Hi, everyone!

Today’s article reviews a type of group fitness certification and class style that has become extremely popular worldwide. 

And that’s Pilates.

I’ll discuss the following:

  • Pilates instructor certifications, quality, exams, and price
  • Effectiveness of content and skills coverage for each instructor program
  • Certification requirements, continuing education, and recertification
  • Breakdown of my review criteria and methods

I also highly recommend that you take the quiz and find out which Pilates instructor certification is best for your career goals.

What type of Certification are you looking to get?

Now let’s explore some of the best Pilates certification programs to see which works best for you!

Quick Breakdown

Pilates Certification ProgramPilates Certification ProgramFeaturesPrice
ISSA Certified Pilates Instructor

ISSA Certified Pilates Instructor

  • Comprehensive anatomy and physiology
  • Core and advanced Pilates movements
  • Modification skills based on client needs
Check ISSA Pricing
Balanced Body Pilates Instructor Training

Balanced Body Pilates Instructor Training

  • PMA accredited
  • Excellent exam preparation
  • Offers four separate training certifications
  • Written and practical exam
  • Great for those entering the field
Check Balanced Body Pricing
Basi Pilates Teacher Training Program

Basi Pilates Teacher Training Program

  • Two reputable certifications
  • Provides cutting-edge content coverage
  • Comprehensive, in-depth modules
  • No prerequisites
  • Fairly reasonable price for what’s offered
  • Three exams
  • Great exam preparation
Check Basi Pricing
Power Pilates Comprehensive Program

Power Pilates Comprehensive Program

  • Covers classical pilates in all three levels
  • More emphasis on special populations than other certification programs
  • Highlights use of multiple apparatuses
  • Longer time to complete program
  • More expensive
Check Power Pilates Pricing
Core Pilates Comprehensive Immersion Course

Core Pilates Comprehensive Immersion Course

  • Both hands-on and in-person
  • Heavy focus on classical pilates
  • More expensive
Check Core Pilates Pricing
Peak Pilates Comprehensive Certification

Peak Pilates Comprehensive Certification

  • Covers core Pilates principles
  • Heavy emphasis on Joseph Pilates’s integrated movement system
  • Varying program lengths and prices
Check Peak Pilates Pricing
Fletcher Pilates Comprehensive Program

Fletcher Pilates Comprehensive Program

  • High-quality study materials, books, and exam prep
  • Three extensive modules
  • Bridge program option
  • Very expensive program
  • Program length much longer
  • Intensive coursework
Check Fletcher Pilates Pricing
Stott Pilates Comprehensive Program

Stott Pilates Comprehensive Program

  • Most popular
  • Highly reputable
  • Mat work and equipment
  • Less expensive
  • Program length about average
  • Exam pricing varies
Check Stott Pilates Pricing

Introduction: What is Pilates?

Devised in the early 20th Century, Pilates is a fitness regime that helps to improve strength, endurance, stability, and flexibility in the human body.

This is done through a series of low-impact exercises that also incorporate alignment and breathing.

Also, various equipment pieces form part of the Pilates exercises.

While most training will start on a mat, Pilates equipment will speed up the ability of muscles to get stronger and stretch.

The equipment also helps to improve overall core strength and body alignment.

The great thing about Pilates is that the exercise routines can be easily modified depending on the level of the person doing them.

The intensity can also be increased as those practicing Pilates start to improve in fitness.

A Brief History of Pilates

Pilates was developed in Germany by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s.

Originally, he used the name “Contrology.”

Pilates said he came up with the idea for this form of exercise while he was held prisoner of war during the First World War.

He based his exercises on six core principles:

  • Concentration
  • Control
  • Center
  • Flow
  • Precision
  • Breathing

However, today, modern Pilates has included more principles.

Classical Pilates Versus Contemporary Pilates: What’s the Difference?

Classical Pilates versus Contemporary Pilates: What's the difference

In Pilates, there are two main concepts: classical and contemporary Pilates.

So when it comes to choosing which Pilates instructor certification to obtain, you ought to keep this in mind.

