How Much Do Workout Instructors Make?

How much do workout instructors make? It’s a question we get a lot. Here’s what we can tell you about what they make on average.


Becoming a workout instructor can be an exciting and rewarding career choice. Instructors have the opportunity to help others stay healthy and reach their fitness goals. But how much do workout instructors make? The amount of money you can make as a workout instructor will depend on a variety of factors such as your experience level, the region you work in, and the type of classes you teach. Let’s take a deeper look at the potential earning potential of fitness instructors.

Definition of a Workout Instructor

A workout instructor is an individual who works in the fitness industry to facilitate people’s exercise regimes and impart knowledge about physical activity. Exercise instructors typically plan, instruct and lead both small and large groups of individuals through numerous routines that are aimed at improving their physical health and well-being.

Instructors mostly work with clients in a gym or fitness facility. These instructors teach classes such as aerobics, kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, weight lifting, fitness boot camps, spinning and core conditioning classes. In addition to skills on how to properly execute exercises and awareness of proper form when lifting weights or doing other activities, instructors must also understand basic anatomy, nutrition principles and muscle development so they can best guide their clients toward achieving their goals.

Types of Workout Instructors

Workout instructors have the potential to make a significant income, depending on the type of instruction they provide. From providing online classes or private yoga lessons, to teaching Bootcamp and spin classes, there are many different types of jobs in the fitness industry. The amount of money an instructor is able to make depends on a variety of factors such as experience, certifications held, and location.

An instructor may choose to specialize in one type of workout routine or provide multiple options. Some trainers may cater to specific populations such as seniors, children, or athletes. Other trainers may run special events such as races or involve themselves with youth sports leagues. Some instructors may even hold positions within commercial gyms where they can benefit from additional opportunities for promotions and raises.

The various types of workout instructors include Pilates Instructors; Yoga Instructors; Martial Arts Instructors; Spin Instructors; Kickboxing Instructors; Bootcamp Instructors; CrossFit Trainers; Aqua/Swim Instructors; Indoor Cycling Understands; Adventure Training Professionals; Heart Rate Zone Coaches & Personal Trainers.

Each instructor should assess their own qualifications and experience when starting out in the fitness industry to determine what type of instruction they would like to offer. With this knowledge, they can determine what kind of compensation they should expect and how much money they can potentially make as a workout instructor.


The salary of a workout instructor can vary depending on the employer and location. Generally, the salary for a workout instructor is around $20-$30 per hour. However, rates can go as high as $80+ per hour for exceptional instructors. It is also important to consider any benefits that may be offered when looking at salaries. Here we will take a closer look at the salaries of a workout instructor.

Average Salary of a Workout Instructor

Becoming a fitness instructor is an excellent opportunity to turn your passion for helping others get fit into a rewarding and lucrative career. To become a certified fitness instructor, you must obtain proper training and certification. Once you have acquired the necessary qualifications, you can start teaching classes in gyms or other commercial locations, such as dance studios and community centers. The average salary of a workout instructor will depend on various factors, such as your experience, the type of class you teach, and where you work.

The most common types of workout instructors are aerobic instructors who lead group classes that range from low to high intensity. Instructors may also specialize in dance classes like Zumba or hip hop aerobics, as well as martial arts or strength training/weightlifting programs. While the specific duties vary depending on the type of workouts offered, all instructors must know related anatomy and exercise physiology to provide participants with safe instruction and motivation. They will also often use verbal commands and reminders about form to help students improve their technique.

The median annual salary for fitness instructors varies from state to state and industry to industry due to differences in cost of living expenses, area demand for professionals in this field, and employer budgets for premium wages for experienced educators in specialized certifications such as yoga or technical choreography courses. According to PayScale’s 2020 survey salaries ranged from $14 per hour working at a gym or recreation center up to $69 per hour with more experience working at specialized locations like country clubs or private homes. Additionally, tips are sometimes given when teachers earn excellent reviews by customers – this extra financial compensation is typically between $2-25 per hour depending on how popular the class is!

Factors That Affect Salary

When it comes to salaries for exercise instructors, pay can vary widely depending on experience and geographic region. There are several factors that may affect the salary of exercise instructors, including the type of instruction provided, the instructor’s experience level, and the location of their teaching facility.

