Pilates as a Career and an Investment in Yourself:...

Pilates as a Career and an Investment in Yourself: Part 2


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 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.

Tonya Amos, Joyful Movement Whole Life Program, Laney College Dance Week

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!


Joy Puleo is Balanced Body's Director of Education. In July of 2013, Joy moved, with her family, from New York to Sacramento, California to join Nora St. John and the rest of the Balanced Body team to work on developing curriculum and educational programming. Joy has been teaching Pilates teachers since 2002 and in the health and wellness industry since 1996. Joy earned her MA from Columbia University in Applied Physiology. As a lecturer she presents at conferences and studios across the country and abroad and with Balanced Body, she is a regular at most Pilates on Tours. In addition to her degree Joy is A.C.S.M. certified and is able to provide ACE credits for students who take her classes. She is a fully qualified Balanced Body Pilates Instructor and teacher trainer, CoreAlign and Bodhi Suspension System master trainer and a graduate of the PhysicalMind Institute. Joy was also trained on the GYROTONIC,® Level I and the Ladder. In 2011 Joy founded Body Wise Connection, a not-for-profit which works with women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Body Wise Connections sole purpose is to remind women that even in the throes of a diagnosis and treatment for cancer the body can heal and strengthen. Body Wise Connection works to restore physical self-awareness and empowerment through gently, rhythmic Pilates based movements. Though Joy is no longer in New York, Joys work has expanded to include all cancer patients regardless of the primary cancer diagnosis. Joy believes that movement changes lives and that education is the key to unlocking potential. Joy is thrilled to be working with Balanced Body on the shared mission of elevating mindful movement as a component to long term health and wellbeing.



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