Pilates Industry Research
Following are some key insights from an Ipsos poll conducted 12 August – 26 September 2016, on behalf of the Pilates Method Alliance and Pilates Anytime. For the survey; 930 clients, 102 inactive and lapsed clients, 243 teachers, and 230 studio owners responded to online interview questions.
The study is U.S.A centric, however we believe there is correlation between what motivates teachers, students, clients and studio owners in the USA and UK. Percentages may vary between the two countries, however this is a recent and thorough survey that sheds light on a number of the big questions asked by teachers and students alike.
Following are highlights from the study that we have curated with your career in mind.
Long-term experience with Pilates was noticeable. Nearly half of the clients, and over half of the teachers and studio owners have been practicing for 6 or more years.
- 7 out of 10 people suffer back pain at some point in their lives. Pilates is now recognised as one of the most effective ways to prevent and alleviate back pain.
- While clients point to many benefits from practicing Pilates, physical self-improvement was a key motivating factor behind their decisions.
- For committed Pilates clients, cost is low on their list of concerns; whereas quality of teaching and cleanliness rank highly in their decision making process.
- Most Clients practice Pilates two to four times per week.
- Just over half the clients practice Pilates at a Studio
- Most Clients take Group Reformer, Group Mat, and Private Lessons.
- Improved general health and muscle tone, increased flexibility and enhanced performance are the top reasons clients choose to practice Pilates.
- Most clients start Pilates because of personal interest or because a friend referred them
- Clients place a great deal of importance on teachers with a diverse skill set such as their ability to challenge students, give hands-on help, and their overall experience.
The quality of a teacher’s instruction (89%) is the paramount factor for Clients when deciding on a Pilates studio indicating that clients place a premium on well trained teachers.
- Strengthening their own ability in Pilates and helping others to do likewise are consistent motivating factors for teaching Pilates, as well as what they consider to be key characteristics for the makings of a great teacher.
- A large percentage of Teachers teach part-time (up to 20 hrs p/week) making Pilates attractive to people who want flexibility and/or do other kinds or work as well, including raising a family.
- The highest percentage of Teachers are independent contractors, followed by employees paid by the hour.
- The majority of Teachers teach in a Pilates studio. A significantly lower percentage teach in a health club or gym.
- A high percentage of Teachers teach private classes, while the next most common types of classes taught are group Mat and group Reformer.
- Teachers are motivated by both their desire to improve their own Pilates skills as well as helping others to improve theirs.
- Teachers believe that the most important characteristics of a great teacher are skills, such as helping people with their unique needs, participation in ongoing learning, and someone who is knowledgeable about anatomy.
- A high percentage of Teachers attend workshops and conferences to improve their teaching (81%).
- The annual growth in Pilates between 2002 and 2012 was 12.1%
- Pilates studios were highly resistant to the recession; instead of negative growth experienced by most businesses over 2008-2009 revenue merely slowed for Pilates and is now back to increasing rapidly.
- About six out of every ten Studio Owners said they’ve been a studio owner for six or more years, indicating strong longevity for this business type.
- More than half of Studio Owners own a dedicated Pilates studio. A home studio or a fusion studio are the next most common.
- 67% of Studio Owners work between 11 – 40 hours/week.
- The largest percentage of Studio Owners pay teachers by the hour. The next largest group pays teachers a percentage of the fees paid by clients.
- Studio Owners use a variety of ways to communicate with clients. Referrals, Facebook and emails are the most common ways used to reach out to clients.
- Almost all Studio Owners offer private classes, and a large percentage offer semi-privates.
When Opportunity Knocks
As more clients discover the benefits of working with the Pilates apparatus, we are seeing a shortfall in the number of qualified practitioners able to work in studios. This is particularly the case outside of London, where we are frequently asked to help studio owners that are desperate to find good, qualified studio instructors.
More and more evidence emerges each year about the benefits of Pilates, as exercise and business. For us, the best part about this is business is the chance to make a positive impact on world health by training such highly skilled and passionate teachers.
If you have any questions about which type of training to do next or the potential career opportunities available to you, please get in touch. We’re here to help you experience the most rewarding teaching career possible.