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Yoga Instructor/Pilates Instructor Job Description, Career as a Yoga Instructor/Pilates Instructor, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training:— Certification and specialized training.

Salary: Median— Yoga Instructor: $35,000 annually, Pilates Instructor: $30,000 annually

Employment Outlook:—Good

Yoga instructors teach their students exercises and offer advice about lifestyle issues like diet and mind control. In classes, they demonstrate yogic positions and moves which the students can then emulate. Yoga instructors study the physical conditions of their students and decide which exercises will suit which student. The work of Pilates instructors is similar, although they may not offer advice about lifestyle issues. Instructors are expected to motivate their students to perform.

Yoga instructors and Pilates instructors offer their services at health clubs, health studios, homes or work places of clients, and educational institutions.

Education and Training Requirements

In order to become a yoga instructor, one should train under professionals who have attended programs registered by the Yoga Alliance. Certified trainers are allowed to use the initials “RYT” (Registered Yoga Trainer) after their names. A number of 200-hour and 500-hour certification programs are available.

Aspiring Pilates instructors should ideally opt for programs that follow the national certification guidelines laid down by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). These programs have to be conducted by a PMA certified trainer. At least 450 hours of training should be provided in areas like personal practice, supervised student teaching, and the use of appropriate equipment. A Pilates certification is different from an ordinary exercise instructor or personal trainer certification. Most employers prefer candidates who have been certified by programs that follow the PMA guidelines.

Getting the Job

Yoga and Pilates instructors may seek employment at an institution offering yoga lessons, or become self employed professionals. Educational institutions like schools, colleges, and universities employ yoga teachers. Apart from individual clients, instructors are also employed by companies for the physical well being of their employees. Such job openings are frequently advertised in newspapers and Internet job sites.

Instructors are expected to tailor their programs according to the needs of each individual student. Often, instructors carve out a market for themselves by identifying the needs of a group of clients and catering to them.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Yoga and Pilates instructors can, with experience, move up to supervisory levels. They often take programs in kinesiology, physical education, or exercise science. Administrative or managerial positions are available for employees who work in fitness centers and health clubs. Some instructors obtain management degrees to improve their career prospects.

The projected growth rate for job opportunities in this field is higher than the average rate for all occupations. This growth is a result of employers discovering the advantages of having a fit workforce, and sponsoring fitness programs for their employees. With increasing stress being laid on physical health and vigor, parents are also appointing personal trainers for their children. Older people, too, prefer the low impact exercises offered by yoga and Pilates instructors.

Working Conditions

Yoga and Pilates instructors work in clean and comfortable environments. They may have to travel to different locations if they offer their services in the homes of clients. Self employed instructors enjoy more flexible work schedules than trainers who work at fitness centers. Since many clients find time only during non-office hours, instructors may have to work more during evenings and weekends.

Where to Go for More Information

Pilates Method Alliance
P.O. Box 370906
Miami, FL 33137-0906

Yoga Alliance
1701 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 110
Arlington, VA 22209

United States Pilates Association
3342 NE 42nd Street
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33308

American Yoga Association
P.O. Box 19986
Sarasota, FL 34276

Salary, Earnings and Benefits

Pilates instructors who have 1 to 4 years of experience can enjoy annual salaries ranging from $15,260 to $50,421. The annual salary range for yoga instructors is from $14,400 to $29,479. Bonuses form a big part of the earnings of yoga and Pilates instructors. As beginners, they earn about $480 as bonus, while those with more than 10 years of experience earn up to $5,000 per year.

Instructors who are employed full-time in fitness centers or health clubs may enjoy benefits like pensions, life and health insurance, and paid leaves. Those who work on a part-time basis, or are self employed, do not enjoy these benefits.

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