Pilates is a form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates that improves flexibility and builds strength and endurance. A pilates instructor teaches clients to use these exercises to focus on breathing, developing a solid core, improving alignment, coordination, and balance. Pilates also uses equipment like reformers, towers, specialized chairs, arcs, barrels, springs, bands, and a thick mat to perform the exercises.
If you’re a Pilates instructor looking to update your resume or build a new one, we’ve created a comprehensive guide for you below. But first, let’s look at some resume styles and understand which one fits you the best.
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Job Duties of a Pilates Instructor
A pilates instructor works at gyms, health and fitness centers, client’s homes, private studios, and even through various online streaming platforms. These centers or platforms are how they build their client base.
The following are common job duties of a pilates instructor:
Conducting fitness assessments for new clients, including health status and goals, checking underlying medical conditions before beginning their program.
Designing and developing safety programs for their clients suited to their goals, weight, BMI, body type, and medical conditions.
Familiarizing clients with Pilates equipment like the reformer, cadillac, chair, arc, and barrel by demonstrating the use of this equipment and its benefits.
Educating clients on the nine principles of pilates, including breathing, concentration, centering, flow, postural alignment, precision, relaxation, and stamina.
Staying informed of all gym offerings and marketing them to increase sales and clients online and in person.
Completing administrative duties associated with client fitness goals, including tracking progress.
Being up-to-date on fitness and nutrition trends.
Providing superior customer service by building trust with clients, ensuring they feel motivated, confident, engaged, and helping them manage stress.
Conducting workshops and training sessions.
Working long hours, including holidays availability.
Creating content clients can refer to for practice.
Providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and emergency first aid if needed.
Pilates Instructor Median Salaries
According to PayScale, a pilates instructor earns a total salary between $32,000 to $104,000, making on average $29.43 per hour.
Top Skills for Pilates Instructors
To be a successful Pilates instructor, you need to have incredible physical and mental stamina, professional training over 200 hours, and expertise in many subjects.
The following are the top skills required for a pilates instructor:
- Specialized certifications: Pilates instructors work in a wide range of environments, right from gyms, recreational centers to private studios. Many recruiters expect them to have technical certificates that are nationally accredited and up-to-date. For example, health center recruiters may require pilates instructors to teach using the reformer. They might also expect them to have certifications in group exercise training, Gyrotonic, yoga, Zumba, and kettlebell, and maintain professional and technical knowledge about the latest fitness trends.
- Team player: Often, pilates instructors, have to take care of miscellaneous jobs at health centers like covering shifts, maintaining cleanliness, assisting members and guests, and promoting the center to potential members. Demonstrating punctuality, reliability, and dedication also gives a clear idea to job recruiters that you are a perfect fit to be a part of their collaborative community.
- Clear and effective communication: To explain exercises correctly, all trainers must be effective in their communication. Instructors teach using verbal and non-verbal cues, demonstrating the practice while explaining its impact and benefits on the body. They should also be able to cater to those whose first language is not English.
- Equipment use and proficiency: Most pilates instructors demonstrate exercises using reformers, exo-chair, cadillac, arc, hand weights, and barrels. They must educate clients on using equipment correctly and safely to avoid injuries. Even after class, they clean and lift 45-50-pound weights. They are also responsible for inspecting all equipment and ensuring it’s safe to use before every class.
- Customer service: Providing excellent customer service to all age groups, analyzing feedback, ensuring safety, motivating during exercises, and assisting members with facility experience are essential in retaining and bringing in new clients.
- First aid, CPR, and injury management expertise: Ensuring the safety of clients is critical. Recruiters require all pilates instructors to have a certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. They must also have a proven record of safety standards and emergency assistance. Having appropriate knowledge and understanding of body anatomy, kinesiology, major muscle groups, and injury management is also necessary since the instructors are first in line to provide medical assistance.
- Computer literacy: Instructors keep and update records of clients. They also quickly learn their organization’s software for the same and make sales and invoicing if needed. Having proficiency in virtual teaching apps like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Slack video, Facebook video, and more is also a plus since a lot of training is moving online.
Educational Requirements for Pilates Instructors
To be a successful Pilates instructor, you need a comprehensive training program and many hours of apprenticeship. You must first decide what kind of instructor you want to be. You can choose to be a group or private instructor or work as a specialist if you have a background in physical therapy or sports. You can even choose to be a primary mat instructor or upgrade to a more advanced level of certifications that include training using the reformer, Pilates chair, and other body suspension instruments.
