How long does it take to become a Pilates Instructor?

Posted on June 19, 2019 by admin

The length of time needed to become a Pilates instructor is extremely varied, and to get properly qualified with a Government Accredited Qualification it can take anywhere from six months to two years. Many of the Pilates teacher training courses are ‘Competency-Based’ – meaning you need to develop the Competencies and skill throughout the training program.  Therefore, the more time you have to dedicate to your Pilates study the faster you will be able to get through it.  Most Pilates training programs are flexible, and easy to interweave even into the busiest of lifestyles.  We find that many students do an hour here and an hour there gradually completing the required assessment tasks when they have a spare moment.

One aspect to consider when selecting the best Pilates Instructor training option for you is to think about what kind of Pilates Instructor you are looking to become. Because Pilates is an extremely varied practice that boasts many branches and specializations, the time needed to complete a course varies dramatically between the amount of on-site/face to face learning, the reading work and online aspects and lastly the practical hours themselves. As many clients and students know, the caliber of instructors varies greatly based upon the level of training received and the amount of time that the individual students put in to their learning journey.

As an example, a Government Accredited qualification in Pilates Group Reformer may take only a few days of face to face contact, and the remaining Assessment Tasks and Practical teaching hours might take a month or two to complete.  A non-accredited ‘fitness based group reformer’ program that is not Government Accredited may appear to be quicker- perhaps only including a short DVD to watch and limited (if any) face to face contact and no Assessments.   This sort of ‘program’ doesn’t necessarily pull much weight within the Pilates industry and can often limit the employment opportunities to precisely that – group reformer at the venue that delivered the program. If this is all you are looking for in a Pilates certification and it fits into your time and financial parameters, though, it can be an entry point into learning and give a new practitioner an idea of what the vocation is like.  If such an ‘un-Accredited’ program is done by a student, they are more than welcome to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) afterwards and an RTO can offer some recognition of this program – counting it towards a more advanced qualification further down the line should you so desire.

A Certificate IV in Pilates generally covers matwork and probably also includes Units of Competency on small apparatus such as roller, magic circle and bands, depending on the course itself.   If you want to more thoroughly investigate the course and the included Units of Competency that it includes, visit ….www.training.gov.au and search for the Course(s) you wish to explore in greater detail.

A Qualification at the Certificate IV level should take between six months to a year to complete, however once you have finished the exams and bookwork, the clinical and personal practice hours are available to be completed at your discretion before the qualification is issued, and there lies the real crux of why some courses take longer than others- completing the practical hours required. Many professional associations and even some employers have a minimum requirement for the amount of practical hours include within the qualifying course, so it does pay to read the all the details about a Course or Qualification before deciding if it is right for you.

A Qualification at the Diploma level is the more intensive in both content and time required to complete the coursework and associated hours.  This can be the most time consuming option available, barring postgraduate qualifications which are also available in Pilates and other disciplines like Exercise Science.

The Qualification at the Diploma level is will be the more content rich than a Certificate IV, and will subsequently provide a more diverse range of business and employment opportunities once completed. To be eligible for a Diploma level Qualification in Pilates you generally must already have completed Certificate IV in Pilates or have an equivalent level of experience and knowledge.  Bear in mind that it may be possible to join a Diploma program by  applying for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) if you have done the equivalent of a Certificate IV in a related area such has; Fitness, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Exercise Science, Personal Training, etc. so it pays to ask the training organisation about this method of entry.

Some training providers may offer an Integrated Certificate IV and Diploma program for students wishing to enter the Pilates industry with little existing experience.   This is often the best option as it enables all the study to be completed in one enrolment and generally provides a continuity of learning that delivers all the skills and knowledge to enter into any employment or business situation with confidence.  Enrolling in an Integrated Certificate IV and Diploma program means that all the repertoire is fresh and the time to study has already been set aside in your life.  An Integrated Diploma of Pilates is generally a twelve month course which again can vary depending on the amount of practical hours required and the amount of time that you are able to set aside to do Assessments, Practical hours and related tasks.

We find that most of our students are working part time or full time in other jobs, and therefore the face to face Pilates training is most commonly delivered on weekends to accommodate existing employment.   Also most students choose to do their practical hours in Pilates studios, Allied Health facilities and Fitness centres during the early morning sessions as well as sessions that take place in the evenings.   This makes it possible to both study and maintain a full time job or role in running a busy family life.

Praise From Our Students And Graduates

‘….The entire day was super informative and working with Bruce was wonderful! He was very good at explaining everything and the day was great! There were a lot of phrases and explanations that Bruce used that have stuck with me since Sunday!…”

Bella Sammut Smeaton Grange, NSW- Western Sydney

‘….Further information around achieving neutral spine through various
exercises. Greater depth of understanding of Cadillac repertoire. I
very much enjoyed learning form Bruce who not only has extensive
knowledge & experience, but has a very inclusive and approachable
teaching style….’