Let’s explore the differences.

In classical Pilates education, all exercises and methods are based strictly on the concepts as devised by the founder of this form of exercise, Joseph Pilates.

That said, there are still some variations in the order of exercise as well as the exact way that Pilates wanted the exercises to be.

Another area to note with classical Pilates is the pelvis’s position during mat work.

This impacts abdominal exercises, particularly when conducted with a posterior tilt.

In contemporary Pilates, a more modern approach has been applied to the exercise concepts first envisioned by Joseph Pilates.

Exercises used in contemporary Pilates are impacted by biomechanics and physical therapy.

While that means some of the exercises are the same as in classical Pilates, many more have also been added.

Contemporary Pilates is often used for injury rehabilitation as a result.

Also, in contemporary Pilates, the pelvis is more neutral. 

The Benefits of Pilates

While we have now looked at what Pilates is, you need to know its benefits as well, which include:

  • Provides whole-body fitness
  • It can be adapted to anyone
  • Strengthens muscles without bulking them up
  • Enhances posture
  • Improves muscle flexibility
  • Builds incredible core strength
  • It may help increase weight loss
  • It helps increase the mind-body connection
  • It helps improve muscle imbalances

Accredited Pilates Certification Programs

Pilates Instructor Training Programs - Here Are Some Factors You Should Consider

There are many different Pilates certifications, so I’ll outline a few which are highly reputable and accredited by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA).

Founded in 2001, the PMA is a non-profit professional association.

Their only mission is to advance the Pilates profession and to promote and perpetuate the teachings of its founders, Joseph and Clara Pilates.

Most certification programs actually have some prerequisites to fulfill before you can sign up for the course.

Like other careers in the fitness industry, finding the right Pilates training program can be somewhat daunting.

So, I definitely suggest you take your time and do your homework.

Eventually, you’ll develop something that will benefit you in the long run. 

So let’s take a look at a few nationally recognized Pilates certifications for you to consider!

ISSA Certified Pilates Instructor

The ISSA Pilates Instructor Certification is recognized for its depth and structured approach. Let’s dissect the offerings of this course:

  • Anatomy & Physiology: The ISSA Pilates Certification offers an excellent exploration of human anatomy and physiology, including key concepts of exercise, health, and overall well-being.
  • Laying the Groundwork in Exercise: ISSA goes above and beyond to instill a robust understanding of the cornerstones of exercise, fitness, and health. You’ll also gain the finesse to craft both individual Pilates sessions and comprehensive workout plans.
  • Catering to Varied Fitness Quotients: The course acknowledges the diversity in fitness levels. From beginners to fitness aficionados, you’ll be equipped to guide everyone.
  • Safety First: The program underscores the importance of ensuring a safe workout environment, irrespective of whether it’s at home, a fitness center, or amidst nature.
  • Conquering Pilates Techniques: Delve deep into the foundational Pilates exercises and venture into the more sophisticated techniques.
  • Crafting Top-Notch Pilates Sessions: The certification empowers you to design Pilates sessions that resonate with your client’s unique needs, objectives, and movement constraints.
  • Adaptable Workout Plans: Become adept at modifying Pilates workout schedules, intensifying or dialing down based on the client’s evolving needs and goals.

ISSA Pilates Study Resources

  • Comprehensive Course Manual: ISSA’s flagship course text is your go-to resource if you’re setting sights on becoming a Mat Pilates maestro. Stay abreast with the ever-evolving domain, thanks to the regular updates.
  • Digital Companion Guide: This e-guide steers you methodically through the course, augmenting your grasp of mat pilates nuances.
  • Assessment Quizzes: Weeks two through nine culminate in essential quizzes. Perfect tools to assess your learning, and the best part? Unlimited attempts!
  • Final Certification Test: Your mettle as a fitness aficionado is tested in the ISSA exam. A score of 80% or more is your ticket to certification.
  • Steadfast Academic Support: ISSA’s allegiance to its students is unwavering. From course-related queries to broader academic challenges, seasoned professors are at your beck and call.
  • Interactive Online Forum: Engage in stimulating discussions, share quandaries, and seek insights from ISSA’s elite trainers and a global fraternity.
  • Support Beyond Certification: Your association with ISSA doesn’t conclude with certification. They remain a pillar of support, ensuring your transition into the fitness industry is seamless.

