There are two routes to consider when looking to become an independent Group Fitness Instructor.
The most direct route is to teach classes for a company, such as a hospital, that currently offers a fitness/wellness program for its employees. First, you’ll have to do some research to find the name of the fitness director for this type of program. Once you have that information, email them with your resume and biography (make sure you include the class formats that you teach). If they are not currently hiring, ask if you can be put on their sub list. Subbing for other instructors is a great way to get your foot in the door and to get familiar with the clients. If there are classes available for you to pick up, the company will need a copy of your professional liability insurance. ACE-certified professionals have access to discounted premium rates averaging $200 a year.
Teaching at a college might fit into this scenario; they offer group fitness classes at the fitness center or student center and students and employees are able to participate at their leisure. If that’s the case, then you can follow the steps listed above. However, at many colleges and universities, teaching fitness classes, requires a Masters Degree. These classes would be taken by students to fulfill a Physical Education credit.
The second route to take is more detailed; building a fitness program for a company from scratch. For more information on this, feel free to read Part 1 and 2 of the blog post series below:
I’ll be posting part 3 in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.
There are a few other noteworthy bits of information to consider as you think about becoming an Independent Contractor:
Taxes: A 1099 tax form will be sent to you at the end of the year. This means you will not have any taxes taken out of your paychecks. Make sure you budget for this by putting money aside, and if needed, pay quarterly installments to the IRS. It’s nice to see a bigger paycheck but don’t be fooled, Uncle Sam will be asking for his fair share in April.
Write offs: Items such as continuing education, equipment, certification renewals and other necessities that are required for you to perform your job can be written off on your taxes.
Invoices: Most companies will require you to send a monthly invoice detailing your class schedule, pay rate, how many people attended etc.