Two fitness women dancing Zumba in gym to improve fitness

How to Become a
Zumba Instructor

Gabriela Bercenas
By Gabriela Bercenas - Content Strategist
Last Updated: August 02, 2023
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Consider becoming a Zumba instructor if you have a passion for Latin American dance and want to help people learn how to live healthier lives. This how-to-become a Zumba instructor guide breaks down the job responsibilities, certification requirements and potential salary info.

Once you’re fully qualified, consider reading resumes from your fellow Zumba and fitness instructors to learn how to showcase your training and passion best. Give your application an extra shimmy with a thoughtful cover letter. A 2020 survey found most hiring managers read cover letters for candidates they’re considering interviewing before making their final decision.

Our team of certified resume writers have created a library of resume examples to show you how to craft a strong resume. Study them to learn to write your own.

Improve your application with a personal message! Your resume may summarize your qualifications, but a cover letter can help you express your professional accomplishments and working style. Pair these cover letter templates with our builder subscription to unlock AI-powered text templates and professional designs that will help you submit a complete application.

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What Does a Zumba Instructor Do?

A Zumba instructor teaches aerobic exercise inspired by Latin American dance. This individual combines hip-hop with salsa, merengue, reggaeton and samba to create fitness programs for people of all ages. Zumba instructors usually work in dance studios and gyms.

Typical responsibilities of a Zumba instructor include:

  • Lead group fitness classes and individual courses.

  • Guide students to help them master this fitness program.

  • Make sure that participants are staying safe and not posing a threat to their health.

  • Educational tasks, such as teaching dance routines to students.

  • Dancing skills, such as mastering Latin American dance moves.

  • Customer service skills include marketing and signing new students to the class.

  • Organizational skills, such as keeping rosters of students and payments.

How Do You Become a Zumba Instructor?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 19% growth for fitness trainers and aerobic instructors through 2031. Based on these numbers, the bureau predicts approximately 65,500 job openings annually. With such a profitable job market, you can learn how to become a certified Zumba instructor with these simple steps:


Get familiar with Zumba and other fitness classes.

There are no prerequisites to getting your Zumba instructor license. Still, you can smooth your way through the Zumba training and certification by taking Zumba classes to become familiar with the exercise routine. You can also lead other fitness programs like spin, yoga, pilates, or dance to gain experience teaching group exercise.


Find a Zumba training center.

Zumba is a trademarked fitness program. Any applicants over the age of 18 can sign up for certification through a Zumba-sanctioned training center. You can find a list of upcoming Zumba training programs near you.


Qualify for a basic Zumba instructor certification.

You can earn a Zumba instructor certificate to teach one or both classes, Zumba Basic and Zumba Gold. The first certification allows you to teach basic Zumba by learning four dance elements, merengue, salsa, cumbia and reggaeton. Licenses are granted for one year and must be renewed after that.


Consider applying for additional Zumba certifications.

The Zumba Gold certification allows you to teach older students with a lower-impact fitness program. This certificate is helpful in areas with a more aging population, such as retirement-friendly neighborhoods, cities and states.

Zumba also offers two “Jump Start” certifications for students aged 4-6 and 7-11. This certification is helpful in family-friendly regions with dense school-age populations. You can find a fully comprehensive list of Zumba certifications here.


Work as an independent contractor.

Many Zumba instructors are self-employed or offer contracted classes to full-service gyms and fitness centers. If you’re interested in working part- or full-time with a gym to save on business expenses, you’ll need a persuasive and informative resume highlighting your fitness knowledge and qualifications.

Use our Zumba instructor resume examples like helpful study guides to help you write your first draft. Or you can unlock job-specific resume blurbs written by certified resume writers through our Resume Builder.

Zumba Instructor Skills

A Zumba Instructor must be able to learn dance routines and teach them to students of all levels and ages. To excel in this role, this individual must be a good dancer, fit, energetic and outgoing. They must be able to motivate others to not just sign up for the classes but to push themselves to work out to lose weight and improve their health. This career choice requires professionals to be active listeners, good communicators, and able to form relationships with clients.

Hard skills:

1Virtual live-streaming and classroom instruction
2Basic dance knowledge in merengue, salsa, cumbia and reggaeton.
3Intermediate understanding of Zumba instruction in belly dance, flamenco, tango, samba, soca or quebradita.
4Advanced Zumba knowledge in Brazilian Funk, Bhangra, Afrobeat or Street Heat.

Soft skills:

1Time management to help classes meet specific beats and accomplishments within a given class schedule.
2Social perceptiveness to offer students encouragement or guidance when socially acceptable.
3Coordination to help maintain physical balance and beat during instruction.
4Persuasion to help encourage and maintain class participation and enthusiasm.

Insights from a Zumba Instructor

Take a closer look at the Zumba Instructor job title by reading our Q & A section. You'll find insightful information on this profession directly from experts in the field of health and fitness.

What should someone consider before becoming a Zumba Instructor?

Consider your health condition and your availability. Can you fit Zumba training into your daily schedule? Also, in some countries its mandatory to be certified in CPR/First aid training.

What type of person excels in this job?

A good Zumba Instructor is usually very outgoing. Has the ability to maintain a group involved and motivated by being spontaneous and inspirational.

What is the common career path for a Zumba Instructor?

There is no specific career path to become a Zumba Instructor. You need to be at least 18 years old and take a Zumba training course to get certified. Conveniently, this process can take a single day or a weekend.

What are some of the most important skills for Zumba Instructors have?

A Zumba Instructor needs to be energetic and good at motivating others to stay in shape. Patience and good communication skills to explain heath and fitness concepts to clients is very important. You also need to practice a healthy lifestyle and have a basic understanding of how the human body works concerning diet and exercise aspects.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a Zumba Instructor?

The most rewarding aspect of being a Zumba Instructor is being a positive influence in someone's life. Making people understand the importance of practicing a healthy lifestyle and watching them gradually improve their physical condition is very gratifying.

How Much Do Zumba Instructors Get Paid?

As Zumba Instructors are free to set their own rates, their incomes vary. However, the hourly average rate for Fitness Trainers and Aerobic Instructors, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, is $17.39. The lowest paid instructors make $8.98, while the highest paid earn $33.74.

Top 10 States for a Zumba Instructor’s Salary

Fitness Trainers and Aerobic Instructors in the following states make the highest average hourly rates.



    New York


    New Jersey
















    Zumba Instructor Resources

    These resources can help you find out more information about becoming a Zumba Instructor.

    On the Web

    Zumba Fitness
    The official Zumba website with information about becoming a Zumba Instructor.

    Examples of Zumba fitness videos for routine creation.

    On LinkedIn

    Zumba Community
    A place to post information about Zumba® and Zumba® events, and make professional connections with other Zumba® participants.

    Zumba Student Network
    A group open to all Zumba students and enthusiasts.


    Z Life
    Official Zumba blog with music recommendations, weight loss advice and tips for instructors.
    A blog by ACE Group Fitness Certified and Silver Sneakers Certified Instructor specializing in Zumba and Zumba Gold.