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Pilates Teacher Training

Allied Health World has researched and corroborated information with practicing Pilates instructors specific to the academic and field training necessary to begin a career as a Pilates teacher. This information on training and degree programs answers the questions most frequently asked by those looking to begin a career instructing Pilates:

What are my options for Pilates teacher training programs?

Pilates teacher training programs are most often offered at two levels: Basic Mat Pilates instructor training which would prepare graduates to teach mat exercises only, and Comprehensive Trainer programs which would prepare graduates to teach both matt and apparatus exercises involving Pilates machines like Reformers, Towers, and Cadillacs.
Generally, Pilates mat exercise instructor training programs are more appropriate for those who have less knowledge of the Pilates method and who have little experience working as fitness instructors.

The comprehensive training programs are more geared towards individuals who are well versed in Pilates exercises and who have some fitness industry experience, but who want to become a Pilates instructor. These classes are often the choice of certified personal trainers looking to augment their existing training with a full knowledge of Pilates.

What are the prerequisites for a Pilates trainer certificate program?

Having some personal experience with Pilates exercises before beginning a Pilates teacher training program is a requirement of most programs. However, the experience doesn’t have to be extensive since most training programs are designed to first teach students how to perform many of the exercises themselves, before going on to provide training in how to properly instruct students. In fact, most basic Pilates mat instructor training programs only require incoming students to have participated in between five and twenty Pilates mat classes before being eligible to begin instructor training.


Prerequisites for comprehensive Pilates instructor training programs are considerably more challenging to satisfy. Those entering comprehensive programs are typically required to have had about ten private sessions on the various Pilates apparatuses. In addition to having two years of experience in some form of movement like dance or yoga, students entering comprehensive training programs are also expected to have already completed about 30 hours of personal Pilates practice.

Depending on the school, incoming students of Pilates instructor training programs may also need a letter of recommendation from a certified Pilates instructor or other movement teacher. This is often necessary to show competency and aptitude before beginning a program.

What hands on training and observation do Pilates teacher training programs involve?

The applied hands on training portion of Pilates Mat Trainer certificate programs will also require participants to complete 15 hours of mat teaching practice and 15 hours of mat personal practice under the observation of a veteran certified Pilates instructor. This basic certificate also requires 10 hours of observation in which the student either observes a class in progress or actually attends class him or herself.

The more advanced Comprehensive Mat and Apparatus Trainer certificate programs take students through 75 hours of personal practice and 100 hours of student teaching practice under observation so as to prepare them adequately for real world experiences working Pilates instructor jobs. Students will also be expected to observe 60 hours of Pilates classes in progress.

What is the duration and cost of Pilates Trainer certificate programs?

Pilates trainer certificate programs are a great option for working students since the schools offering these programs very often accommodate students work schedules by holding class on weekends. This is also done so as to allow students to satisfy requirements for observing classes in progress during the week.

Basic Pilates Mat Trainer certificate programs are typically earned in three months at a cost of between $1,000 and $1,500 depending on the institution.


Comprehensive Mat and Apparatus Trainer certificate programs typically take just under a year to complete. These programs can cost between $3,000 and $5,000 with discounts sometimes available to those who have already completed basic Pilates Mat Trainer certificate programs.

Pilates Instructor Schools