How much do yoga instructors make in 2020? In short, it depends on how many hours you work, your experience, and your location will also dictate your hourly salary as a teacher. Per hour typical rates can vary between $7.25 and $69.25 an hour, although the average at least in the west is closer to $25 dollars per hour and up. We give you the low down on not only yoga salaries but some general tips on how to excel and where to learn YTT, so let’s get started!
Yoga is a fast-growing industry, and teaching yoga is one noble calling. In 2016, there were over 36 million yoga instructors in America, and over a third of Americans intended to take up yoga within a year.
These days, yoga is offered almost everywhere. The ancient practice is carried out in our schools, offices, and even healthcare facilities. It’s used to help war veterans, cancer patients, and underprivileged kids find relief.
So what of yoga practitioners who’ve helped support the growth of this billion-dollar industry? How much can they make per year?
While most yoga instructors aren’t only after making money, the real world, they live in demands that they earn a real-word living.
The Yoga Industry in Numbers
According to two 2016 studies, yoga instructors spend $16 billion annually on yoga classes, equipment, accessories, and clothing. This is a sizable increase from $10 billion in 2012.
Meanwhile, being a yoga instructor is the 10th best career in the United States, according to CNN. Since being a yoga teacher is one of the best jobs around and the industry is booming, it’s quite tempting to start learning how to become a yoga instructor on a full-time basis. There are some things to consider first.
How Much Money Can I Earn as a Yoga Instructor?
A yoga teacher’s income varies based on how often they teach, where they teach, and other businesses they may be involved in. Pay ranges from one instructor to the other and from one city to the next.
It’s hard to find exact figures on the salary of an instructor, but a few sources do shed some light on exactly how much yoga teachers make. Before we take a look at the actual numbers, here are some factors that influence the income of a yoga practitioner.
Where They Teach
The income a yoga instructor earns will depend on the studio they teach in. Instructors at a well-known and established studio will make much more than those in cities with studios everywhere.
The best yoga studios demand yoga instructor insurance and yoga instructor certification. So, make sure you have both when looking for work at well-paying studios.
How Often They Give Lessons
Some yoga instructors teach up to 6 classes daily. Other yoga practitioners teach part-time or less than part-time. Needless to say, this has an impact on their income.
Some of the best-paid yoga teachers are first-class business persons. They have good negotiation skills, excellent budget skills, and protect their businesses with insurance.
Many yoga instructors also try their hand in healing arts. In fact, some instructors have related careers in acupuncture or massage therapy. Others sell products like essential oils or yoga clothing.
As with any other career, experience matters a great deal when it comes to the pay of a yoga instructor. Experienced instructors earn a better income for several reasons—they’ve built a reputation, a following, and honed their teaching methods. But they could also be more experienced in negotiating better fees and rates and have more business acumen.
Specialization: Many yoga teachers specialize in increasing their earnings. Some specialties include chair yoga, children’s yoga, and therapeutic yoga. Some top instructors specialize in teaching for a specific outcome or teaching a particular clientele.
Following: Yoga is personal and is often most pleasurable when the learner feels engaged with the instructor.
Yoga teachers who build a following earn more than those who don’t. They usually publish their schedules, and students will follow them from one class to the next. Instructors with a following might demand more money per lesson, and an instructor that can fill up classes can earn extra at private yoga studios.
Rates: Different yoga teachers charge different rates. Some yoga instructors are content to teach for free, while some charge a lot to earn the best living possible. Rates vary and may depend on negotiation skills, experience, and career objectives.
Style: Whatever style you teach, whether it’s Hatha, Yin, or Vinyasa classes, it’ll make little difference in the amount of income you earn. However, creating your brand and style can make a massive difference.
What’s the Average Yoga Instructor Salary?
While various factors may determine a yoga teacher’s pay, the job prospects in the industry look quite promising. According to the 2018 US Occupational Outlook Handbook, the demand for professionals in the fitness industry, including yoga instructors, will grow quicker than average.
Yoga teachers often work on a per-class rate or hourly rate. Some instructors work at studios full-time and may carry out administrative or management tasks to earn a living.
According to Glassdoor.com, the lowest-paid yoga instructor earns $30,000 per, while the highest-earning instructor makes $78,000 per year. This works out to an average of $38,000 per year.
The 2018 US Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that yoga instructors earn $39,210 per year on average. The lowest-earning instructor earns $19,640 per year, while the highest earner takes home $74,520 annually.