Vanessa Killen Melbourne

‘…..From as young as I can remember my mum has always been bringing me along to Pilates. It wasn’t until I was around 15 that I started taking interest and going myself. I always loved that ‘after class feeling’ and the perfect balance of strength and flexibility.

Along with my new found love of Pilates soon followed a passion for an all round healthy lifestyle. This is where my Pilates journey really began.

Three days before my 16th birthday I started my Certificate IV in my sunny home town of Port Macquarie.

With my teacher and mentor being my mum, it was such an enjoyable experience I gained a deeper awareness of my body. It was through my certification and passion for healthy living that I began my degree of Naturopathy and relocated to Geelong  Victoria. It was here that I fell in love with Hot Pilates and started teaching at Upstate Studios. With the classes having up to 60 students each, every class has such a high vibe and is always nothing but fun.

I feel so grateful to have a job that I truly enjoy and is flexible around my studies. I hope to continue teaching and one day have my own studio. I couldn’t be more grateful!….’

Lilly Howard Port Macquarie

‘….I undertook my Diploma of Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology with Tensegrity Training in 2015. For me, it was a total career change having spent the previous 10 years practicing as a litigation attorney. After years of doing Pilates for my own body and experiencing its many benefits, I decided to turn it into a career. The training I did with Tensegrity gave me the skills and the knowledge to work for myself, support my young family, be more present at home and to teach others the joy of Pilates.

The course is well structured, beginning with an understanding of anatomy before diversifying into content that covers both the theoretical as well as practical aspects of the Pilates method, including how to operate a Pilates business. Tracey is a charismatic and passionate teacher whose extensive knowledge is founded in many disciplines, resulting in an educational experience that goes beyond ‘just Pilates.’ In this course you are challenged to think independently, to deduce, differentiate, apply and justify what you are taught. You are required to think critically, logically and thoughtfully in order to successfully and accurately apply what you know to any given scenario. This is how all Pilates courses should be, in order that students enter the profession as self-contained, independent thinkers. The Diploma provides a solid foundation from which to begin your Pilates career.

The learning environment at Tensegrity is relaxed, beautiful and collegiate, and there is opportunity for continuing professional development after you have completed your initial training.

After completing my training with Tensegrity, I worked for a number of studios around the Sunshine Coast before opening my own small, boutique studio. I have a dedicated clientele and delight in what I do every day. For me, witnessing the difference Pilates makes to my clients’ physical and mental health is the greatest reward. I am forever grateful to Tracey at Tensegrity for encouraging me along this path….’

Deborah Commins Sunshine Coast

I recently completed the group reformer course though Tensegrity training at Queen St Pilates Studio in Adelaide. Over the three fantastic days of face-to-face training, I was able to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the body and the benefits and versatility of the reformer. Being only 1 of 5 people in this course meant that we were very interactive with the teacher and were able to ask frequent questions, create relative conversations, and feed off of each others ideas. It also meant that we could all use each other to demonstrate and create scenarios, and the instructor was almost always available to tend to us.

The online theory was thorough and simple to follow, which prepared me well for the hands on learning. Ample time was provided to complete the assessments away from the studio, and I loved having to put my knowledge to the test using real life scenarios and putting together class plans for different injuries, ages and fitness abilities. I think this type of learning prepares you extremely well for taking on clients. It was only a week after the course that I taught my first reformer class and it was incredible. I felt like I knew how to tend to each participant based on their abilities and knew how to modify/progress them. It felt extremely natural. I am still teaching at this pilates studio in Moonta Bay and over the course of these past few months I feel like the information I was provided with through Tensegrity has sunk in and progressed, and has not only been of high value to myself, but to the studio and its clients as well.

I have also now completed the face to face component of the Certificate IV in Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology.

Lucy Prior

I feel the practical assessments is allowed me to feel confident in my understanding of the exercises. I thoroughly enjoyed this part!! Practicing how to explain an exercise and personally knowing how to do them was my challenge, that I’ve now overcome. I will confidently use my learning from this course to teach Pilates classes at the studio I now work in. I’m very excited to be ‘officially’ getting started on my journey as an Instructor!!

Lauren Central Coast NSW

‘….I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Queen St Pilates Studio, feeling
very welcomed and included into a great group of people. Leanne is an
incredible teacher, I admire her passion and dedication to her
students and work place. I felt very supported throughout my face to
face learning time with her….’

