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!
Hi Maura. I agree with the other posters that if this is something that you’re passionate about, then I’d say go for it! The rate you are paid per hour not only varies per region/state, but also, I’m assuming that by your calculations you are only considering your pay scale based on teaching classes for a gym or other organization. Something that you may want to factor into your calculations above is whether, as you gain more experience AND reputation as a group exercise instructor, you will either 1. begin to teach some classes on your own (thus making a MUCH higher hourly rate), and 2. with your experience, be able to command a higher hourly rate even at the gym over time.
Factor those two things in when making your decision!
The answer to your question depends a lot on a couple of factors: they type of group class that’s involved, and the degree to which the instructor is an ‘active participant.’ For example, I train teams and small groups of athletes. Depending on the actual session involved (e.g. is it a weight training session, or something like a plyometric or speed training session) my active involvement varies. If I were to try to actively participate in several plyometric training sessions in a week, I might find myself injured, whereas if I’m merely supervising and/or demonstrating a weight training session, I may be able to do several of those in a week.
So, take a look at what type of group sessions you’re talking about and see where that answer leads you.
Good luck, and stay healthy!