You have some great responses here and I agree with the others. Clubs will pay a fixed salary or hourly wage especially if you going to work as one of their employee. But, if you try to go to a studio of a gym where you could work as an independent contractor, then you will be able to negotiate your income and make more per hour. I also think LaRue is correct about getting paid a lower wage if you work at a community center or the Y.
Pay for new instructors will vary and depend on many factors. Experience and type of certification may have an impact on pay. Pilates and yoga instructors may make more.
If you work for a community center or local Y, then your pay may be lower than if you work for a large chain/corporate gym. Rates will also vary depending on where you live.
ACE Fitness has a few income surveys as I’m sure other agencies have done. It may be reasonable to expect anywhere from $15-25 an hour depending on where you live.
Again, many factors are involved.
The clubs I used to teach at did have different rates for different instructors. The new instructors started at a lower rate. They did pay more for specialty instructors (yoga, Pilates), but experience did count. Those of us who built a following were also able to negotiate a higher rate, but of course that won’t apply to a new instructor.
I want to echo Meryl. At the club where I teach, instructors are paid the same for the same type of class whether they just got their certification or are veteran instructors of many years.
There is a slightly higher pay for classes requiring a special certification (but that is really negligible).