The ISSA Pilates Instructor program costs $799 before any discounts, but often retails for closer to $650 depending on current deals.

Always check directly with ISSA for the latest pricing.

Overall, the ISSA Pilates Instructor Certification emerges as a meticulously crafted program, ideal for those with a burning passion for Pilates and an aspiration to guide others on their fitness journey.

Balanced Body Pilates Instructor Training

Balanced Body Pilates Instructor Training

Balanced Body Pilates has training centers in over 50 countries around the world and offers four separate training certifications:

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  • Mat Instructor Training
  • Reformer Instructor Training
  • Mat And Reformer Instructor Training
  • Comprehensive Instructor Training

I want to specifically focus on the first mat Pilates certification, which consists of four modules.

These are Movement Principles and Mat 1, 2, and 3.

To sign-up for this course, you would need to complete the following prerequisites:

  • At least 10 mat sessions of Pilates
  • Worked for 6 months in a similar field of movement
  • Completion of at least one anatomy course

Here is a comprehensive breakdown of this program as follows in terms of length:

  • Movement Principles (16 hours)
  • Mat 1 (16 hours)
  • Mat 2 (16 hours)
  • Mat 3 (16 hours)
  • 20 personal mat sessions
  • 15 hours of observation
  • 35 student teaching hours

That’s an overall time of 134 hours.

The good news is that the Balanced Body curriculum meets the national guidelines and is designed to prepare you for the PMA certification exam.

To obtain official certification, you must take two practicals and a written exam.

I’ll explain how this works.

First, the practical exam will test your teaching skills in the following areas:

  • Class structure
  • Client safety
  • Sequencing
  • Appropriateness of the exercises to the client or class
  • Understanding and applying the core principles
  • Cueing and communication

If you fail your first attempt, Balanced Body will discuss areas you’ll need to focus on to pass and set up a timeline for completion.

Second, the written exam combines multiple-choice, short-answer questions and essays.

You’ll cover exercise progressions, programming, appropriateness, organization, equipment, special populations, and client safety.

Be sure to check the Balanced Body website for accurate prices and fees.

Completed all of your requirements?


Your certificate of completion will be issued promptly, and on top of that, you’ll be listed on the Balanced Body website as a qualified Balanced Body Pilates Instructor.

Overall, this course is a great entry point, that’s for sure.

Basi Pilates Teacher Training Program

Basi Pilates Teacher Training Program

With over 25 years of experience in Pilates training, Basi Pilates offers two specific training certifications, which are:

  • Mat Training
  • Comprehensive Training (split into a U.S and global option)

Let’s look into the Comprehensive Training certification.

This is split into two sections: the Foundation Program and the Graduate Program which follows it.

The former focuses on mat exercises and an introduction to some equipment training, while the latter focuses on the full range of equipment.

The modules in Foundation Training are:

  • Fundamentals
  • Anatomy Overview Parts I and II
  • Posture Assessment
  • Core Strength: Back and Abdominals
  • Exercise Adaptation

The modules in Graduate Training are:

  • Muscle Balance and Imbalance
  • Lower Limbs
  • The Shoulder
  • Program Design
  • Specific Populations I and II

There are no particular prerequisites listed to partake in these programs.

And these courses take place over a span of 3 to 6 months.

At this time, you’ll need to attend between 3 to 6 weekends to complete the coursework. 

The Foundation Program costs $2,199, and the Graduate Program costs $1,999.

Additional fees are charged for studio work as well as final testing.

If you enroll in both programs simultaneously, then you will receive a $200 discount.

