How to Become a Pilates Instructor

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September 8, 2023

No two days as a Pilates instructor are the same. Every class and group has its own vibe and skill level. If you’re a fitness aficionado who wants a career in helping people reach their goals, while constantly learning and challenging yourself, becoming a Pilates instructor might be a great move. So, how do you get there? From the steps you should take to the personality traits and skills required for this role, here’s what you need to know.

Pilates Instructor Training : Finding the Best Program for Your Career Goals

There are a couple of paths you can take toward a career as a Pilates instructor. The first option is going through a certification course, such as earning certification in different types of equipment or one type of Pilates. The second path is to undertake a training program administered by individual Pilates studios or franchises.

How to Become a Certified Pilates Instructor

A Pilates certification will give you an in-depth overview of various aspects of Pilates. Choose a Pilates certification program that aligns with your overall career goals and interests. Many certification programs are flexible and somewhat modular; you can often take them at your own pace. Often, Pilates certification programs and exams are administered by third-party organizations, such as The National Pilates Certification Program or the Pilates Method Alliance.

The basic types of Pilates certification programs include:

  • Pilates mat certification: This is a foundational Pilates certification focused on teaching Pilates mat exercises. It provides information about general Pilates principles, movement, modifications, and how to design a program for specific clients.
  • Reformer Pilates certification: A Reformer Pilates certification provides instruction for safely and effectively teaching exercises using the Reformer. We obviously love the Reformer here at BODYBAR, where we use it for unique modern movement.
  • Pilates apparatus certification: If you want to learn how to teach on the Cadillac, Ladder Barrel, or other equipment, this may be the certification for you. At BODYBAR, our training program covers Chair, Jumpboard, and Tower in addition to the Reformer.
  • Comprehensive Pilates certification: If you want to learn all of the above, a Comprehensive cert might be the way to go. This certification provides a well-rounded education in all aspects of teaching Pilates.

Private and Specialized Pilates Training Programs

Often, larger Pilates brands offer their own training programs to ensure that any instructors they hire understand their philosophy and method. So, a standard certification is often a great start, especially if you want to give private lessons or work in a smaller studio, but you may need to take the additional step of passing a private training program and exam for your desired workplace.

Many fitness businesses and franchises, including BODYBAR, don’t always require previous certification for entry into a private training program.

What do these Pilates instructor training programs entail? They vary in length and thoroughness. To become a BODYBAR instructor, for example, prospects are required to complete the 250-hour Comprehensive BODYBAR Pilates Instructor Training Program. This includes training and testing in each apparatus (Reformer, Chair, Tower, and Jumpboard) along with learning about the BODYBAR Method. In addition, those enrolled in the certification training program learn about how to become effective instructors, increasing their soft skills like reading cues and coaching.

BODYBAR’s training program includes credits for American Council on Exercise (ACE) and The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as well as a bridge program with Balanced Body for individuals seeking a comprehensive certification. 

Beyond Training: Pilates Instructor Career FAQS

There are a few other important things to consider when preparing for a Pilates instructor career.

What makes a good Pilates instructor?

A good Pilates instructor should not only have the required training but also have a passion for fitness, great communication skills, empathy, and the ability and drive to inspire their students. They should receive regular training to ensure their skills are up-to-date and they’re able to best serve their clients.

How long does it take to become a Pilates instructor?

The time it takes to become a Pilates instructor varies depending on your goals and the certification or training path you select. In general, it takes three to 24 months to become a Pilates instructor.

How much does it cost to become a Pilates instructor

The cost to become a Pilates instructor varies depending on the training program you select and the organization administering the training. Individual certifications can cost several hundred dollars, while comprehensive certifications or training programs can cost several thousand dollars.

What’s a Pilates instructor’s job outlook?

Pilates instructors will be in high demand for the foreseeable future; the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that fitness instructor jobs, including Pilates instructor positions, will grow faster than average in the next 8 years.

Interested in Becoming a BODYBAR Pilates Instructor?

If you’re inspired by the thought of teaching people how to get healthy, get strong, and embrace their inner athlete, you might be an ideal BODYBAR Pilates instructor. Learn more about our open instructor positions or contact your local studio for more information about the BODYBAR Pilates Instructor Training Program. A BODYBAR Pilates Training and Certification is a great value and awesome way to become a first-rate, knowledgeable, and confident Pilates instructor.