How to get paid as a fitness instructor

How to get paid as a fitness instructor

In these posts, I share some tips I've picked up since starting my fitness instructor journey.

Firstly, if you are looking to become a spin, yoga or aqua instructor, much of this post will apply to you, however, these posts were written by a LesMills and Group Exercise instructor.

How much does a fitness instructor get paid?

Fitness instructors are paid differently depending on gym brand, gym location and the type of class you are teaching.

The rate of pay can be varied depending on the clubs location. For example:

  • Southend £20 per hour
  • Basildon - £25 per hour
  • Colchester - £29 per hour

Gyms pay may also vary pay depending on the style of class you teach. e.g  Yoga instructors vs BodyPump instructors. One of the local gyms I work at pays £20 per hour for low impact classes such as Yoga or pilates and high impact pays £25 per hour for body conditioning or HIIT class.

How do I get paid as a gym instructor?

Most fitness instructors are freelance, meaning you are self-employed. You are responsible for paying your own TAX and NI (National Insurance). e.g what seems like £25 per hour will be much less in your pocket when you have to pay your TAX and NI to the government at the end of the financial year. I would suggest you speak to an accountant about setting yourself as a self-employed/freelance person.

Invoicing an instructor for cover

If you cover an instructors class, generally you will invoice the instructor you've covered for.

Unless you have taught at this gym before you will have to ask the instructor what the pay is. Be mindful, most instructors won't pay you until the day the are paid from the gym.

On the books or freelance instructor?

Some gyms allow you to be a member of staff as opposed to being a freelance instructor.

If you go 'on the books' you will be treated as a member of staff, you will be paid as an in-house member of staff, your TAX and PAYE will be paid by your employer.

There are benefits to working with on or off the books

If you are on the books, your TAX & NI will be paid,  you may also be entitled to substantive employee contract terms e.g. holiday pay, sick pay etc, best to check with the gym, however, you can not claim any expenses back for this job, e.g. fuel

If you are self-employed/freelance, you will pay you own TAX & NI. You can claim your expenses back, fuel, music, equipment however when you need some time off for sickness or holiday, you won't get paid.

Invoicing a gym

Depending on the gym you teach at will depend on how you submit your invoice and when you are paid.

There are 3 main styles of invoicing that I have come across... you will need to check with the gym which way they work.

  • You will send in your invoice > a few days later you will receive a PO (purchase order number) from the gym > once you have this you will resend your invoice now with your PO (this is the method for much larger gyms like Virgin or David Lloyd)
  • You will be send a word document as a template, each month you fill in the required information and send it back... if you send you own style of invoice, it may be rejected (this may be the requirements for medium size gym groups.)
  • Send in an invoice and get paid (much smaller or independent gyms)

Each gym will have different payment dates, most will require you to submit your invoice for the previous month a few days into the new month.

e.g All taught June classes > submitted invoice by 3rd of July

Below is a break down of some of the gyms I teach at and the differences in payment types. If you teach at multiple gyms, it might be a good idea to keep a document with their payments dates for your own reference.

ClubPayment DateDo you need a PO?
Virgin Active15th of each monthYes
David Lloyd23rd of each monthYes
Fusion Gyms (employed)

Fusion Gyms (self-employed)

23rd of each month

23rd of each month



Everyone Active18th of each monthNo
Some smaller gyms I teach at1-3rd of each monthNo
Simply GymEnd of the following monthNo

How do you invoice?

I use QuickFile to send off my invoices to gyms. The basic package is free which is all you need.

You can sign up here: http://qfl.es/8k2llk7e

If you use this referral code 8k2llk7e you will get a few extra features.

If you have any questions relating to 'How to get paid as a fitness instructor; please leave a comment below.

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