Both national and international Basi students are only eligible to sign up for the Final Teaching Evaluation and Final Practical Exam upon fulfillment of the following requirements:

  • Attending all the modules
  • Scored 70% or higher on the online written exam(s)
  • Completion of Observation, Self Practice, and Student Teaching Hours
  • Submission of Student Paper (Comprehensive students only)

There are three types of exams given during any of the Basi training programs:

  • Written
  • Practical
  • Teaching Evaluation

While the written exams taken online may be retaken immediately until passed, those taken with pen and paper may be retaken later.

You may retake these exams later if you do not pass your final practical exam, teaching evaluation, or both.

Note there will be additional fees.

Remember that if you pass one portion but not the other, you will only need to retake the portion you did not pass.

Most students in this program felt very well prepared to work and are more than grateful for what Basi has to offer!

Power Pilates Comprehensive Program

Power Pilates Comprehensive Program

Although Power Pilates is based in New York, they offer this course throughout the whole United States.

This Pilates instructor certification course covers the classical discipline in three separate levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.

Additionally, the course also covers special populations, such as overweight clients as well as pregnant women.

It includes using various apparatuses such as the magic circle, barrels, Cadillac, reformer, mat, and more.

To sign up for the comprehensive course, you will need to meet the following prerequisites:

  • At least 25 apparatus sessions in a classic Pilates environment
  • Completed two other courses offered by Power Pilates – Core Mat I & II
  • Read the Joseph Pilates book, “The Pilates Prier: Millenium Edition – Return to Life Through Contrology and Your Health.
  • Within a two-year period before taking this course, you’ll need to have done a Basics of Anatomy workshop from Power Pilates, which can be completed online.

If you live in New York, the program will take between 6 to 9 months to complete.

If you live in another state, expect between 6 to 12 months.

This includes 600 hours comprising lessons, unique weekend intensive (of which there are 5 in total), and apprenticeship prerequisites to complete the course.

The cost of this course is $4,995.

While that price may seem pretty steep, there’s no denying that this is a highly comprehensive offering.

Take a look at what you’ll get:

  • Coursework, including a manual
  • Training
  • Relevant exams, as well as a single retest where needed
  • Apprenticeship hours (including practice teaching)

Core Pilates Comprehensive Immersion Course

Core Pilates Comprehensive Immersion Course

Based in New York, Core Pilates offers a wide range of courses.

Their Immersion course is the most comprehensive one that I would recommend and is both hands-on and online.

It is broken down into the following six components over a six-month period:

  • An online pre-study course, which includes videos, quizzes, and other preparatory coursework
  • Beginner’s module, which includes plenty of theoretical work as well as a live studio apprenticeship
  • An intermediate module that includes private “feedback” classes
  • Advanced reformer module
  • Various workshops, including special case and small equipment discussions
  • Final exam prep

During all of these modules, hands-on apprenticeship training is carried out, and your overall knowledge is tested through two exams.

According to the website, several prerequisites need to be completed before you sign up for the Comprehensive Immersion Course, which includes:

  • 10 private apparatus classes
  • 10 semi-private apparatus classes
  • 10 regular apparatus classes

But these are not part of the pricing for this program.

This six-month course is highly comprehensive, with all lessons included.

It also consists of 600 hours of apprenticeship done in a Pilates studio.

As you can see, this course covers so many aspects of classical Pilates.

I also love the fact that parts of it are done online.

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The thing is, it’s not the cheapest Pilates course out there.

As far as pricing is concerned, here are your options:

  • One-time payment – $5795 ($500 off!)
  • 3 Monthly payments of $2098.33 – $6294.99

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Access to all the online material, including manuals, videos, and written coursework for life
  • All certification exam fees are included (but not re-tests – those will cost an additional amount)
  • 600 hours of live studio apprenticeship
  • 6 extensive Pilates modules
  • Access to mentors/coaches

Finally, you can claim “certified” only by sitting for the independent third-party exam administered by the PMA.

Peak Pilates Comprehensive Certification

Peak Pilates Comprehensive Certification

The Comprehensive Certification from Peak Pilates includes a modular program incorporating three levels of learning.

These cover core Pilates principles like the mat, reformer, barrels, tower, chairs, and other supplementary equipment.

