Yoga Instructor Salary: Guide to Earning as a Yoga Teacher

how much do yoga instructors make

Can you really make a good living for yourself as a yoga teacher? How much do yoga instructors make, anyway? Many people are interested in the intersection of physical therapy and mental meditation, but few know much about the yoga industry and whether it’s possible to earn a living doing what they love.

That’s about to change; this comprehensive guide covering everything from industry norms to the average yoga teacher salary will serve as your guide to earning as a yoga teacher. Here’s what we know about mindfulness, therapy, and making a living as a yoga teacher. 

What You Earn Depends On What You Do 

There are many different roles to play in the world of yoga instruction. Some professionals teach physical yoga that’s more akin to what many would call physical therapy. Certain systems of yoga or gym style courses instruct students on how to physically exercise and breathe to prevent or recover from injuries.

Other styles of yoga instruction might be more mindful in their nature, focusing on meditation, internal tranquility, and the refinement of either one’s intellect, emotions, or both. 

Which of these roles you choose to play –– and where in the world you choose to play them –– will be highly influential in determining your yoga teacher salary. The cost of living or number of customers you depend upon could vary widely from country to country or even state to state in the U.S. It’s thus easy to see that answering a question like “how much do yoga instructors make?” usually begins and ends with “it depends on what you’re teaching, and where.” 

A Yoga Instructor Salary May Depend Upon Credentials

You can’t just become a yoga expert overnight and begin collecting a yoga teacher salary with no issues. Achieving professional certification is usually the first step in bolstering your yoga salary. The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) provides important professional credentialing to those yoga therapists. These credentials will distinguish you as a true professional who has met the established standards of the IAYT.

Many first study yoga at the university level before embarking upon their professional careers. Even if you have a Bachelor’s of Arts in Yogic Studies or a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy, you’ll need to become certified by the IAYT to achieve much professional success. Your yoga teacher salary may depend on the level of professional certification you use to illustrate your skills to a prospective employer. 

An accredited institution approved by the IAYT can help you boost your yoga instructor salary. But how much do yoga instructors make at the national level if you look at averages? 

Companies like Indeed, Glassdoor, and others can only give us limited estimates. Understand that these figures do not always represent reality. Nevertheless, we currently have a decent idea of the median yoga teacher salary in the U.S.:

  • Indeed pegs it at $31.96 per hour/$66K annually, likely referring to highly certified professionals
  • Glassdoor provides a slightly higher figure of 68K annually 
  • ZipRecruiter provides a state-by-state breakdown of yoga teacher salary/hourly fees
    • In states like Massassuschettes and Hawaii, you can earn up to $30 per hour
    • Florida and North Carolina may offer lesser hourly rates of $22.50

These averages can vary tremendously on a state by state basis. How much do yoga instructors make, really? The answer depends on your credentials, employer, industry experience, and ability to market your services to select clientele who can afford high rates. 

Maximizing Your Yoga Teacher Salary

Additional years of industry experience will warrant higher wages. The ability to stand apart from the crowd in order to lure in additional customers can convince your employer to provide a raise. Above all else, your industry credentials and overall training will determine your yoga instructor salary. Maximizing your yoga teacher salary thus begins with hitting the books. 

Excellent credentials will help you understand the differences between yoga teachers and yoga therapists. Yoga therapists typically focus on specific health conditions and can provide more specialized medical advice. Yoga teachers may be more junior, focusing on teaching students about the various yoga systems (e.g. Ashtanga vs. power yoga) because they lack specific credentials needed to carry out more intensive therapy sessions.  

A yoga therapist salary will thus depend more heavily on your experience, practical knowledge, and demonstrable ability to treat patients. A yoga teacher who is more personable, skilled at educating others, and familiar with the industry basics may make a nice living for themselves but will seldom draw in the highest wages without additional training. 

Ready to become a certified yoga therapist earning a competitive salary? The Breathing Deeply 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training is where your journey will begin! Sign up today to begin accruing the yoga skills you need to earn a great living as a certified, experienced yoga teacher.

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