The key to the success, be it a studio, gym facility or clinic, is the instructor. As a result, studios, fitness facilities and clinics are reporting a high demand for qualified Pilates instructors and difficulty in finding these qualified instructors. In addition, we the industry, seemingly overnight, embraced virtual teaching and training. What started as necessity is now common and has changed the Pilates industry by providing access, availability and visibility. While virtual is still an educational experiment that is untested over time, specific and curated usage shows signs of augmenting the in-person experience, both for individual client and in the teacher training space.
The instructor gains to benefit from quality education as well which puts great importance on the delivery of well designed and executed instructor training. The resulting value proposition is clear. Take a look at these salary statistics…starting income for a full-time, certified, Pilates instructor in 2018 was reported by Bizinsure.com to be around $68,910, with seasoned instructors making upward of 27% more, $85,515 and longtime instructors making well into the six figures. Keep in mind, these are pre-pandemic numbers. By comparison, when I did a quick internet search of job listings, I found a staff accountant starting salary to be between $42,250 and 65,000; starting Physical Therapist salary, between $70,000 and $85,000. If you look at these numbers not as actuality but as reliable indicators of potential income, you can clearly see, Pilates is more than a passion, it is a profession. Pilates instructors have opportunity, now more than ever, to have a fulfilling and lucrative career without the expense of time and money dedicated to a university curriculum.
The value in the training process is key to the continued success of this industry. It is not simply the exercises and the method that is taught, but critical reasoning skills and quality program development and design which lends itself to the versatility of the medium we refer to as Pilates. I am as sure of this as I am of how many times you pulse your arms in a full set of The Hundred. But there is an endemic problem we must address, there is not short cut. Education programs teach movement, sensation, awareness as well as exercise sequencing, variations and options. Teaching requires shared investment, effective and tested curriculum and commitment. The inundation of education shortcuts, Instagram exercise ‘quickies’ and loss of seeing Pilates education as a journey, poses a potential problem as the insecure instructor can compromise the integrity of a client’s experience which shapes the effectiveness of the method.
To make a long, passion driven story short…
- Certifying as a Pilates instructor from a qualified Pilates Curriculum provider is ESSENTIAL to ensuring the continued growth of the Pilates profession.
- The reward is potentially a career that is a satisfying one both financial as well as personally as the work is relevant and the benefits are great.
- Education must have an industry wide value and it must highlight the intention, strengths and mind-body essence that is Pilates. Science knows this, fitness knows this and clinicians know this.
Exploring through learning the essence of Pilates is the deep vein that connects every single Pilates teacher to each other and this life-line, may well be the single best investment you can make in yourself!