Become a Zumba Instructor

Do you want to become a Zumba instructor but have no idea where to start? We get it, breaking into a new field can be challenging, so to help OriGym has created this definitive guide covering topics such as:

But before we begin, if you want to explore similar career opportunities and become an exercise to music instructor, you can do this with our Level 2 Exercise to Music Course. Enquire today and discover how you can deliver freestyle and choreographed classes for clients of all ages!

About the Zumba Instructor Job Role

Become a Zumba instructor

When you become a Zumba instructor your main responsibility will be to plan classes and guide attendees through aerobic style dance workouts, combining the brand’s signature choreography and music.

Using moves and routines approved by the Zumba® brand, instructors will choreograph both low and high intensity workouts to help students lose weight, build muscle, and improve their overall health.

Typically, when becoming a Zumba instructor you’ll work on a freelance or self-employed basis. An example of a job ad can be found below, in which Virgin Active clearly states they are looking for a candidate who can teach both branded Zumba® classes, as well as general dance workouts:

Become a zumba instructor with virgin active

There are many benefits to working freelance, the primary one being that your earning potential is completely uncapped in this capacity. Without the restrictions of set working hours, you could earn a significantly higher salary than those in fixed contracts!

Similarly, working freelance allows you to earn money around other commitments. For example, if you’re a full-time student you could still work as a Zumba instructor in your free time!  

With all these benefits in mind, let’s now discuss the average Zumba instructor salary in the UK, to give you a better idea of what you could earn in this role!


How Much Do Zumba Instructors Earn?

Zumba instructor teaching classes

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a Zumba instructor is listed as £27,519 based on nearly 300 examples provided by the site’s users.

Salary of a Zumba Instructor

When looking at these figures, be aware that many Zumba instructors increase their income by taking other fitness classes, especially when starting out and growing their classes.

Additionally, when using sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed you should consider that the statistics they provide are calculated from data collected from their users. Therefore, they are reflective of the site and not the industry. 

In truth, the average salary of a Zumba instructor isn’t as easy to summarise as a person’s earnings could be affected by several factors, such as the amount of experience they have. For example, someone who is newly qualified won’t be earning as much as those who have worked in the industry for years. 

Become a zumba instructor with experience

Likewise, location can also influence a Zumba instructor’s salary in the UK. For example, those who work in London will likely earn a higher wage than anyone else as they will often charge more for each class.

Therefore,  Zumba instructor salary per class will be higher in London than other parts of the UJ. This is exemplified below where you can see instructors in the capital charge anywhere between £10 – £20, where as those in Liverpool charge an average of £5:

Zumba instructor salary per class

This ‘increased’ salary typically happens to offset the higher cost of living in London, as outgoings such as rent and electricity are typically more expensive than anywhere else in the UK.

How Does a Zumba Instructor’s Salary Compare to Other Jobs in the Fitness Industry?

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Zumba Instructor role is estimated to be £27,519:

Salary of a Zumba Instructor

Keep in mind the stat given above is an average, but the chart clearly shows how a Zumba instructor salary in the UK can range between £21,000 and £36,000.

Let’s compare the salary of a Zumba instructor with some other fitness roles below:

Bar chart comparing zumba instructor salary to other fitness careers

Even if someone is employed as a fitness instructor and is on a salary of £28,560, this can be enhanced even further by working as a freelance Zumba instructor and taking on more hours outside of other fitness classes.

However, each of these roles is a highly lucrative career option, especially if you choose to work freelance. By doing this, you could be earning a significant income working in different capacities throughout the fitness industry. 

For example, you could work predominantly as a fitness instructor and teach Zumba classes in your free time to enhance your income.

How to Become a Zumba Instructor: Step-by-Step Guide

#1 – Attend Zumba® Classes

Become a zumba instructor with your own classes

If you’re wondering how to become an instructor in Zumba, the best place to start is to actually attend classes yourself! Here you can build your own passion for the exercise class, as your own enjoyment will be reflected in your teaching style. 

Your attendance will also allow you to understand the basic styles and exercises used during the sessions, helping to familiarise you with the different choreography. 

