How to Become a
Zumba Instructor

Two women wearing sports clothing and doing aerobics

If you have a passion for Latin American dance and would like to teach people how to live healthier lives by incorporating it into their workout routine, you may consider becoming a Zumba Instructor. To find out more about the responsibilities of this position and how much you can potentially make, read this article.

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 in gyms.

Zumba Instructors must be able to lead group fitness classes as well as individual classes. They must provide guidance to students to help them master this fitness program, while making sure that participants are staying safe and not posing a threat to their health.

Typical responsibilities of a Zumba Instructor include:

  • Educational tasks, such as teaching dance routines to students

  • Dancing skills, such as mastering Latin American dance moves

  • Customer service skills, such as marketing and signing up new students to the class

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

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 workout to lose weight and improve their health. This career choice requires professionals to be active listeners, good communicators and to be able to form relationships with clients.

Other key Zumba Instructor skills include:

  • Time management

  • Social perceptiveness

  • Coordination

  • Persuasion

How Do You Become a Zumba Instructor?

Education and Training

Zumba is a trademarked fitness program, and applicants over the age of 18 can become certified to teach it. Once you locate a Zumba training center near you, you can earn a Zumba Instructor certificate to teach one or both classes, Zumba and Zumba Gold. The Zumba certification allows you to teach basic Zumba by learning four dance elements, merengue, salsa, cumbia and reggaeton. The Zumba Gold certification allows you to teach older students with a lower-impact fitness program. Licenses are granted for one year, and must be renewed thereafter.

After receiving the Zumba certification, candidates work as independent contractors, and can teach in a location of their choosing, determining their own schedules and rates. Some fitness centers or countries may require Zumba Instructors to obtain group exercise instructor certification.

Although there are no prerequisites to getting your Zumba Instructor license, it is beneficial to take Zumba classes to become familiar with this type of exercise routine, or have experience teaching group exercise.

Finding a job

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 8 percent growth for Fitness Trainers and Aerobic Instructors through 2024, with 7,490 jobs becoming available each year.

Although many Zumba Instructors are self-employed, others will require a professional resume to list their experience and licenses when applying for jobs.

Zumba Instructor job openings are listed in JobHero’s job library. Checking with local gyms and dance studios can be helpful in finding work.

A cover letter expressing your love for Latin music and experience in teaching group fitness classes can help set you apart from other candidates.

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.

    Guam

    $26.55

    New York

    $26.39

    New Jersey

    $23.69

    California

    $22.33

    Connecticut

    $20.80

    Texas

    $20.02

    Washington

    $19.76

    Vermont

    $19.53

    Colorado

    $19.35

    Massachusetts

    $19.33

    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.

    YouTube
    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.

    Blogs

    Z Life
    Official Zumba blog with music recommendations, weight loss advice and tips for instructors.

    ZumbaForHealth.com
    A blog by ACE Group Fitness Certified and Silver Sneakers Certified Instructor specializing in Zumba and Zumba Gold.