Kerryn Mundy Adelaide

‘…Kaz was simply amazing. She explained and demonstrated to us so well
and we were able to pick everything up so quickly…’

Ashlee Huntly Deniliquin, NSW

I have recently completed Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology through Queen St Pilates Studio and Tensegrity Training. I found the learning environment that Leanne Mollison has created at her studio to be very supportive no matter what background the student may have. The course prepares you to enter your career as Pilates instructor both from a technical and physical perspective with lots of opportunities to practice and perfect your teaching style along the way. Leanne is a wealth of knowledge and keeps the course interesting and engaging for the students. After completing my face to face hours of the Cours I gained work in the industry and that is a testament to the quality of my knowledge and teaching skills gained from the course. I highly recommend the course offered through Queen St Pilates Studio to anyone who is looking at becoming a Pilates instructor.

Jessica Bajic

“….Caroline (Caz) broke the days up well with a balance of completing the
practical and theory components. She was very flexible in her delivery
and allowed us to ask questions are we went. She also made it specific
and relevant to our needs and experience level e.g. desire for more
Pelvic floor set up etc. We would have loved even more time with her,
the course was incredibly valuable. All team members at Tensegrity
have been very helpful and approachable to help with our questions and
enquiries. Thank You!…..”

Jenna Kaine Deniliquin, NSW

I enjoyed the academic and physical components of the course equally. I am very fortunate to have been offered work in a Studio, so everything I learnt in the Course has proved invaluable. Thank you! I also feel well prepared to teach and confident to ask questions and seek guidance from Tensegrity if needed. They are so supportive of current and past students.

Alana Hobart, Tasmania

‘…I valued the presenters hands-on experience, working knowledge and passion of the content. The presenters were very collaborative and encouraged EVERYONE to contribute and express their opinion, which made for a very inclusive learning environment.….’

Louise Osborne Melbourne

“All the knowledge and repertoire that I learnt will 100% stay with me and I will pass this knowledge on through my work with clients. I will endeavour to utilise similar explanations when teaching clients how to use any for of Pilates equipment.”

K.M. South Australia

Clinical Practice hours were valuable time spent under supervision getting hands on training in a safe and supportive environment.  I had “lightbulb” moments throughout the training with certain phrases, cues or knowledge that the trainer shared with us.  The dots started to slowly join. I really enjoyed the Cadillac training and feel confident to go ahead and instruct in all aspects of Pilates instruction.

I have taken away the knowledge acquired in the Integrated Diploma and put it into practice at the Pilates & Yoga studio where I now teach. I am seeing better results and from clients in my classes and have had great feedback. I have learnt so much about my own body and now have a deeper understanding of both my personal Pilates practice and teaching.

Kelly Brisbane Queensland

The quality of the training provided by Tensegrity Training was excellent. The modelling was impressive, and they demanded and succeeded in getting the best from each of us. I was challenged and encouraged greatly as a result. The requirement to complete observations sessions was greatly appreciated as I learnt a great deal from viewing qualified instructors. I was impressed by my trainer’s knowledge and mastery of her craft. Inspirational!

Marney NSW

‘…..I was very fortunate to have Leanne Mollison as my teacher who kept me
motivated and engaged the entire time. Given Leanne is so passionate
and knowledgeable about Pilates, she was able to ignite a spark in me,
allowing me to be so excited about being a Pilates instructor.
Leanne’s method of teaching of ensuring we are all totally immersed in
the world of Pilates and the required anatomy knowledge, had the
greatest impact on me as I was able to learn the material so much
quicker and easier. Leanne was so supportive and she was able to
challenge us without pushing us over the edge….’

Mandy Neller Adelaide

The course thoroughly covered safe movement for various conditions and rehabilitation exercises for various pathologies. As most people have some sort of physical issue, I thought this was extremely valuable. Every aspect of the course was so valuable and had a positive impact on my Pilates teacher learning journey.

Tamsyn Deloraine, Tasmania

I have recently completed my Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology with Tensgrity Training and in partnership with Queen St Pilates Studio and absolutely loved every minute of it!

Leanne kept us all so engaged throughout the course and was able to challenge us, without pushing us over the edge. Leanne was professional, inspiring, supportive and filled with so much knowledge … it was a privilege to do the course with her.  Leanne is so passionate about Pilates, our bodies and our overall health, it created a positive and enjoyable atmosphere to learn in.

Queen St Pilates studio was also the perfect environment to undertake the course, with so much support provided by all the current instructors and reception staff.

Mandy Neller

‘…Bruce’s communication style and his ability to enable me to “feel” what muscles were engaging was outstanding…’

Mike Fitsimon Melbourne
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