Yoga teachers earning per hour can pocket between $7.25 an hour and $69.25 an hour. The hourly pay is negotiable depending on experience, following, and style. Some teachers work at yoga studios full-time, and others give all their lessons independently.
Rate Per Class
Yoga practitioners can also earn per class. The rate per class may vary from $35 a lesson for a new instructor at a small yoga studio to as much as $75 a lesson for an experienced instructor at a well-known and established studio.
Yoga teachers can negotiate their rate per class. Having yoga instructor insurance and certification will help ensure you earn some of the highest rates per class.
10 Other Ways to Make Money as a Yoga Instructor
The highest-earning yoga instructors make most of their money outside of the studio. Put simply, they earn income from a combination of training, workshops, online sponsorships, etc. Here are 10 of the best ways to earn extra income if you’re a yoga instructor.
Write for Yoga Publications
That’s right. Many popular online publications offer minimal pay (if at all). But some do pay, and if you love writing, it may be an excellent way to make additional income while finding your feet in the yoga world.
If you already have your site, great! Each article you write will have a backlink, meaning that your articles will link back to your own site. These backlinks provide SEO benefits and will pull traffic to your website.
Offer Private Yoga Classes
Enjoy working on one? Private yoga classes are an excellent way to make extra money while helping students turn their life around.
Private lessons require a more significant investment of time than group lessons. Offer fair prices but don’t undercharge. Private lessons typically cost anywhere between $60 and $200 per hour. You can even offer private lessons via Skype.
Offer Corporate Yoga Classes
Many companies today give their employees yoga as a benefit. Ask your local contacts which businesses would be interested in your yoga classes. Most successful instructors in this field charge a flat rate per class (regardless of how many people turn up).
Make an Online Course
Consider turning your skills or knowledge into an online yoga course. There are countless opportunities in this industry, such as Introduction to Yoga, Tips for Successfully Starting a Yoga Retreat, and Tips for Creating a Yoga Sequence, to name a few.=
If anyone’s looking for a million-dollar idea, come up with a course that doesn’t include the yoga teacher training part. It’ll be perfect for those who want to improve their yoga practise (but don’t fancy teaching).
Sell classes Through Your Site
Are you comfortable being on camera? Perhaps it’s time to film a guided meditation or a few classes. You can provide these lessons through your site!
Pro tip: Offer a free lesson in return for joining your email list. This is the most effective method to create relationships with your readers no matter the distance, which will eventually help you sell your service or product.
Conduct a Local Retreat
This is an excellent opportunity if you’re planning a yoga retreat for the first time. There are less planning and risk involved, and it’s potentially more lucrative.
Many students want to perfect their yoga skills but have no money or time to attend your yoga retreat abroad. Create a fantastic offer within a couple of hours’ drive from your area. You can also be a bit creative with your location, for example, in nature, on a river/lake, in a ski lodge, etc.
Conduct a Retreat Abroad
If you have a decent-sized email list and thriving community, you can conduct a retreat abroad. If not, don’t pursue this option. Many “successful” yoga instructors struggle to earn a living through retreats and often end up with a free working holiday.\
Regardless of what you do, be sure to plan your retreat way ahead of time. If you’re venturing abroad for the first time, it’s best to partner with another yoga instructor.
Create a unique 2 to 3-hour workshop you can offer at yoga studios. Take into account what yoga students want to learn and your expertise.
Specializing in a niche is a great way to raise the rate of your workshop. Love travelling? Sell your workshop to several studios while travelling.
Want to get more subscribers? Record your workshops and sell them through your site!
Mentor New Yoga Instructors
More than 15,000 yoga instructors get certified each year in America alone, and that figure keeps rising day after day.
Do you remember when you began teaching yoga? Imagine how helpful it would have been to work with a mentor? You could partner up with yoga instructors or even develop an online yoga course that advances the learning from the usual yoga teacher training programs.
Do Life Coaching/Consulting
Keen listener? Mastered a particular process? Perhaps it’s time to start offering your knowledge on a one on one basis. Options include nutrition coaching, health coaching, business coaching or consulting, and so on.
How to Make Even More Money as a Yoga Instructor
You are keenly eyeballing this detailed read probably because you are considering taking up yoga as a serious profession. But while the focus is on how much money you can make, you must also realize that certain aspects could place you on a pedestal that works well towards that five or six-figure bank account balance.
And with that, here is a closer look at what can help you make more money as a yoga instructor.