DegreeMost pilates trainers have the minimum qualification of a high school diploma. You can pursue a degree in health sciences, kinesiology, physical education, athletic training, or exercise science to solidify your knowledge before becoming a pilates instructor. These are two to four-year courses that teach you essential subjects like body anatomy, nutrition, sports science, exercise techniques, and kinesiology necessary to have a promising long-term career.
There are many educational paths you can take to get a degree based on your interests.
The Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Health Sciences at Northeastern University, Columbus State University, the University of Missouri, California State University, the University of Southern Florida, and Rutgers University will help you understand the subjects of health sciences. For a bachelor’s degree in health education, Arizona State University and the University of Florida are some leading universities.
Suppose you are interested in optimizing performance and providing health care to athletes; a bachelor’s in athletic training from the University of Utah, Boston University, The University of Texas, Northeastern University, and Michigan State University are great options. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is also offering a master’s program in athletic training for those interested in preventing and treating injuries for a fulfilling health career.
The bachelor’s in exercise science focuses on subjects like biology and behavior of human movement, principles of motor behavior, psychology of sports, and exercise physiology. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Central Connecticut State University, University of Texas, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, University of Louisville, and Kent State University are some of the leading universities for a four-year BSc. program in exercise science.
All the above colleges require you to apply theory to practice through internships and develop the professional skills needed to get a job right after college. They also provide opportunities for research and experiential learning or assisting in a teaching environment.
CertificationsAll pilates instructors need to be certified before beginning their practice. To get trained and certified by a reputable fitness organization, you need to take courses accredited by The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), a part of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. Instructors should also be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillators (AED) before applying for pilates and physical fitness certificates. There are different levels of certifications you can apply for, including:
Mat Instructor Training
Reformer Instructor Training
Mat and Reformer Instructor Training
Comprehensive Instructor Training
There are also many programs offered by organizations you can select based on the level of expertise you wish to have. We’ve curated some of the best ones below:
Universities and colleges: The University of Wisconsin, University of Utah, University of Nevada, University of Idaho, Drexel University, College of San Mateo, and Cornish College of the Arts offer certificate programs.
Member associations: The Pilates Method Alliance® (PMA®), The National Personal Training Association, American Sports and Fitness Association (ASFA®) are member organizations that offer industry-recognized pilates courses.
The Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) all offer group fitness certifications that will equip you with the knowledge required to conduct group classes.
Organizations like the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the National Council on Strength and Fitness offer strength and conditioning courses that add value to your resume and increase your expertise in training athletes.
For-profit educational companies: The Peak Pilates, Body Arts and Science International, Stott Pilates, Balanced Body University, Polestar Pilates, Physical Mind Institute, Power Pilates, Romana’s Pilates, Studio Pilates, and Udemy have some of the best-known courses that incorporate their specific methods using quality equipment for training. These courses offer comprehensive training in pilates and a variety of specializations to choose from.
Nonprofit or voluntary organizations: Various nonprofit organizations such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT) offer certifications in strength training, whereas the National Exercise Trainer Association (NETA) offers two certificates in pilates, namely Pilates Mat and Pilates Reformer.
Pilates Instructor Resume-Writing Tips
To write an effective resume, you need to highlight your strengths in a way that will get you noticed by hiring managers. Here are some writing tips to help you get started:
- Highlight your certifications: Ensuring you’re up to date with your credentials lets recruiters know your passion for your field. Always highlight your expertise using equipment like the reformer or your knowledge of contemporary Pilates from a reputed organization.
- Mention critical skills: You can mention skills separately or demonstrate them in the work experience section of your resume. Vital skills like customer service, CPR, and equipment knowledge show you hold valuable skills related to this position.
- Include relevant numbers: Adding in the number of hours of your training, the number of people you have trained, and data about their goals and achievements show you can quantify your proficiency with certain skills. Fitness is a result-oriented field, and writing about your achievements helps you stand out.
- Showcase adaptability: Pilates instructors have to conform to various duties apart from training, including but not limited to cleaning up after class, covering shifts, or being available on holidays. Showing adaptability highlights your commitment to your career as well as your reliability.
What is the difference between Stott and Joseph Pilates’ methods?
The Stott method is different from the Pilates method in its postural alignment by maintaining a neutral spine or natural curvature of the back. In contrast, the Pilates method uses an imprinted spine or flat back while performing the exercises.
Do my certifications have to be accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)?
While most organizations must be certified by the NCCA, the accreditation body for fitness programs, it depends on your specialization and your employer. For many employers, the Stott Certification is also acceptable.