Teaching Group X classes seems like a glamorous job. You get to hang out every day in sweats, work out all the time and get paid doing it. If you’re interested in becoming a Group X instructor, it’s important to know the average group fitness instructor salary before jumping into the deep end of the employment pool. It takes time, effort and experience in order to make enough money to support yourself as a group exercise instructor, which is why you see a lot of us teaching as a side hustle or hobby. But with the right experience and class opportunities, it is possible to make bank as a group fitness instructor.
What’s the average group fitness instructor salary?
According to the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) findings, fitness trainers and instructors made an average of $36,160 per year and/or $17.39 per hour.
Salaries do vary by location. The top-earning states include New York, New Jersey, California, Connecticut and District of Columbia.
In another 2013 survey, ACE Fitness reached out to 3,000 of its certified members and found the average salaries for personal trainers to be $52,537 annually and $26 hourly, and the average group fitness instructor salary to be $52,848 annually and $26 hourly.
What factors affect the group fitness instructor salary?
In addition to location, there are many factors that will affect the salary you’re able to negotiate with your Group X director. First, the number of certifications you have. Most gyms require you to have a general Group X certification like ACE or AFAA, unless you teach a specialty class like yoga. If you’d like to make more cash money, consider adding additional certifications like a spinning or dance class. Keep in mind that each certification costs money to acquire, and some will have different costs associated with upkeep (think continuing education credits, monthly dues, etc.).
After that, many gyms will pay differently based on experience and popularity in class. Something else to consider is that some gyms will also pay an admin fee to cover your time spent preparing for each class. Talk to your director about their policies, because this can be another way to boost your salary.
What’s the outlook for group fitness instructors?
The good news is that the fitness industry is growing, which means more job opportunities for group fitness instructors. The BLS expects Group X instructor jobs to grow by 8 percent, about as fast the average job growth. This is because more people, and even more companies, are getting serious about fitness.
For more news and trends, check out the group exercise ideas and tips page.
(Image Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; ACE Fitness)