Is becoming a pilates instructor right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do pilates instructors do?

Still unsure if becoming a pilates instructor is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a pilates instructor or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

How to become a Pilates Instructor

To become a Pilates instructor, individuals typically need to undergo training and certification through reputable Pilates training programs. Certification requirements may vary by region and organization but often involve completing specified coursework, gaining practical experience, and passing exams to demonstrate proficiency in Pilates instruction.

Here’s a general outline of the pathway to the career:

High School Diploma or Equivalent
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum educational requirement to start Pilates instructor training. High school education provides a foundation in basic communication and math and organizational skills, and it lays the groundwork for further learning.

Background in Biological and Fitness Sciences
A foundational understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and related disciplines like kinesiology and personal training is highly beneficial. This knowledge helps in comprehending the muscular and skeletal systems and biomechanics, which is essential for teaching Pilates effectively.

Pilates Research and Familiarization
Begin by learning about Pilates, its history, principles, exercises, and the different types of Pilates (classical, contemporary, etc.). Understand its benefits and how it can be tailored to different individuals and needs.

Pilates Practice
Engage in regular Pilates practice to develop a good understanding of the exercises, techniques, and the impact of Pilates on your own body. Consider taking classes from various instructors and experiencing different teaching styles.

Identifying Area of Interest and Specialization
Decide if you want to specialize in a particular aspect of Pilates, such as rehabilitation, pre/postnatal, equipment-based, or group classes. This will help guide your training and certification path.

Pilates Teacher Training Program
Enroll in an accredited Pilates teacher training program that aligns with your career goals and any chosen specialization, and complete the required coursework and training. Programs can vary in duration and depth, but they typically involve instruction in Pilates principles and equipment, anatomy, teaching techniques, as well as observation hours and practice teaching.

Some programs may require candidates to hold current CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and first aid certifications as a safety precaution.

The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) is one of the largest and most recognized and respected professional organizations for Pilates instructors. The PMA certification program requires completing the PMA-approved curriculum, accumulating teaching hours, and passing a certification exam.

Seek internships to gain experience teaching different clients and populations and enhance your skills and adaptability.

Advanced Certifications and Continuing Education
The following are some prominent professional organizations that offer support, resources, education, networking opportunities, and advocacy for Pilates instructors:

  • Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) – In addition to providing certification, as noted above, the Pilates Method Alliance sets industry standards, offers continuing education, and fosters community among Pilates professionals.
  • International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) – IADMS is an international organization that provides resources and information about dance medicine, science, and education. It's relevant for Pilates instructors working with dancers or those interested in the intersection of Pilates and dance.
  • Balanced Body Education – Balanced Body offers Pilates education and training programs and also functions as a professional organization. It provides resources, workshops, and conferences for Pilates instructors.
  • STOTT PILATES – This is both a training and certification organization and a resource for Pilates instructors. STOTT sells Pilates equipment and offer workshops, videos, and a membership program to support instructors in their practice and development.
  • Polestar Pilates – Polestar Pilates is an education and certification organization that also provides resources, workshops, and networking opportunities for Pilates instructors.
  • United States Pilates Association (USPA) – The USPA is a nonprofit organization focused on supporting the Pilates community in the United States. It offers education, networking, and advocacy for Pilates professionals.