Episode 81: Learn the Best Ways Instructors are Compensated and Incentivized

Barry Ennis

How should instructors be paid? Sure, it’s easy to pay them a flat rate for teaching a class, but how do you incentivize them to fill their class?

Barry Ennis

Fitness Professional

How should instructors be paid? Sure, it's easy to pay them a flat rate for teaching a class, but how do you incentivize them to fill their class? How do you get them to be loyal to your studio? What is the best model to use? Whether you're a studio owner or a fitness professional, this is an episode you can't miss, because as a studio owner you'll learn the pros and cons of four different methods of pay, and as an instructor, you'll learn what you can ask for from your employer!

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

• All of the different models that studios use to compensate their instructors
• How instructors can be incentivized to fill their classes.
• The common pitfalls studio owners overlook when structuring instructors’ pay.

Here's the Episode Summary:

(3:46) #1. Instructors are paid a flat rate for their class.

No matter how many participants, or what time of day it is, instructors are paid the same amount for their class. According to our salary survey results, this is the method that a little over 50% of studios use to pay their instructors!

(4:45) #2. Instructors are paid a base rate, up to a certain number of participants, and then paid a “per head bonus” for every participant above that number.

In this scenario, a studio would pay their instructor, say, $40 per class, up to 15 people. And then for every person above 15, the instructor gets paid an extra $2. About 30% of studio owners out there use this pay structure.

(6:20) #3. Instructors are paid a base rate, and then a “tiered bonus” on top of it.

In this scenario, which about 15% of studio owners out there use (according to our survey) an instructor will be paid a base rate, for up to, say, 15 people, and then get paid different bonuses as they reach different tiers of participants. So for example, for 0-15 people they get paid their base rate. But then for 16-20 participants they get paid their base rate plus a $3 bonus. Then for21-25 participants they’ll get paid a $5 bonus plus their base. For 26-30 participants, they’ll get their base plus a $10 bonus.

(7:40) #4. Instructors are paid by tiers alone.

About 6% of studios fall into the “other” category for compensation, and one of those is paying their instructors solely on tiers. It’s nearly the same as the previous example if you consider the first tier a base rate, but it would be structured something like this:

$60 for 0-15 people, $70 for 16-25, $80 for 26-35, and $90 for 36-45.

(8:26) Some Other Things To Consider

  1. One downside to incentivizing your instructors with bonuses that we haven’t previously mentioned, is that inevitably instructors may get a little competitive over class times.There are a few ways to avoid this pitfall.
  2. Think of the reasons why you might pay one instructor more over another
  3. Take time to help instructors understand their pay structure, and get excited about it.

Other References in This Episode:

Fitness Career Mastery Free Salary Survey Results

Show Note's Index