Yoga! This Indian form of meditation, relaxation, and source of spiritually balancing your body, mind, and soul has become popular all throughout the world. With eminent celebrities taking training from affluent yoga gurus, the career of a yoga instructor is something that many would love to opt for. This CareerStint article gives you some useful information on the salary range of a yoga instructor in the United States of America.
What Seems and What Is!
Bikram Choudhary, the founder of Bikram Yoga, is among the highest earning yoga gurus of all time. If his lavish lifestyle makes you think that yoga can get you there, well, the reality is quite the opposite. It is found that most yoga instructors barely earn just enough to make ends meet, or perhaps, even less!
While there were only 4.3 million Americans practicing yoga in 2001, Yoga Journal reported it to be 14.3 million in 2010. With more people practicing this discipline, it is obvious that the need for yoga instructors is bound to rise. However, with the rise in need, arises the rise in competition. In an interview taken by the US News, Stephanie Brail, a certified yoga teacher says, “It’s almost like yoga studios are becoming like Starbucks. There’s one on every corner now. So there’s plenty of opportunity for teachers-it’s just a matter of finding your way into the studio.”
On one hand where you may easily get influenced by the stardom of certain yoga celebrities, thinking that your spiritual passion may also help you live an affluent life, the road to a descent income is far more twisted than the most complicated yoga poses! As an aspirant of this career, it is important for one to understand that the income potential in this field varies gravely, therefore, making it difficult to establish a set salary range in this profession. The founder of a talent agency called YAMA Talent, Ava Taylor, states that in her stable of highly established and credentialed yogis, the potential earnings may vary from anywhere between $40K to $400K. Now that’s a huge range!
Average Salary by State
Please note that there are many factors on which the earnings of a yoga instructor are based which will be explained later in this article. The following figures are the average annual incomes that are established based on the millions of job postings on the source website, evaluated over the past 12 months. These median figures just give an overall estimate of salary of every state in the United States.
- All figures are as of May 28, 2014 and are in US Dollars.
- All figures are average annual salaries and may vary based on qualification, experience, location, type of employer, and so on.
Factors that affect the Salary of a Yoga Instructor
When it comes to the factors that dominate the earning potential in this field, there are many. Everything from the location, certification, specialization, and even the type of services offered will alter your income. How? The details are mentioned as under.
Certification plays a very important role if you want a job in any facility as a yoga professional. All yoga studios/schools require a certification from a reputed institute. There are many certification programs available. You can either choose to complete a 200-hour training followed by a 300-hour training, or complete a 500-hour training in one go to qualify as a Registered Yoga Trainer (RYT).
A specialization in yoga for kids, women, therapeutic, or prenatal yoga will give you a unique niche. You may also get a specialization of a particular type of yoga such as Ananda, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Hatha, Kundalini, and Power Yoga, which will definitely help you earn a better salary. The income varies greatly, depending upon the type of yoga that you choose to make a career in.
You can choose to work on an hourly, monthly, or a session-wise basis. The median hourly rate, according to the website PayScale is USD 24, varying between USD 12.09 to USD 47.17. The rates per session and hourly rates increase considerably with an increase in the level of expertise and experience. Another important factor that you need to consider is whether you choose to travel to cater to your clients. In this case, for private sessions, you can expect an income ranging between USD 75 to USD 250 per hour.
☞ Type of Employer
Yoga trainers are readily hired at yoga studios, health centers, schools, hospitals, resorts, gym, schools, housing societies, and large organizations. Health centers offer USD 10 to USD 30 per class, whereas schools and other educational institutes may offer USD 12 to USD 50 per class. Large organizations and companies will offer a higher amount. After working with an organization and gaining a few years of experience, many teachers opt for opening their own yoga studios. With the help of the right marketing and advertising techniques, this may pave way for higher income generation.
Location plays a crucial role in the amount of fees one can charge for teaching yoga. It is said that getting training and certification from a reputed organization and teaching in a metropolitan city gives professionals the freedom to earn more for the same services at a rural location. This is because in urban cities, people are willing to enroll in large numbers and also have the capability to pay the quoted fees.
With experience comes a strong client base, through which comes popularity. Although a spiritual act of healing and wellness, yoga has now become a booming business wherein one needs to have the skill to market themselves as efficaciously as possible. The more your method of teaching is in vogue, the more people pay to see you. This is how celebrity gurus manage to earn millions of dollars―by creating a vogue.
With so much of competition around, it is not easy to establish oneself and gain instant riches in this field. There is not much income in the industry as a beginner and you might end up struggling to pay your bills. Therefore, many experts in this area suggest working as a part-time instructor initially and then taking it up as a full-time job, once you have gained enough experience and a solid client base that are willing to pay you a good amount for your time and services.