There is a heavy emphasis on the integrated movement system that Joseph Pilates envisaged.

Peak Pilates certifications are offered nationwide in most major centers or close to them.

For now, I think it’s necessary to show you a breakdown of the three different levels of training and the modules they include.

Level 1: This includes four modules which are broken down as follows:

  • Module 1: Foundation – An introduction to Pilates principles (20 hours)
  • Module 2: Introduction to apparatus such as the reformer machine, barrel, and more (20 hours)
  • Module 3: Beginner/Intermediate apparatus includes more work on the reformer and other added apparatus, as well as how to structure a session (20 hours)
  • Module 4: Teaching Pilates, techniques and assessments include final apparatus instructions as well as self-practice (20 hours)

Students who complete Level 1 must have 120 logged hours and pass all assessments.

Level 2: This includes two modules: They are made up of the following:

  • Module 1: Mat – Intermediate (20 hours)
  • Module 2:  Chairs and Barrels – Intermediate (20 hours)

Students who complete Level 2 must log 60 hours and pass all assessments.

Level 3: This includes four modules:

  • Module 1: Advanced Level Mat and Equipment (reformer and Cadillac) –  (20 hours)
  • Module 2: Advanced Level Equipment (auxiliary, chairs, and barrels) – (20 hours)
  • Module 3: Final Assessment (take place over a day)

Students who complete Level 3 must log 60 hours and pass all assessments.

If you sign up for Level 1 of this course, here are the few prerequisites that you’ll need:

  • General understanding of kinesiology and human anatomy
  • 20 hours of Pilates training
  • Hold current and valid CPR/AED and First Aid certifications

Although each module takes place over a weekend, it isn’t easy to pinpoint an exact program length because it depends on where you live and the schedules these modules run on.

That said, each module is run from a Friday to a Sunday, and in terms of hours, you’ll need to log around 400 hours in total, as outlined in the three levels and nine modules.

While the total cost for this course is $5,619, please note that each module is paid for separately.

  • Level 1 Module 1,2,3 – $685 each (Total = $2055)
  • Level 1 Module 4 – $599

Level 1 overall total: $2654

  • Level 2 Module 1,2 – $685 each (Total = $1370)

Level 2 overall total: $1370

  • Level 3 Module 1,2 – $685 each (Total =$1370)
  • Level 3 Module 3 – $225

Level 3 overall total: $1595

All course materials are included in the price of each module.

Fletcher Pilates Comprehensive Program

Fletcher Pilates Comprehensive Program

Ron Fletcher started Fletcher Pilates, considered one of the forerunners of the discipline in the United States.

Sadly, Fletcher passed away in 2011, but his extensive knowledge of Pilates can be found in the Comprehensive Program.

This classical Pilates certification program is offered in various studios around the country.

In fact, studios interested in hosting a course can contact Fletcher Pilates to come and run one.

The Comprehensive Pilates certification program is comprised of three modules:

  • Preparatory Course
  • Foundational Program
  • Professional Program

There is also a bridge program for students who have other certifications but would like to study their comprehensive Pilates instructor program as well.

Let’s dive deeper into each of the three modules!

Firstly, the Preparatory Course provides an overall view of what exactly the Comprehensive Progam includes.

And it’s practical, so each student will learn to partake in each of the exercises they will learn to teach in the Foundational Program.

This is a 30-hour course.

Secondly, we have the Foundational Course.

The core part of the Fletcher Pilates Comprehensive program the Foundational course classroom sessions, casework, practical studies, anatomy studies, and more.

Students who have completed this course are certified to train others in Pilates.

Lastly, there’s the Professional Program, and once a student has passed, they are considered professional Pilates instructors.

The Professional Program includes classroom sessions, casework, anatomy, and practical studies.

All students interested in participating in the Comprehensive Program must complete 30 private lessons to learn important Pilates concepts through their bodies first.

A bridging course must be completed by already certified Pilates trainers with other forms of accreditation who want to undertake the Comprehensive Program.

As you would expect, for such comprehensive training, a student will put in hundreds of hours to become a certified Fletcher Pilates instructor.

