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!
well, now. I didn’t know anyone could find employment in this industry without certification. You know, liability issues and all. Makes me wonder what the legal ramifications are for gyms/rec ctrs that hire people with no certification. What happens if someone gets injured due to an instructor not knowing music speed guidelines, etc?
It really depends on what you would like to do. I was initially certified as a personal trainer and then got my specific format certifications (Turbo Kick, Hip Hop Hustle, and PiYo). I went on to teach these formats at a national chain gym without a group fitness certification or individual insurance. Pay was per class, no fractions of an hour or anything like that.
In any case, I still haven’t gotten my group certification yet but I do plan on doing it to satisfy my own educational pursuits.
By the way, I would consider getting trained in a specific kind of class, like Zumba or Spin, so that you have something specific to offer that you like to do. Often group fitness directors are looking to fill holes in their schedule with classes that members want but they don’t have yet (and step is still very popular).
So, figure out why you want this certification and go from there!
I guess the question, as Ashley suggests, comes down to what are you a group exercise instructor for. If it’s $ you’re in the wrong business, at least for most. Certifications should come from inside of you. They are not a marker of your value to others. They are a testament to you that you have worked to know as much as you can about what you do.
I think the answers above are excellent!
I would definitely encourage a certification, especially if you don’t have a fitness/health related degree.
You would probably benefit from doing some research on the places you want to teach. Most places are probably going to require a certification and may have preferences on where the cert comes from. Also, gyms are going to have different payment systems. In my part of the country (Wyoming), instructors make less than half that $25 per hour fee as a starting wage. Some gyms will pay per hour, per class or a portion of the fees collected from registration (80/20 split etc.- a contract employee vs. hourly) We do pay our instructors 1.5 hours for an hour class, assuming they are here to set up/clean up etc. and we also pay them for a reasonable amount of planning time/making playlists etc./trainings etc. and other places won’t pay for prep work at all.
I wish you the best of luck- I love teaching, and among the many things my job as a fitness coordinator requires, teaching is definitely my favorite!