The type of instruction a fitness instructor provides can have an impact on salary. Classes such as aerobics or spinning usually pay higher than for classes such as yoga or Pilates. More specialized formats like martial arts or dance classes can command even higher wages. Instructors providing a wide range of classes may make even more money due to their versatility.

Location also plays an important role in determining how much instructors make; metropolitan cities typically pay more than smaller towns and rural areas do. Instructors who are employed by universities, government agencies and upscale health clubs may also make more money than those who teach in smaller studios or community centers.

Finally, salary increases with experience level; instructors with extensive training, certification and many years of teaching will usually receive higher salaries then those just starting out in the field. Bonuses or incentives for services such as personal training or nutritional counseling can also increase salaries significantly for experienced instructors.


Being a workout instructor can provide you with more than just an income: it can also give you an overall sense of purpose, satisfaction, and wellbeing. Working with clients provides an opportunity to build meaningful relationships and help others while also getting to do something you enjoy. The income potential of a workout instructor is a wonderful added bonus. Let’s explore the financial benefits of being an instructor.

Health Insurance

Most workout instructors do not receive health insurance benefits as part of their compensation. This can be an obstacle to staying healthy, as medical costs in the US continue to rise. However, some larger organizations may provide access to group health plans or discounts on individual plans. It’s important for prospective fitness instructors to check with their potential employers before taking a job to make sure they have adequate coverage.

For fitness instructors who work independently or own their own businesses, there are several routes they can take in order to get quality health insurance at an affordable price. Most states offer state-run marketplaces that allow individuals and small business owners compare and purchase marketplace plans without the assistance of a broker or agent. Additionally, many states offer Medicaid options for low-income populations that may include fitness professionals who don’t make enough from their business to cover the cost of insurance premiums. Finally, there are private insurers available through websites and brokers that specialize in health plans tailored specifically for entrepreneurs and independent contractors.

Retirement Plans

When you become a workout instructor, you’ll likely be able to choose from several retirement plans. For example, if you work at a gym that offers 401(k) plans, you’ll be able to set aside a portion of your income that can be invested in the plan on your behalf. With this plan, you can choose from different fund options and diversify your investments to match your desired risk tolerance.

In addition to employer-sponsored 401(k) plans, some gyms also provide defined contribution pension plans or SIMPLE IRA accounts that allow employees to make contributions toward retirement. Also availability in certain locations are SEP IRA Retirement Accounts for independent contractors or small business owners that have fewer than fifteen employees. With SEP IRAs, employers and/or employees can contribute up to 25% of their income as traditional pre-tax contributions up to a certain limit each year towards their retirement savings.

It is important for anyone starting out in the fitness industry to look into all of their options and determine which plan best suits their individual needs when it comes to saving for retirement. Careful research and professional advice is required for understanding the advantages of each type of plan before selecting what works best for your circumstances and long term savings goals.

Additional Benefits

In addition to the income they make from teaching classes, workout instructors may receive additional benefits or perks, depending on their employer. Common benefits offered include health insurance, discounted memberships and free access to their facility and services. Instructors may also earn additional income through promotions or discounts they give to their clients if they rack up membership referrals.

Instructors might also secure additional contracts for private sessions, as well as consulting fees for supervised weight loss programs, nutrition counseling and more. It’s not uncommon for instructors to offer customized programs and prices for private sessions with clients who require specialized attention or advice.

Many instructors also supplement their incomes by working part-time jobs in the fitness industry such as personal trainers, sales associates or fitness coordinators at fitness-related businesses like gyms or fitness centers. Instructors who gain clientele through word of mouth may also be asked to provide nutritional advice at a fee per hour session.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for workout instructors is generally positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow 10% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth can be attributed to an increased emphasis on health and fitness, as well as the growth of the fitness industry. Let’s look closer at the job outlook for workout instructors.

Demand for Workout Instructors

Historically, the demand for qualified workout instructors has been strong and is likely to remain so in the years to come. With more individuals taking an interest in fitness, both as a way of life and to improve their health, there will likely be an increased demand for experienced instructors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that job growth in this field was 9% from 2014-2024.