Become a zumba instructor with routines

In short, if you have in-depth knowledge and first hand practical experience to draw from, planning and delivering Zumba® will come naturally to you. For example, you will be able to improve your own classes and teaching techniques as you’ll know what students struggle with and what they enjoy! 

In addition to this, through attending classes you will also be able to regularly interact with your own instructors. These individuals can provide you with key insight into everything from the qualification process to finding jobs!

#2 – Get Qualified with a Trademarked Zumba Qualification

Zumba dance instructor class

To become a Zumba instructor in the UK you need to complete the company’s trademarked qualifications. Without this, you will not be legally able to teach the practice and could be held liable should the company make a copyright claim against you.

At a minimum, aspiring instructors will need to complete a Zumba® Basic Level 1 Instructor Training

Those wondering ‘how long does it take to become a Zumba instructor?’ should note the course takes a day to complete. 

Become a Zumba Instructor with an online course

Basic Level 1 Training prepares you with the necessary foundation to successfully teach a Zumba® class, as students learn:

  • Steps to four basic rhythms (Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia, Reggaeton).
  • How to put these steps together into a song.
  • How to create their first Zumba class.

Once you’ve completed the programme, you will earn your Zumba Basic 1 Certificate of Completion, along with your licence to instruct Zumba.

However, if you’re looking to become a Zumba instructor for older age groups, you will need to undergo additional qualifications such as the Zumba® Jump Start Gold course.


#3 – Get Zumba Instructor Insurance

Zumba instructor insurance

Once qualified it’s crucial you purchase Zumba instructor insurance as you’ll regularly be dealing with the public. 

This will protect you against possible claims that may arise from class members who injure themselves after following incorrect advice and guidance or if your property is damaged. 

Having Zumba insurance for instructors will essentially provide you with reassurance to provide advice and support to your class attendees, knowing that all parties are protected. 

Zumba instructor class insurance

As provided by companies such as Insure4Sport, the main types of Zumba instructor insurance in the UK are:

  • Public Liability & Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Sports Equipment Insurance

Professional indemnity and public liability insurance for Zumba instructors are similar. The former will cover your legal liability if you’re found to have given negligent advice. 

Zumba instructor insurance to cover injury

For Zumba liability insurance, you will be covered if you injure someone while instructing a class. 

After you qualify to become a Zumba instructor, we’d also recommend investing in equipment insurance too! This will protect the likes of your speaker and LED lights if they are broken, stolen or damaged! 

#4 – How to Find Work as a Zumba Instructor

Become a Zumba dance instructor

If you’ve been questioning ‘how do I become a Zumba instructor’ we’d recommend gaining initial experience working with an employer at the likes of a gym or fitness/community centre – 

Remember, these roles will likely be freelance opportunities!

In doing so, you can build your confidence in leading classes and hone your teaching style. Other aspects such as marketing and registering attendees will be left to the employer! 

You can find roles such as these on sites such as Indeed or Glassdoor, such as the example from Virgin Active below: 

Zumba instructor ad zero hours contract

Many employers will also be lenient when it comes to their ‘desirable’ qualifications, and will typically also consider applicants who have completed a general Level 2 Exercise to Music Course

This means job opportunities aren’t exclusive to just Zumba instructors who have completed the trademarked qualification as you can see below:

Become a Zumba instructor with a ETM qualification

In fact, most employers are looking to employ candidates who are adaptable and can teach many different classes rather than just one niche. For this reason, it will benefit your career to hold both a trademark Zumba and a more general Level 2 ETM qualification.

In doing so, you won’t be limiting yourself when it comes to applying for certain employment opportunities! 

The Best Fitness Career to Consider if You Want to Become a Zumba Instructor

Zumba dance instructor class

After learning how to become a Zumba dance instructor you don’t have to solely operate in this job role. This will allow you to explore other employment opportunities in addition to teaching your regular classes. 

If you have a passion for dance based exercise classes, you can even apply for similar positions. Typically, in order to teach these sessions employers will ask applicants to hold either a Level 2 Exercise to Music or a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification

This is evident from the following example below, from David Lloyd Clubs:

Become a Zumba instructor with a ETM qualification ad

Having a range of general fitness qualifications means you will be able to pursue these opportunities alongside your general Zumba duties. 

