Pilates Teacher Training and Education Requirements

Certificate programs varying in length and curriculum content prepare students to become Pilates instructors. The training to become a Pilates teacher may occur through basic and advanced certificate programs.

Essential Information

Certificate programs are usually offered by community colleges or through recreational departments in state universities and can be credit or non-credit based. There are usually two kinds of certificates a student may earn. The first certificate deals with basic Pilates mat instruction and the second is more comprehensive, covering mat exercises and common Pilates equipment. While experience in teaching Pilates is desired, it may not be required to enroll in these programs.

Some certificate programs prepare students for a national certification exam through the Pilates Method Alliance organization, a non-profit association focused on the educational standards and growth of Pilates fitness training. Students should check with their school as to whether these programs prepare them for certification exams.

  • Program Levels in Pilates Teacher Training and Education: Basic and advanced certificates are available.
  • Prerequisites: Prior experience in Pilates exercise is recommended but is not necessarily a prerequisite.

Basic Pilates Mat Instruction Certificate

Mat instructor training includes learning about the history of Pilates, its effects on the body and the specific principles of Pilates routines. Courses may include:

  • First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Pilates safety
  • Pilates terminology
  • Order and modification of exercises
  • Basic anatomy and physiology
  • Communication techniques
  • Educational ethics

Advanced Pilates Mat Instruction Certificate

The certificate program for becoming a comprehensive Pilates instructor involves teaching exercises using mats, reformer machines and other apparatuses. To maintain safety while teaching a class, students are taught how to modify moves and to perform exercises in proper order. Coursework may involve:

  • CPR training and exercise safety guidelines
  • Pilates and specific human anatomy
  • History of Pilates
  • Beginning, intermediate and advanced mat exercises
  • Reformer and Apparatus Pilates equipment and exercises
  • Creating a routine

Employment Outlook

A Pilates instructor is categorized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as a fitness trainer or instructor (www.bls.gov). Part-time employment is common for fitness workers like Pilates instructors. The median annual wage for fitness trainers in May 2015 was listed as $34,382 by PayScale.com. Fitness trainer and instructor positions are expected to increase by 13 percent, as fast as the national average for all professions from 2012 to 2022. The expected job growth in the fitness training industry is due to the increasing number of people spending their time and money to become physically fit.

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