I’m thinking of becoming a Pilates instructor. But before taking the leap, I wanted to find out – how much do Pilates instructors make? As a career, it seems rewarding to be able to help clients improve their fitness and feel better. But I also wanted to make sure it would provide a stable income.
In this post, I’ll break down the average salary for Pilates instructors across the country. I’ll also explore the key factors that impact earnings like location, experience level, and whether you teach private or group classes. Read on for a full overview of Pilates instructor pay and tips to maximize your income in this growing field.
- 1 The National Average Salary for Pilates Instructors
- 2 How Location Impacts Pilates Instructor Salary
- 3 Pay Scale By Experience Level
- 4 Factors That Impact Pilates Instructor Salaries
- 5 How to Increase Your Earnings as a Pilates Instructor
- 6 The Career Outlook for Pilates Instructors
- 7 The Bottom Line on Pilates Instructor Salaries
The National Average Salary for Pilates Instructors
Let’s start by looking at the big picture. Nationwide, how much does the typical Pilates instructor make?
According to data from PayScale, the average hourly wage for Pilates instructors is $36. This works out to about $75,000 annually if working full-time.
On Indeed, the reported average stands slightly lower at around $30-$40 per hour, which would equal $62,400-$83,200 per year.
Of course, these are just general estimates across the whole country. Actual Pilates instructor salaries can vary quite a bit based on where you live and work. Next, we’ll break down the pay scale in different metropolitan areas.
How Location Impacts Pilates Instructor Salary
One of the biggest factors affecting Pilates teacher pay is geographic location. Instructors working in expensive urban areas tend to make more than their counterparts in rural areas.
Here’s an overview of average hourly and annual Pilates instructor earnings in some major US cities:
- New York City – $45-60/hour, $93,600-124,800/year
- Los Angeles – $35-50/hour, $72,800-104,000/year
- Chicago – $30-45/hour, $62,400-93,600/year
- Houston – $25-35/hour, $52,000-72,800/year
- Phoenix – $20-30/hour, $41,600-62,400/year
The highest salaries are found on the coasts in places like New York City and Los Angeles where the cost of living is very high. Instructors in the Midwest and South generally earn less than the national average.
But pay doesn’t only vary by state – it can also differ dramatically between cities in the same state. Pilates instructors in Austin, Texas earn $5-10 more per hour than their counterparts in Houston. Location definitely plays a major role in determining Pilates teacher salaries.
Pay Scale By Experience Level
Along with location, the other big factor impacting Pilates instructor pay rates is experience. In general, earnings go up the longer you’ve been teaching.
Here’s an overview of typical Pilates instructor salaries at different experience levels:
- New instructors (less than 2 years) – $25-35/hour
- Mid-level instructors (2-5 years) – $30-45/hour
- Experienced instructors (5+ years) – $40-60/hour
Pilates teaching certificate programs provide the basic foundations, but instructors really start to command higher salaries once they’ve built up years of hands-on experience.
There are also opportunities to earn more as a Pilates teacher trainer if you pursue additional certifications. These advanced instructors can make $55-70/hour training new teachers.
Overall, your pay tends to reflect your expertise. The more skilled you become over time, the higher your earning potential.
Factors That Impact Pilates Instructor Salaries
Besides location and experience, there are a few other key factors that affect how much Pilates teachers make. These include:
- Private vs. group classes – Private sessions pay significantly more per hour than group classes. The average rate for privates is $50-70/hour vs. $25-35/hour for group mat or equipment classes.
- Studio vs. freelance – Instructors teaching at private Pilates studios generally make 10-20% less than independent contractors setting their own rates. However, studios may offer more job security.
- Clientele – Teaching lucrative private clients like celebrities pays more than average gym members. Developing an upscale client base increases earning potential.
- Specializations – Niche skills like rehabilitation, prenatal/postpartum, or training elite athletes may allow you to charge higher hourly rates.
- Region – Rates in big cities like Los Angeles or New York are 25-50% higher than other parts of the country. Location plays a major role in pay.
The most lucrative path is becoming an independent instructor with expertise in a niche, teaching privates and small groups at premium rates in an expensive urban area.
How to Increase Your Earnings as a Pilates Instructor
If the average Pilates instructor salaries seem a little low to you, there are several ways to boost your earning potential:
- Get referrals – Ask happy clients to recommend you to friends. Referrals are the best way to quickly fill your schedule.
- Teach corporate classes – Companies will pay top dollar for on-site fitness classes during lunch or after work. These can be lucrative.
- Host workshops – Lead specialty workshops teaching new instructor skills or niche disciplines. You can charge $100-200 per student.
- Specialize – Develop expertise teaching seniors, golfers, or other specific demographics. Position yourself as a specialist.
- Train new instructors – Earn $55-70/hour training aspiring Pilates teachers once you have advanced experience.
- Open your own studio – Being the owner as well as instructor allows you to earn passive income and profits.
With smart business moves, the most successful Pilates pros take home over six figures. The national averages are just a baseline.
The Career Outlook for Pilates Instructors
The final consideration is job growth. How much demand will there be for qualified Pilates instructors in coming years?
The outlook seems quite positive. As a gentle, low impact form of exercise, Pilates continues to grow rapidly in popularity.
According to the Department of Labor, demand for fitness trainers and instructors overall is expected to increase by 10% or more over the next decade. There will be thousands of job openings annually.
With specialized training and business savvy, experienced instructors shouldn’t have any trouble finding work and charging premium rates. The future looks bright if you’re considering becoming a Pilates teacher.
The Bottom Line on Pilates Instructor Salaries
Let’s recap the key points. On average, Pilates instructors make between $30 and $40 per hour, which translates to $62,000 to $83,000 annually if working full time.
The exact amount varies greatly depending on your location, experience level, whether you teach private or group classes, and niche skills. New instructors start around $25 per hour, while seasoned pros can make up to $70 in expensive urban areas.
With the right business strategies, most dedicated instructors can surpass six figures in earnings within several years. And demand should continue growing for qualified Pilates teachers.
Hopefully this overview gives you a clear picture of what Pilates instructors make. Teaching Pilates provides an excellent opportunity to make a positive impact while earning a good living. Let me know if you have any other questions!