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How to Become a Pilates Instructor 


July 31, 2019 - Pilates Instructor Academy

Are you an avid Pilates student curious about what the next steps will be in your journey with Pilates? If you are passionate about your own Pilates practice and want to help people see the amazing changes Pilates can bring, both physically and mentally, become a Pilates instructor!

Determine whether you’re ready for a Pilates Teacher Training Course

It is important to remember that teaching Pilates is very different from taking a Pilates class. If you are interested in completing a Pilates teacher training course, you’ll want to consider a few things first.

  1. Make sure you are comfortable leading and training others. Are you ready to lead an individual or group for the entirety of a session?
  2. Don’t forget that teaching Pilates involves physically guiding your students from time to time. Are you comfortable having physical contact with your student’s feet, arms, and legs when they need help with a position?
  3. Pilates instructors are constantly learning and developing their practice. Are you ready to embark on a career that will require you to always be learning something new and developing a deeper understanding for your craft?
  4. What type of Pilates classes do you want to teach?  Teacher training programs offer certifications to teach Pilates mat classes, Pilates Reformer classes or all the Pilates equipment.

If these seem to be comfortable scenarios to you, you are an excellent candidate to become a Pilates instructor. That said, there are a few prerequisites and additional considerations to consider before finalizing your decision.

Have you met the prerequisites?

Every Pilates teacher training program is different, and individual Pilates instructor certifications have their own specific set of prerequisites. Most reputable Pilates teacher training programs have a few general prerequisites every potential Pilates instructor should understand and have accomplished. Pilates, just like any other training regimen, is a physical activity and requires an understanding of how the different sections of the body function individually and as a whole unit. A basic working knowledge of anatomy and physiology is required if you are interested in completing any Pilates instructor training with Pilates Instructor Academy or any other Pilates instructor certification program.

It is extremely helpful to have experience with the basic Pilates movements, and some experience teaching group exercise, dance or yoga is always helpful. The mat Pilates certification, Pilates reformer certification, and the comprehensive Pilates teacher training courses all have varying degrees of prerequisites, and you can find detailed information about prerequisites and an in-depth FAQ section on our website.

Are you ready to be an independent contractor?

When you choose to become a Pilates instructor, you might be classified as an independent contractor. While some studios and gyms do hire Pilates teachers as employees, more often than not, you will be an independent contractor.  This means (among other items), your employer will not withhold taxes from your paycheck.  You’ll need to file taxes differently at the end of the year. This can be a little confusing to those who choose the life of a Pilates instructor after some experience in the standard workplace. Making this change isn’t as scary as it sounds, and just requires a little pre-planning and the motivation to stick with it, even when you are just starting, and your class sizes are small. 

A few important items to keep in mind before becoming an independent contractor are:

  • Are you ready to purchase your own health insurance?
  • Do you know how much money you should be setting aside to cover the cost of your taxes?
  • Have you purchased liability insurance to protect you against any injury claims?

PIA offers phone consultation and support for Pilates teachers - we can help you navigate life as an independent contractor; just give us a call at 888-251-2080.

The last thing to consider is if you are a self-starter. When you become a Pilates instructor, you also become your own marketing team, as you are the only one who can sell your brand as a Pilates instructor. If you are ready to take the extra steps necessary to build your following through social media and word-of-mouth advertising, it is time to decide which Pilates teacher training is right for you.

Determine which type of training course is right for you

With all the Pilates instructor courses on the market today, it can be difficult to decide which one is best suited for your individual teaching style. It is helpful to have clear goals in mind before selecting the Pilates instructor certification of your choice. Make sure you understand what type of Pilates and in what type of environment you want to work. Pilates Instructor Academy offers three different Pilates teacher training courses: Pilates Mat Training, Pilates Reformer Training, and our Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training Course.

Pilates Mat Training

Mat Pilates certification is the most basic Pilates instructor training you can receive. Focused solely on Pilates movements without the use of any Pilates equipment, Pilates mat classes are more affordable and accessible to a broad range of clients.  Almost every gym, fitness center, community center and boutique Pilates or yoga studio offers Pilates mat classes.  That means qualified Pilates mat teachers are always in high demand!  Pilates mat teacher training workshops are very affordable…for more information see our blog about the cost of becoming a Pilates teacher.

Pilates Reformer Training

The Pilates reformer is the most popular and versatile piece of Pilates equipment and completing PIA’s Pilates reformer certification will make you a highly marketable Pilates instructor in any area. If your goal is to teach to the widest variety of clients, from beginners to athletes, the Pilates reformer certification is an excellent choice.

Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training

If you are interested in sitting for the Pilates Method Alliance-Certified Pilates Teacher (PMA-CPT) exam, then the comprehensive Pilates teacher training is for you! Upon completion of this extensive Pilates instructor training course, you will meet all the qualifications required by PMA in order to sit for the CPT exam. This course will prepare you to teach Pilates classes with a wide array of Pilates equipment, as well as the mat and Pilates reformer.

Live vs Online Pilates Teacher Training Courses

Once you have determined which Pilates instructor training course you want to take, it is time to decide if you want to complete an online Pilates teacher training certification or participate in a live Pilates instructor certification. There are benefits to both options, though we recommend live Pilates instructor training if you intend on pursuing a Pilates reformer certification or a comprehensive Pilates teacher training.

Online Pilates Certification

Sometimes attending a live Pilates teacher training is not possible due to cost, location or other extenuating circumstances. If you live in an area with limited options for Pilates teacher training or your you can’t attend a live Pilates instructor certification, an online training program is the perfect option!

Getting your Pilates certification online allows you to complete your Pilates instructor training on your own terms, with the help of a certified Pilates instructor. Like most online courses, though, online Pilates teacher training requires extra focus and determination if you want to complete the course in a timely manner.

Live Pilates Teacher Training Programs

While there are benefits to the convenience of getting your Pilates certification online, there is nothing that can compare to receiving the one-on-one attention offered during a live Pilates instructor certification. When you work with a class, you get to experience first-hand how your future Pilates classes will function.  Having a dedicated Pilates training course instructor on hand means you get immediate answers to your questions and is helpful in guiding you to develop your own unique teaching style. Pilates Instructor Academy offers a variety of live Pilates training courses across the country. Feel free to explore our class schedule and contact us at amandaiiams@pilatesinstructoracademy.com with any questions you have regarding our Pilates instructor training schedule.

Enroll in a Pilates Teacher Training Program!

Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to take your turn your passion for Pilates into the best career you’ll ever have, it’s time to enroll in your program and get started! If you need help determining which option is right for you, the instructors at PIA are here to help guide you toward the path that is best for your unique situation. PIA is here to help you become the best Pilates instructor and we are happy to answer any questions you may have. When you are ready to become a Pilates instructor, contact Pilates Instructor Academy to enroll in one of our Pilates training courses today!