Here’s a breakdown.

The Preparatory Course reviews the whole syllabus and practical aspects of Pilates.

It will take 30 hours to complete.

The Foundational Course takes 10 months to complete and includes 600 hours of training.

The core of this is classroom sessions (120 hours) and practical participation (140 hours) but it also includes anatomy studies, casework, observing and assisting, and more.

You will attend four 5-day sessions in a classroom as well as have 3-hours each week of anatomy study as well as homework.

Over and above that, each week also includes 10 to 12 hours of practicals and casework.

The Professional Course takes an estimated 8 months to complete and includes 400 hours of training.

This comprises classroom sessions (120 hours), observing and practical work (120 hours), and casework (90 hours) as the main sections.

Others include mentoring, anatomy study as well as homework.

You will attend four 5-day courses in a classroom and cover anatomy studies for 3 hours each week.

There are also 10 to 12 hours spent on practicals each week.

Most graduates would agree that this course was as comprehensive as it gets when it comes to Pilates studies.

And for that reason, it is pretty expensive.

So expensive it’ll set you back $10,000!

You cover the Foundational and Professional Programs as well as all the coursework associated with both of them.

There are some additional aspects to consider, too.

For example, as I mentioned prior, you will need to complete the Preparatory Course before you are allowed to sign up for the Comprehensive Course.

And that costs $1,500.

You must also complete 30 private lessons, currently $70 per session.

Students who graduated from this program claim it to be one of the best choices they’ve made in their entire lives!

Stott Pilates Comprehensive Program

Stott Pilates Comprehensive Program

Our last certification is the Comprehensive Program from Stott Pilates.

This full-time course includes two modules that cover mat work as well as equipment which are:

  • Comprehensive Mat Work and Reformer
  • Comprehensive Cadillac, Chairs, and Barrels

Once these modules are completed and the relevant exams passed, students are now Stott Pilates certified instructors.

To be eligible for the Comprehensive Program, there are two basic prerequisites:

  • Some experience in the world of movement, fitness, or even dance
  • Completed 30 hours of Pilates classes

The length of the two programs is as follows:

  • Comprehensive Mat Work and Reformer – 12 to 15 weeks, at which point an apprenticeship period follows
  • Comprehensive Cadillac, Chairs, and Barrels – 8 weeks, at which point an apprenticeship period follows

The costs for these two modules on the Comprehensive program are $2,890 for Comprehensive Matwork & Reformer and $1,520 for Comprehensive Cadillac, Chair & Barrels.

This does not include coursework, which needs to be bought separately.

Coursework includes workbooks and DVDs.

All other necessary materials are supplied.

This is a great course to get your Pilates certification, and it’s not as expensive as others.

But that may be because you need to buy your own study materials.

As far as examinations go, you have a written and a practical exam.

For the written exam, you have the option to take it in person at a training center or proctored.

Then, there’s the practical exam.

DVD, USB stick/key, or secured link can submit this exam.

The purpose of the practical exam is to observe you as you lead a client or class through a workout.

You must be familiar with the Stott Pilates repertoire covered in the exam and be capable of performing the required exercises.

The videotaped workout will be one hour for the Matwork or Reformer exam, 1.5 hours for the Matwork & Reformer exam, and 2 hours for the Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels exam.

You must take your exam within six months of completing your last Stott Pilates education course.

To pass, you must receive an average of 80% on both the written and the practical and achieve a minimum of 75% on each portion.

Also, exam prices will vary depending on region and location. 

The 8 Best Pilates Certifications To Pursue In 2023 3
The 8 Best Pilates Certifications To Pursue In 2023 4

Pilates Instructor Continuing Education and Recertification

If you want to keep your certification alive, which I would totally recommend to you as you instruct, it’s important to maintain your continuing education credits (CEUS).

This is done by taking continuing education courses, attending workshops and webinars, and even volunteering!

Note that each certification differs regarding CEU requirements, so let me summarize it below.

I’ll go in order.

