How To Become a Zumba Instructor and Earn Money By Teaching Zumba

how to become a zumba instructor

Let’s explore how to convert your love for Zumba into a lucrative money-making career by becoming a Zumba instructor!

If fitness, exercise, and dancing are your passions, becoming a Zumba instructor can be your dream career! But how to become a Zumba instructor and start making living out of it? In this article, we have covered everything you need to know including the Zumba training and certifications requirements, costs, Zumba business models, and essential soft skills needed to be successful in this business.

How to Become a Zumba Instructor: 3 Crucial Steps

Step 1: Get Training and Certificate from Zumba.com

The first step to becoming a Zumba instructor is to get a certificate from an authentic institute. Zumba.com is a legit authority to start with. It teaches the science of Zumba, Cueing, Interaction, the 4 Core Rhythms, and much more! Once you have the certificate, you can highlight it in all your marketing efforts. Here are some commonly asked questions on how to become a Zumba instructor.

How much does it cost to be a Zumba instructor?

$250 to $400. It’s a one-time cost of becoming a certified Zumba instructor.

Zumba.com offers training+ certification at $399 but if you find the right deals or coupons, you can become a Zumba trainer and get a certificate for as low as $250!

How long does it take to become a Zumba instructor?

It takes 10 hours to 2 days to become a certified Zumba trainer.

You will get an option to take 1 to 2 days of in-person training, or 1 day of live virtual Zumba session. You can also choose on-demand Zumba modules which are 8 to 10 hours long and complete them at your preferable time and pace. But this is just for the certification. You need hours and hours of rigorous practice and consistent learning to be a successful Zumba instructor.

Two main certificates are highly recommended to become a Zumba instructor.

  1. CPR: If you are offering any type of intense physical exercise to strangers, you must be prepared for an unanticipated life-threatening emergency such as a cardiac attack. CPR certification is one of the highly recommended things you should have under your belt as a Zumba trainer. Red Cross ($35) and many other reputed entities offer CPR training and certification.
  2. GEI: American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offers Group exercise instructor (GEI) certificate that covers various group teaching methods and motivational techniques. It costs between $239 to $299 to appear on the test. You’ll get a certificate only after passing the exam with the required score.

Step 3: Decide the Zumba Business Model| Studio, Online, Hybrid

Once you get the necessary certificates, your half journey of becoming a Zumba instructor is completed. Now, you need to start exploring various ways of starting a Zumba business and making money out of your skills. Here are the 4 options for you.

Option 1: Teach at a fitness studio: According to Glassdoor, Zumba instructors make an average of $56,000/year, which is approximately 20% higher than regular fitness instructors and dance teachers. Get some experience, develop the contacts, and understand the pros and cons of the fitness industry, before starting your own Zumba business. Here are the Zumba instructor resume samples to start with.

Option 2: Become a virtual Zumba trainer: Offer live sessions via Zoom or Google Meets. You can take classes or have 1:1 sessions. Also, sell recorded Zumba sessions that your clients can follow at their pace. For that, an efficient backend fitness management tool like Yottled (free) is highly important for having an online presence (webpage), scheduling, offering memberships, invoicing, tracking customers, sending automated reminders, and accepting payment.

Option 3: Offer hybrid Zumba sessions: Book your clients online and visit their homes to provide 1:1 Zumba coaching. It’s a no-brainer to say the cost includes everything of option-2 plus traveling expenses to the clients’ place.

Option 4: Start a Zumba studio: This is the most expensive and highly risky option, yet the most rewarding one! The basic costs are rent, electricity, internal infrastructure, the salary of other Zumba instructors and administrative staff, insurance, banners, licensing, etc. Of course, you still need a digitalized platform for tracking bills, customers’ data, online signups, etc. So, expenses mentioned in option-2 are still inevitable.

If you want to understand this point in detail, check out this article: How To Start a Zumba Business In 2022? 7 Practical Steps

Develop the Key Aspects Needed to Become a Successful Zumba Instructor

Having a passion for Zumba and fitness alone is not enough! To become a Zumba instructor, you must possess these three core qualities as well.

Be empathetic: Not everyone has the same learning pace, and energy level. Zumba involves intense exercises and not all are mentally and physically prepared for it. Let them feel you are not judging them or being critical of their body shape and lifestyle choices. Be prepared for scenarios where your students will

  • get tired and exhausted in just a couple of minutes,
  • miss the steps,
  • feel lagging behind,
  • be skeptical about your approach
  • get discouraged, or
  • complain about muscle pain and breathing issues.

Do you have enough patience to be calm and motivate them in such circumstances? If you’re impatient and get frustrated easily, being a Zumba trainer will not be a good career path for you!  

Flexible approach: you have to change your approach, pace, Zumba style, and exercise steps if your students are facing any health-related concerns. You will have clients from different age groups, body types, weights, and health conditions. You need to customize your Zumba program accordingly. The one-size-fits-all approach won’t work in long run and you’ll soon face issues with customer retention.

Physical strength: Doing Zumba for 30 minutes is different than taking 8 Zumba classes of 30-minutes each! Imagine the scenario of having 6 to 10 batches in your Zumba studio or similar numbers of virtual or in-person sessions! Is your body energetic enough to handle it? Doing Zumba for fun is a different thing, but making an earning out of Zumba’s business requires a high level of physical fitness, persistence, and energy! Make sure your body is ready for it!

How to Become a Zumba Instructor: Summary

To become a successful Zumba instructor, you need to get the training and certification from Zumba.com. Then, there are two optional, yet highly recommended certificates named CPR and GEI. Make sure you have soft skills like patience, persistence, empathy, and a flexible approach which are desirable in this profession. Finally, decide how are you going to make money as a Zumba instructor. You can join a Zumba class as a full-time salaried employee or a freelance trainer, start online classes, offer a hybrid model, or open your own Zumba studio. Study the pros and cons of each option with the costs and risks associated with them.


Medha Mehta

Medha Mehta

Medha is a Sr. content marketing manager at Yottled. She is passionate about writing, SEO, and digital marketing. She's a tech and cybersecurity enthusiast.

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