How to Become a Pilates Instructor

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To become a Pilates instructor, a person must complete an authorized Pilates instructor training course. These courses stress the proper movement and breathing techniques originally created by founder Joseph Pilates. While many Pilates instructors work at gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers, some open their own studios or provide in-home training for select clients. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the job demand for all fitness instructors, including Pilates instructors, is expected to increase by 24 percent by the year 2020.[1]

Wikimedia Commons: J. Vilchez
Education Specialized training
Starting pay $17,070[2]
Median pay $50,000[3]
10 yr growth Faster than average: 24%[1]
Related professions Fitness instructor, yoga teacher
Author Selena Robinson

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Pilates Instructor Job Overview

Pilates instructors are fitness professionals who provide group and individual classes in Pilates, an exercise method. Pilates involves the use of body-weight resistance and concentrated breathing to build stamina, endurance, and muscle tone all over the body. The key goals of Pilates are to increase flexibility and overall strength.[4] The method was originally developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century as a method of physical rehabiliation for prisoners of war following World War II.[5]

Pilates Instructor Education

While Pilates instructors are not usually required to obtain a college degree, most are required to have a high school diploma in order to work at a health facility. Some Pilates instructors do choose to complete an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in a fitness-related field such as Personal Training, Kinesiology, or Nutrition.[6] These degree programs often include courses on anatomy, human biology, and health science. Some colleges allow students to choose a specific concentration of kinesiology in which to focus. Aspiring Pilates instructors might choose the Exercise Science or Sport concentrations.[7]

Pilates Instructor Training

To qualify as a Pilates instructor, a fitness instructor has to complete an authorized Pilates training course. These programs often include hours of coursework in several kinds of Pilates, including Mat Pilates, Pilates movement, and the use of specific Pilates apparatuses such as the Chair, the Reformer, and the Trapeze.[8] For each level of training, a student may have to complete as much as 80 hours of instruction.[9]

Pilates Instructor Certification

Some Pilates instructors choose to pursue certification after completing their training courses. Pilates instructor certification is available from qualifying organizations such as the Pilates Method Alliance. Receiving a certification typically involves passing a proctored examination and paying an examination fee. Applicants may also be required to meet a specific education requirement, such as completing a certain number of hours in structured Pilates training.[10]

Stott Pilates Instructor Training at the YMCA

An overview of the Stott Pilates instructor training available at the YMCA

Also See: How to Become a Fitness Instructor, How to Become a Fitness Trainer, How to Become a Zumba Instructor, How to Become a Bodybuilder


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