Indoor Cycling Instructor Pay Rates
How much can I expect to be paid to teach an Indoor Cycling class?
Like so many things in life, it depends. The economy where you live can have a big influence on pay rates. Where you teach will also have a huge impact on your per-class rate of pay. As a general rule, teaching for a small/boutique studio or corporate wellness center will reward you with a much higher rate of pay, compared to a Big Box gym, YMCA or your local community center.
There’s a reason for this disparity in compensation and it’s similar to why Flight Attendants aren’t paid a whole lot – the additional perks that come from working for an airline, i.e. free travel. In our our case working for a large health/fitness club includes a free membership for you and potentially your immediate family members. With all the amenities on offer at say a Life Time Fitness, a free monthly membership can be a nice incentive for holding a schedule with a few classes each week.Â Each club’s policy is different, so you’ll need to check before signing on as a new Instructor.
Your level of education can also influence your compensation. This is especially true with the large chain (read corporate) clubs that have tightly established pay rates or levels for fitness Instructors.
Can you consistently fill the room with participants?
Every manager I’ve ever met wants Rockstar Instructors on their team. Makes sense, yes? It doesn’t matter the type of facility, they all want Instructors who appeal to a broad population of participants and regularly sell out the room.
Are you one? If you are you’ll have a much better chance to end up on the high end of the pay scale at a Big Box. You may want to consider visiting any of the new small studios near you – they’ll have much better flexibility offering you compensation that rewards the economic value you bring… just saying 🙂
So who gets paid how much and where?
As I explained earlier,Â Indoor Cycling Instructors are paid differently, depending on the type of facility and location where they teach. What follows is a combination of my general understanding (after running ICI/PRO for 8 years and discussing this topic with hundreds of Instructors, Studio Owners and Group Fitness department heads), personal experience and review of reported salaries from glassdoor.com.
Starting from the low end and working our way up >.
YMCA’S/YWCA’s/JCC’s and community centers.
Pay rates of $12 – $22 a class and I’m aware that some Instructors volunteer their time in exchange for a free membership and the privilege to teach.
Big Box health clubs
LA Fitness – Instructors there report $19.56 per hour on average.
Gold’s gym $16 – $40 per hour
24 Hour Fitness $18 – $28 per hour
Wellbridge $18 – $30 per hour
High-End Big Box health clubs
Life Time Fitness $20 – $35 per hour
NOTE: Life Time also employes outdoor bicycle ride leaders at your current class rate.
Equinox $20 – $35 per hour
And don’t forget the additional benefits for Instructors who work at these Big Box chain clubs. My wife Amy nearly lived at the club when our children were young – it’s really hard to beat a few hours of free daycare and time spent exercising with other adults!
Boutique / Small Independent Cycling Studios
Putting butts on saddles is the whole objective of a cycling studio. Instructors who are successful at filling the room tend to be compensated very well – often double what would be expected at a large fitness chain.
Starting pay at many new boutique studios it $30.00+ a class and many offer “per-head” incentives over a specific threshold attendance level.
CycleBar is advertising a $55.00 per class starting rate.
Flywheel – I wasn’t able to find any specific pay rates for Flywheel Instructors. Understanding how extremely competitive the market is for top Instructors, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Flywheel Instructors starting at $75 or more a class + incentives that would equal SoulCycle.
SoulCycle Instructors appear to be treated very well, earning around $50k per year ($130+ per class) and enjoying full benefits, including health insurance.
So where can you make the most $$$ as an Indoor Cycling Instructor?
That would be Peloton Cycling where Instructors can earn up to $500 per class = $300k per year.
Teach to a full house of 50 riders and expect to receive $500.00 for your efforts. This isn’t a typo – this outfit is planning to compensate Indoor Cycling Instructors up to $500.00 a class. Teach a regular schedule of 13 packed classes a week and you’ll be interviewing stock brokers for ideas where you should invest your $300,000 annual compensation.
I know it sounds crazy. Why can Peloton afford to pay their Instructors so much? Because they’re paid a percentage of class revenue and their class size is not limited by the number of bikes in the studio. Peloton live streams every class to homes across the world, so there could be hundreds/thousands of paying participants for a class.
Nice gig if you can get it 🙂
* Many Instructors are paid “per class” and not for the actual amount of time you’re on site like you would be for a normal hourly job. As this runs contrary to many labor laws, the practice of requiring Instructor to be present before and after the scheduled class time (while not compensating them for their time) is slowly changing.