As a result, you will be able to earn a significantly higher wage as your working hours won’t be restricted to Zumba classes specifically!

– – – – –

To get your career started in the best way, check out these articles to learn more about this area of the fitness industry:

How to Start Running Your Own Zumba Classes

As previously mentioned, we recommend gaining experience with contracted work after you become a Zumba instructor in the UK. However, following this you may decide to take your career to the next level and begin running your own classes. 

But before we break this down, be sure to check out our article ‘How to Start a Fitness Class Business’ to find out more about how you can do this.

Step One: Organise the Legalities of Your Business 

Zumba Instructor Class legalities

One of the first things you should do when you want to start running your own classes is to register your business through the website.

You can register your business in two ways: 

  • Sole trader – This means you’re self employed and can keep all your business’s profits after you’ve paid tax on them. However, you’re personally responsible for any losses your business makes.
  • Limited company – The finances of this business are separate from your personal finances. However, there are more reporting and management responsibilities. Business owners who register this way will often seek help from an accountant.

Next, you should look into a Disclose and Barring Service (DBS) Check. While this is often requested by employers, those who are self-employed can request a basic disclosure to get a copy of their criminal record – This costs £18 and is available to those in England and Wales.

Although a first aid qualification isn’t mandatory to become a Zumba instructor and run your own classes, it’s important to gain one. If an unfortunate situation arises during your class, attendees will look to you for guidance.

Zumba instructor with first aid qualification 

This means not only will you provide yourself with the knowledge to help but will also put class attendees at ease if they know you can help them.

One last thing to keep in mind is that any pre-recorded classes should only use cleared music so as to not create music licensing issues. However, Zumba has a large list of original music and negotiated with music partners to create a library of other songs to use!

Step Two: Conduct Market Research 

This is where you can identify competitors in your area and see what kind of services are being offered. This research can help determine your class prices and the creative direction of your business.

For example, if you’re based in Liverpool, you could check out other Zumba classes in your area like ZumbaByJennie:

ZumbabyJennie Zumba Instructor Classes

These classes are exclusively for women and are reasonably priced. Similarly, About This Girl, a campaign developed by Sports England for active women, also run Zumba classes for £5:

About This Girl Zumba Instructor Class

This is why market research is important when you become a Zumba instructor looking to start your own classes as you need to offer something that sets you apart from the competition. 

You may find a gap in your area for what’s being offered, such as Zumba classes for the elderly. With your Jump Start Gold certification, you can hold classes for this specific demographic and adjust your choreography accordingly.


Step Three: Find a Location to Run You Classes 

Zumba instructor class space

The next thing you need to do is find a location to host your classes. Most gyms or community centres will offer their space for a set fee, the cost of which will be influenced by a variety of factors such as how large or popular the space is. 

For example, FireFit in Liverpool offers their fitness studio and sports hall for those who wish to hold classes:

FireFit Class space to rent for Zumba instructors

As you can see, it’s cheaper to rent their smaller studio – ideal for when you’re starting out. As your classes grow, you could then rent out half their sports hall as your number of attendees increases.

When you first become a Zumba instructor, you can even hold your classes outdoors. To do this, you will need to file for an outdoor business permit. This is for the local council to certify you’re conducting business safely.

You can do this by contacting the local council or private owner in charge of the park you want to use for a class. However, each park will have specific requirements. For small groups in certain areas, you may not even require a permit.

Step Four: Create and Set Your Prices Packages 

When deciding on your own prices, you should consider what competitors in your area are charging and adjust your prices accordingly.

For example, here are a couple of Zumba classes currently being held in Liverpool. These are priced at £6 for a 45-minute class and £4 for a 60-minute class:

Zumba instructor class prices

The ideal pricing is one that reflects the quality of your service but is slightly cheaper than your competitors. Using this example above, you might decide to price your class between these two at £5.

Using this tool on the Zumba website, you can see that by charging just £5 and having 5 classes per week made up of 10 students, you can earn around £1000 a month!

