The best class instructors earn the best salaries the market offers, bringing enhanced value to their fitness organisations, but pay is only one factor when it comes to attracting and retaining the best staff.
This was the consensus reached in HCM's recent Talking Point article on instructor pay
Four industry experts responded to a central question: with participation in group exercise growing fast and the role of the instructor never more important, have rates of pay increased at a fair pace?
Mark Talley, group fitness manager at Everyone Active, said: "Our instructor pay reflects markets rates and demand for certain skills, while also ensuring consumer costs remain affordable.
"Operating our community-focused services with a commercial head ensures we're able to offer wages that compete with private providers, while successfully navigating the changing landscape of local authority leisure provision, which is increasingly characterised by tighter budgets and growing demand."
Talley, along with Andy Tee of V1be and Colin Waggett of Third Space, points out that pay is part of a package, with facilities, training, opportunities for progression and the ethos of a brand also being important considerations for instructors in deciding where to work.
The added value of good instructors was stressed by Jean-ann Marnoch, instructor experience director at Les Mills UK, who said: "Good instructors are able to create a community in their class, connecting members with each other and themselves, which in turn leads to retention.
"You can't build this type of community around a treadmill. Boutiques have recognised this, but many other operators have not."
Tee said that if wages were pushed higher, many studios might struggle to pay, which could lead to an increase in virtual classes., but that “On the flip side, it might lead to more people entering the industry as class instructors, as opposed to the recent surge we've seen in people qualifying as PTs."
Waggett said the comparatively recent development of instructors earning higher rates of pay is leading to more of them viewing what they do as a career, rather than a hobby or a part-time job to complement their day job.
To read the full feature, see the June 2019 issue of Health Club Management here