Pilates Instructor Certification

To help make it easier to navigate the certification options specific to a career as a Pilates instructor, Allied Health World has done the research for you. We’ve compiled information from reliable sources, including Pilates professional organizations, and corroborated information with practicing Pilates instructors to answer the questions most frequently asked about certification and licensure requirements for professional Pilates instructors:

What are the Pilates instructor certification requirements?

There are currently no licensing requirements set on either a national or state level for those who are actively teaching or with to become a Pilates instructor. In New Jersey; however, there was a bill recently put before congress called the Fitness Professionals Licensing Act that proposed that a state license be required for a broad classification of “fitness professionals”. Included in this classification were Pilates instructors who have been listed as a subset under personal trainers and other fitness instructors.
The Pilates community, collectively led by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), has worked to have Pilates instructors removed from the “fitness professionals” classification so as not to be beholden to state licensing requirements under the Fitness Professionals Licensing Act. In a recent publication on the PMA website they announced they were successful in having all mention of Pilates instructors removed from the bill.

The PMA, and the Pilates community as a whole, believe that Pilates should continue to enjoy autonomy from broad classifications so as to be recognized for its unique approach to health and wellness. The reason the PMA and the Pilates community wish to be recognized independent of other fitness professionals is that they want to keep the original philosophy and theories pioneered by Joseph Pilates intact. The concern is that the philosophy might be lost and the standards for training instructors might decline if Pilates is classified broadly among other fitness professions.

What is the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)?

The PMA exists as the largest professional certification organization specific to Pilates method exercise. It is a not-for-profit organization established with the following stated goals:

  • Establish and maintain an exam for national certification.
  • Function as a resource for Pilates instructors and practitioners.
  • Maintain an international registry of certified Pilates instructors made available to the public.
  • Define and standardize various levels of expertise for Pilates instructors.

PMA certification is widely recognized in the fitness community and beyond. Membership in the PMA requires that Pilates instructors graduate from PMA approved programs, pass a PMA administered exam, and pay annual dues of $150.00.

PMA membership is totally elective. There is no legal requirement to carry or maintain PMA membership in order to be able to instruct Pilates. However, there are considerable benefits to making the effort to become a member. Among these benefits is better pay and reduced professional liability insurance premiums. PMA certified instructors would also enjoy peer and client recognition for having graduated from Pilates teacher training programs that properly represent Joseph Pilate’s core philosophy and ideals.

Pilates Instructor Schools