Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Get Certified to Teach Pilates

careertrend article image
woman leaning on exercise ball image by Ken Hurst from

Pilates instruction is a growing field in personal fitness careers. Many Pilates instructors are certified personal or group fitness instructors. Some people receive additional certification through the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), which is currently the only independent, third-party certification organization devoted to Pilates instruction. To become certified with PMA you will need to demonstrate at least 450 hours of self-study, lecture and teaching hours or 720 hours of full-time work as an instructor over 12 months. You must also pass a written exam to become both a personal fitness instructor or a PMA certificed instructor.

Make certain you have all the prerequisites required for a certification. These may include a high school diploma and proof of a current CPR certification. Both the American Council of Exercise (ACE) and American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA) require you to be at least 18 years old to take their certification exam.

Research certification requirements for programs such as the ACE Certified Personal Trainer Certification, PMA Certified Pilates Teacher and the AFPA Personal Trainer Certification. Make certain you know how long the certification process will take and the cost associated with the each program.

Obtain study materials for the required written exam. Some programs work on a self-study model, while others require participation in online or in person trainings. Pick a program that works best for your schedule.

Obtain your required teaching hours to achieve certification. This will require you to find employment at a gym, health club or other fitness venue where you can teach Pilates to groups and in one-on-one sessions.

Document all your teaching hours, self-study hours and any additional trainings or teachings you may attend. You may be required to turn in this documentation to receive your certification.

Take and successfully pass the certification exam. This can often be done online but may require attendance at a weekend-long workshop. Some certification programs require a year's worth of involvement, while others allow you to achieve certification as quickly as you are able to pass the written exam.


Once certified, you will need to complete continuing education requirements to keep your certification current. Most certifications are valid for two years, at which time you must renew your certification. Being certified as a personal or group fitness instructor is often all that is required to teach Pilates. Many students, however, are looking for an instructor with specialized training and certification, such as the PMA certification.


Research certification programs carefully to be certain they are respected within the personal fitness field.