Firstly, a Balanced Body requires 16 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

Listing on the Balanced Body website provides exposure to various sources, including potential students, clients, or employers.

Secondly, BASI Pilates does not require CEUs to keep a certificate, meaning that it’s always honored once earned.

Next, the Power Pilates Assessment-Based Certificate (ABC) expires every two years.

So you must complete several Power Pilates continuing education courses before expiration.

You renew by the number of credits of your highest level:

  • 6 CEUs – Core Mat I, II or III
  • 6 CEUs – Complete Mat
  • 10 CEUs – Reformer I, II or III
  • 10 CEUs – Tower I or II
  • 12 CEUs – System I or II
  • 15 CEUs – Comprehensive, Bridge, or System III

Although you can obtain non-Power Pilates CEUS, keep in mind these would only be limited to the following four categories:

  • Pilates
  • Anatomy
  • Art of Teaching

Below are the current renewal fees:

  • $50 – on-time renewals
  • $100 – late renewals (0-6 months past due)
  • $250 – extremely late renewals (6+ months past due)

Moreover, Core Pilates requires program graduates to complete at least 6 CEUs per year either through Core Pilates NYC’s offerings or at other accredited studios and conferences.

Peak Pilates requires certified instructors to complete a minimum of 14 CEUs every 2 years to maintain their certification.


The Stott Pilates Comprehensive Program requires its graduates to obtain six Merrithew CEUs (0.6) hours annually to maintain certification.

Review Methodology

I used my knowledge and research of each Pilates instructor certification to do this review.

Based on my years of experience in the group fitness industry, I assessed how well each Pilates curriculum prepares you for this demand.

Pricing and other information are taken from the providers themselves to give you a full-spectrum comparison of these certifications.

Pilates Instructor Certification Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it worth it to become a Pilates instructor?

Yes! Personal trainers, fitness instructors, and Pilates instructors are in high demand now more than ever due to the skyrocketing lifestyle-related health issues. With the emerging popularity of mind-body movements for overall health, Pilates instructors are highly respected. In fact, most students find that becoming an instructor is one of their best choices.

Can you teach Pilates without a certification?

While no law indicates that you must be certified, having some certification is definitely encouraged. It shows employers and clients your credibility. Also, having a Pilates certification is certainly helpful if you have a private practice and hope to take out Public Liability or Professional Indemnity insurance.

What is the expected salary for Pilates instructors?

In the United States, Pilates Instructor salaries usually vary between $17,000 to $77,000 per year. The average gross salary for a certified Pilates instructor is approximately $68,910 per year. Of course, this depends on various factors such as skills, experience, employer, bonuses, number of hours worked, and more.

Is it hard to become a Pilates instructor?

Honestly, there’s truly no downside to becoming a certified Pilates instructor. Without a doubt, Pilates education takes time and hard work, but if you plan on teaching Pilates anyway, you’d have to learn everything at your own pace.

Where can Pilates instructors work?

Pilates instructors may work as independent contractors with their own hours in multiple facilities, commercial gyms, and health clubs and/or provide in-home private training to clients or small group classes.


I hope you enjoyed this piece on my 7 best Pilates instructor certifications as much as I enjoyed doing the research!

Now, I leave it entirely up to you to do your research and pick the Pilates certification course that best resonates with you.

The good news is that a decent certification will teach you everything you need to know, including the practical aspects.

And it’s not difficult to find, so if you’re still undecided on which certification is best for you, then take the quiz and explore!

Best wishes to you as you embark on your exciting career!

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

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13 thoughts on “The 8 Best Pilates Certifications To Pursue In 2023”

  1. The program was designed by a physiotherapist to ensure safety and proper alignment. Additionally, upon passing the exam, your certification will not expire, and you will have the flexibility to earn Continuing Education Credits (CECs) through any organization of your choice. I have participated in numerous workshops, including those by Stott, Balanced Body, and Body Harmonic, but unfortunately, I did not find them very informative. Furthermore, this program is Canadian-based and offers the option to pursue Reformer certification without the need to repeat the mat certification. Additionally, it is approximately $1000 less expensive than other programs.