The exact wages earned by fitness instructors depend on a variety of factors including, the type and level of instruction provided (whether certified through a certification organization, etc.) their geographic location and the types of clients they work with. According to in 2018, the national median salary for fitness instructors was around $30/hour with national range from above $9 per hour up to $70 per hour. Fitness instruction certifications such as CEUs give credence to your work experience which can also affect your wage potential. Additionally, freelance or contract work is an option for many gym instructors who want or need more flexible hours than those typically offered by traditional employment arrangements.

Overall, it’s easy to see why this field is growing so quickly; workers are always needed both inside gyms and out teaching classes such as yoga, aerobics, Zumba®, cycling, Pilates®, boot camp-style workouts or other specialized programs at city parks and outdoor locations across America – just some of the ways that well-trained instructors can take advantage of this lucrative career opportunity!

Demand for Different Types of Workout Instructors

Demand for workout instructors is on the rise as more and more people prioritize health and fitness. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that employment of fitness trainers/instructors is expected to increase 8 percent between 2018-2028 — faster than average than other occupations in the United States.

The demand for different types of workout instructors varies by geographic location, employer and type of position. Some regions may have higher demand for yoga instructors while others require more group exercise instructors, such as Zumba or Pilates trainers. While all these jobs have the same basic job functions, each type has its own set of skills and certifications that a person must have in order to be considered qualified.

Salary potential can also vary greatly from one instructor to another depending on their experience level, ability to market themselves, certifications and other factors. A bodybuilding instructor working for a private gym may make much higher wages than a yoga instructor working at a community center with many volunteer classes provided.

In addition to featuring different salary potentials due to regional wage supply and demand economics, there are other industry factors that can drive wage potential for each type of job such as industry trends, overall health club member numbers or corporate structures (chain vs single store gym). Understanding how these different industry trends can affect wage potential can help you tailor an effective job search strategy when looking for your particular area of expertise within the fitness profession.

Getting Started

Becoming a workout instructor can be a great way to help others reach their fitness goals while also making a living. If you have the passion and knowledge to help people get fit, then a career as a certified workout instructor may be for you. To get started, you will need to get certified and understand the various types of certifications available. This article will take a look at how much workout instructors make and how you can get into the field.

Education and Certification Requirements

For anyone interested in becoming a fitness instructor, there are certain educational and certification requirements that must be met. Depending on the specific field and employer, educational backgrounds may vary; however, the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) maintains the standard for accreditation of the majority of certification programs in this field.

The NCCA is recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which is an independent accreditor for products, services, and systems that meet internationally accepted standards. Through this accreditation program, certified professionals demonstrate compliance with industry standards that are based on current research in evidence-based practice. This ensures health and safety standards are both maintained and reflected within the individual’s chosen profession.

As such, individuals seeking to become a fitness instructor must meet educational requirements set both by their employer and their chosen certification program. Generally speaking: those who have higher education such as a bachelor’s degree receive higher pay than those with lesser degrees such as an associate’s degree or high school diploma. It is important to note that some employers may require additional or specialized certifications or credentials beyond what is offered through NCCA-accredited programs.

Finding a Job

Finding work as a workout instructor starts with researching studios and yoga centers in your area. Look for jobs that match your qualifications and experience. Networking is also an effective way to increase job opportunities and build connections in the health and fitness community. Reach out to other instructors, hiring managers and studio owners; by presenting yourself professionally you may be able to get information about potential openings or make connections that lead you to an interview.

Take the time to update your resume or CV with any relevant degrees, certifications or licenses you’ve obtained as well as highlighting any achievements such as awards or recognition you have received in the past. Pay special attention when you craft your cover letter, making sure it demonstrates your knowledge of the industry, enthusiasm for teaching and commitment to success.

Lastly, practice for the interview by running through a few common questions that hiring managers might ask about your experience teaching clients with different fitness goals, preferences working on teams or challenges met in creating successful classes. Rehearsing these potential questions can increase your confidence so that during the interview you can confidently articulate why you are best suited for the position being offered.

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