training is a fraction of what it costs to get a associate’s or bachelor’s degree, and is a career you can continue for a long time. Pilates has also been around for many years, so while it experiences changes in demand, it is not some fad exercise routine that will fizzle out and see no demand.
So what can you expect to make as a Pilates teacher? This varies greatly from city to city and usually depends on if you’re working in a gym or a Pilates studio. You can expect to make about $25 per class in a gym and about $40-$50 per private lesson in a Pilates studio. It is always a good idea to investigate where you might want to work early in your training and see what you can find out about the types of classes they offer and if any salary information is available.
As you gain more experience teaching Pilates, and possibly specialize in a niche population of people (for example, I specialize in working with people who have scoliosis), you can expect to make upwards of $100 an hour. If you decide to become a mobile instructor who brings equipment with you into people’s homes, you can expect to make about the same amount as you are able to charge people for your commute. As you can see, income potential varies greatly depending on your where you live and teach. It’s never too early to start thinking about what type of teaching environment will be right for you.
Finally, if you go into studio ownership, teaching workshops, lecturing at conferences, creating workout videos, writing books, or other entrepreneurial endeavors, your income will increase. After being in the Pilates industry for over 15 years, I can honestly say the monetary possibilities are endless. I’ve owned three Pilates studios, have created numerous books, workshops, and workout videos and have still had time to raise my two sons and be a wife. I wouldn’t change anything, even if I had the opportunity to. I can’t encourage you enough to pursue a career as a Pilates instructor!
Interested in completing Pilates teacher training? You can find program and registration information on the teacher training page of Spiral Spine’s website. Here’s what some of our participants have had to say about training at the Spiral Spine Pilates Studio in Nashville.
Erin was a phenomenal teacher; a wealth of information and experience. I would highly recommend any certification course she is teaching. Well worth my time and money. Can’t wait to take more certification courses with Erin and Balanced Body!
– Reformer 1 teacher trainee
I love Balanced Body’s Pilates philosophy. Even though I’ve taken training in two different states, the philosophy comes through making it more enjoyable as an instructor and also for my students/clients.
– Mat 2 teacher trainee
This was an outstanding course, Erin Myers was an excellent instructor. The instruction was detailed and informative. I would definitely continue my training through this course [Balanced Body] and more specifically with the instructor that conducted the training.
– Mat 1 teacher trainee
The course is laid out in a very simple, straightforward manner. I especially appreciated how a variety of exercises were presented under the same heading (ex. Arms facing Straps) rather than listing each as a separate exercise. It promotes good flow and helps new teachers see how to get the most out of each position.
– Reformer 1 teacher trainee
Erin presented a thorough knowledge of anatomy. The materials are great, and though it requires a lot of self study, she taught us where our focus lay. She also taught us why certain elements are of top importance. Great class!
– Anatomy teacher trainee