    • Dear Fariba,

      It’s wonderful to hear that you’re considering a Pilates certification program that’s been thoughtfully designed by a physiotherapist for safety and proper alignment. Ensuring that your certification remains valid indefinitely after passing the exam is a significant advantage, as it allows you to focus on enhancing your Pilates career without the worry of recertification. The flexibility to earn Continuing Education Credits from various organizations also adds a layer of customization to your professional development, which is crucial in the ever-evolving world of fitness and rehabilitation.

      When I was exploring the best path for my Pilates certifications, I noticed the importance of a program’s ability to prepare instructors for the real-world demands of teaching. It’s unfortunate that the workshops you attended previously, such as those by Stott, Balanced Body, and Body Harmonic, did not meet your expectations for informativeness. This highlights the need to find a program that not only aligns with your learning preferences but also provides comprehensive content coverage.

      The Canadian-based program you’re considering seems to offer a practical and cost-effective route into the Pilates industry, especially with the option to pursue Reformer certification directly. This is a smart approach, as it eliminates the redundancy of repeating certifications and accelerates your journey to becoming a fully-fledged Pilates instructor.

      The cost savings of approximately $1000 cannot be overlooked either, as it makes the certification process more accessible and may allow you to allocate funds towards other aspects of your Pilates career, such as equipment or further specialization courses.

      I’m curious to know more about your aspirations within the Pilates field. Are you aiming to integrate Pilates into a broader wellness practice, or do you have a particular interest in working with specific populations? Additionally, what are your thoughts on the balance between classical and contemporary Pilates, and how do you see yourself applying these methods in your practice?

      For further reading on Pilates certifications and career advice, I recommend visiting the following pages on our website:

      For a comprehensive guide on becoming a certified Pilates instructor, please read: https://www.ptpioneer.com/become-a-certified-pilates-instructor/

      I look forward to your thoughts and any further questions you might have.

      Tyler Read

  2. Hello,
    I am thinking of taking NUE reformer certification which is lead by a canadian physiotherapist. what do you think of this program?
    Thank you

    • Hey Fariba, I am unfamiliar with the specifics of the NEU reformer certification. I see that it has a solid background and reputation, even with being on the newer side and online. What are your favorite aspects of this company and its pilates cert?

  3. I want to become a Pilates instructor. I would like to know about the details of this course, duration of this course, fee structure, Material, online /offline course, many more.
    Plz do need ful

    • Hey Parul, that’s great you would like to become a pilates instructor. It is a fast-growing part of the fitness industry at the moment. Which of these certifications are you interested in pursuing? Let me know and I can help a little bit more.

  4. I just wanted to thank you for such an informative writing about different Pilates schools. This is so helpful and definitely made me understand in details what’s each course and schools offer to students

  5. I did the Comprehensive Balanced body Training and was required to do 120 hours of Pilates myself and teach 275 hours. Loved my courses. Took my a year. Worth the investment.

  6. Hey Tyler,
    Thanks so much for such a comprehensive list of qualifications – it is very helpful. I am mowing to NYC next week and I will have to wait 6-8 months for my work visa to process. I was thinking of using that time to do a pilates and/or pre and post natal qualification. I am a personal trainer and triathlon coach in the UK so I have experience in teaching but I’d like to refocus my attention on pre and post natal when I move – I could just do an extra module on pre/post natal exercise but I think combining it with pilates would be much more valuable. Did you come across any pilates courses that have a strong section/focus on pre and post natal?
    Thanks for your help 🙂

    • Hey there, good question. That’s a very specific certification that you were looking for. I don’t have the exact combo certification that you are requesting but I do think splitting up those two certifications would be a good idea and probably your best bet.

  7. Interesting summary of all of the programs that are out there for those of us interested in expanding our certifications. Have you found any that are actively teaching during the COVID shutdown? Peak and Stott are currently suspended, but I am wondering if others are not?

    • Yes absolutely. Most certification providers have switch to online test-taking and a lot of people are actually taking this time to study and pass their exams since we are all stuck at home anyways.


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