Hi everyone, I’m considering becoming a Group Fitness Instructor and have been researching which governing body to take the test through (ACE, ACSM). I am interested in starting a career that’s healthy, flexible and allows me to schedule around my family. In considering this, I have also researched salary/hourly rates. It looks like the average hourly rate is $25.00/hour. So, according to my calculations, if I was interested in making $30,000/year, I would have to teach 3.5 classes per day. Calculations:
$625/$25 per class = 25 classes per week
25 classes per week = 3.5 classes per day
So my questions are this:
1. Is a Group Instructor paid per class/session?
2. Assuming the class is one hour, are instructors only paid for the actual hour teaching or is there time in front or back of the actual class hour for things like set up, clean up etc? If so, how many hours should I be calclating to be paid on per class? 1.5? 2?
3. My initial thought is 3.5 classes per day seems like a lot – or is it?
4. What is the definition of “group” – would training a class of five people justify a group or am I wandering off into the personal training side?
At this point, I’m wondering if getting the certification is even worth it. Would appreciate any and all thoughts and bits of advice. Thanks much!
Karin answered the more direct questions re: pay and classes running. A few other items to consider beyond just the initial certification are continuing education, liability insurance, legal music selections, and your personal attire, etc., which if you are teaching 25 classes/week, you’d need to have quite a bit. You will also want to consider, as Karin mentioned above, that you’d have to teach at several facilities, as no facility (I’m a program director myself) will permit any one instructor to teach that much, so you’ll need to consider gas/mileage/travel time, etc. On the other side of it, by being an instructor, you’re generally going to save on a gym membership, as most facilities will provide that as a benefit of employment, and though when you teach you are there for your participants, you will in a sense be paid to workout (depending on the format, and how much demonstration you do vs. moving around the room).
But, to get to your point about the “worth” of being an instructor-you simply can’t be a part of this profession if you’re here just for the money-you won’t last. You must be a part of it because you have a passion for it. You have to consider the value/reward of changing lives, as the impact that has on you is monumental. There are other ways to make money in the profession beyond teaching, like managing, or teaching beyond the fitness room, but that comes with experience and additional knowledge. As Karin mentioned, you may want to start with this as a “hobby” that you do in addition to work you may need to do for steady income until you can replace whatever you do now-but once you get the bug, everything will fall into place. When it’s the right fit, you’ll know!