Aim to Stand Out
What makes people choose you over someone else offering the same service? To stand out from the crowd, narrow down to something that few have thought of offering. Some successful niches here would be to specialize only on one, choose to do prenatal yoga, kids’ yoga, weight loss yoga, or acro yoga, and so on. The yoga community is vast, focus on that part of the population that isn’t fully catered for.
Another clever way to make more as a yoga enthusiast is by educating people about yoga. The best thing here is that you do less of the physical work and more of talking. A good number of people are glad to get into yoga but even more people want to learn about the philosophies and physiological aspects of yoga. Set yourself apart by coming out as a trusted source of in-depth information on yoga. Thereafter, move on to schedule workshops and seminars for other yoga schools.
Be a Good Financial Planner
Yoga training is pretty much done on a freelance basis. Whether you are working for a yoga company or are out venturing on your own, you need two things; strong people skills and excellent financial planning abilities. You need people skills because to have more bookings and requests from clients, you must be good at your job and easy to interact with.
You need proper financial planning knowledge because even as you work under a bigger yoga school or company, they aren’t obliged to paying you every month. In fact, most schools will pay you based on how many clients you bring in or train.
Even for established yoga instructors, yoga can turn out to be an unstable source of income. On the flip side, if you can stretch out and properly plan for your money, you have less chance of quitting and giving up on your passion. With time, you will improve your skills, expand your network, and become stable enough to make good money.
Where are you based? Is there a demand for yoga instructors there? Your location has a direct effect on how successful you will be at making more money and getting your name out there. Big cities are no doubt the jackpot. Here there’s plenty of demand for your services and more opportunities to grow.
It’s no secret that living and working in the cities can be a tad bit burdening on your finances. However, you can take advantage of the high demand to conduct workshops or offer private classes to complement your income.
With more and more people choosing to venture into yoga training as a profession, it can be hard to get noticed. To gain the upper hand and beat the competition, it’s crucial for you to have the right certifications, build your network, and give it your best.
It is one thing to offer yoga training but it is a whole other thing to go out of your way for your clients. So the question for you here is, what is it that your clients are getting from you that they cannot get elsewhere else? You may be that yoga instructor who hurls orders and tells people what to do and how to make poses for the 30 or so minutes the class is set to last.
But wouldn’t it be better if, for example, you were keen to study each one of your clients individually? This allows you to learn what their weaknesses are. In turn, you can help them beat these weaknesses and educate them further about issues to do with yoga.
When it comes to adding value, nothing beats the power of focusing on your individual client’s needs.
Have the Right Credentials
You may be the most experienced yoga teacher in town. But if you do not have the right training, licenses, and certifications, your career is ever on the line. But why would you want to build your career on an unstable foundation?
People tend to trust yoga instructors who come with proof. Proof of experience and proof of having undergone training. When you have the right credentials, you know how well to handle your clients. You can be professional and maintain balance even as you try your best to be friendly with your clients.
In case of injury, you have the basic skills needed to quickly address the situation by offering first-aid.
Don’t Focus Much on the Money
Do a small research and you’ll find out that the most successful yoga instructors are those that are less focused on the money. Then what do they use as their driving force, you ask? How about passion? How about the urge to stay fit and healthy? Or teaching yoga simply to help others out the goodness of the heart?
Most yoga instructors begin by offering free training sessions or by charging incredibly low for their services. This is a trick they use to create awareness, build a client base, and enhance their experience.
When you are focused less on the money, you realize just how much more rewarding it is to teach classes. Before you know it, you are no longer the amateur yoga teacher. You are instead an established yoga expert making more money than you imagined you were capable of making. You are leaving your dream.
You cannot teach yoga if you do not enjoy it! Yes, this may be what puts food on your table, but don’t be all business whenever you step into class. Your clients will draw from your energy and you’ll likely end up having a boring class. However, when you enjoy yourself, you give off the same attitude to your yoga trainees. Your class is going to be ever lively and full of laughter.
Your clients find themselves counting the days, hours, or minutes before they are set to come back for another session. If yoga teaching is indeed your passion, you won’t find it hard to have fun while in class.
Yoga instructor salary may vary depending on some variables. While teaching yoga is one of the most honourable of callings, it’s a job like any other in many ways.
Most people don’t dabble in yoga teaching for cash alone. But that doesn’t mean you live on the street as a yoga instructor. Instead, you should be able to earn a decent income so long as you get creative outside of the studio.