Zumba instructor salary per class

While your Zumba salary per class may not be enough to cover your monthly expenses, you can still supplement this income by taking on other roles and fitness classes alongside your Zumba classes.

When setting your prices, keep in mind you’ll want to make sure you aren’t undercharging yourself when starting out, but you also don’t want to charge too much to put people off attending when there are cheaper classes in your area.

Step Five: Market Your Zumba® Classes Across Various Platforms 

Zumba instructor planning classes

To run your own classes successfully, an effective marketing strategy is crucial! This will attract more people to your Zumba classes, allowing you to grow your business.

Ways you can market yourself both online and off include:

  • Social media – This allows you to interact with class attendees and advertise your services.
  • Creating your own website – It’s important you have a platform with all the necessary information about your business in one place.
  • Promote your services in the gym – Speak to people who regularly attend your gym, especially if they’re part of your target demographic.
  • Create a Referral Scheme – This is where you can ask clients to recommend your classes to people they know and reward them for doing so. For example, you may offer a discounted session for those who bring someone new to your class.

When you become a Zumba instructor, you can also register with the ZIN network. This allows you to create a profile on the official Zumba website where people can see the classes you offer, your credentials, and reviews left by other class attendees:

ZIN Network for Zumba Instructors

Creating your profile means people who are searching for local classes will find it a lot easier to locate you. Asking class attendees to leave reviews is also a great way to market yourself if people come across your profile.

However, you do have to pay for this membership. This costs around £35.93, but will be more if you choose a prepayment plan.

Step Six: Plan Your Zumba® Classes!

Zumba instructor planning classes

Now everything has been put in place, it’s time actually to plan your classes. As mentioned earlier, this is why it’s important you attend other Zumba classes to help improve your own.

When you become a Zumba instructor running your own classes, it’s your responsibility to ensure your choreography is planned, you have the right music, and any equipment such as speakers or lights are working properly.

You should also practise your routines on your own or ask friends and family to take part to see if the class flows smoothly and the choreography works well.


How Much Does Zumba Training Cost?

Zumba instructor course cost

As of writing this article, the cost of both the Zumba Basic Level 1 and Jump Start Gold is £366.23 respectively. 

However, you can ensure your licence is continually renewed when you become a Zumba instructor in the UK by purchasing Zumba Instructor Network Membership (ZIN).

The membership costs around £35.93 a month but will be even more expensive if you choose a prepayment option of either 6 or 12 months.

Can I Teach Zumba Without a Certification?

Teach zumba classes outdoors

The simple answer to ‘Can I teach Zumba without a certification?’ is no, you can’t. For legal reasons, you cannot teach under the Zumba trademark without an official licence from the company.

However, if you have completed the likes of a Level 2 Exercise to Music you will still be able to teach holistic dance workout classes. 

Do I Need to Renew My Zumba Qualification?

Can you teach Zumba without a certification?

As soon as you complete your Zumba training, you’ll be licensed to start teaching these classes immediately. This licence is only valid for six months, from the date of your training. This is so Zumba instructors are equipped with the most recent practices, choreography, and teaching methods.

As mentioned earlier, Zumba Instructor Network Membership (ZIN) gives you an unlimited licence to teach Zumba classes as a member. This membership costs around £35.93 a month but without it, you will have to continue to renew your licence.

Before You Go!

If you can see yourself instructing your own classes and joining this exciting career, get started by enquiring about our Level 2 Exercise to Music Course

To see how you can begin or advance your career, download our course prospectus to find out more.

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About the Author: Chloe Twist

Chloe OriGym Author
Chloe graduated with a BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University and prior to OriGym worked at J&R Digital Marketing Agency on the Liverpool 'Female Founders' series. Since joining the company, she has become a qualified Personal Trainer and advanced Sports Nutrition Specialist. Chloe's professional interests intersect content-development and the world of online fitness, especially across social media and YouTube, and Chloe has herself contributed pieces on fitness and weight loss to sites including the Daily Star and The Express. Outside her day-to-day role, Chloe enjoys playing the guitar, gaming and kettlebell training.

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