How Much Does A Karate Instructor Make?

Karate instructor teaching a student

Karate practitioners that are passionate about the martial art often want to become instructors. Although, some aren’t sure if they can really make a living being a karate instructor.

That’s why we’re going to answer the question, how much does a karate instructor make? Going over the median price that karate instructors annually make along with the highest and lowest salaries.

We’ll also go over how you can become a karate instructor and how you can earn the most money teaching.

How much does a karate instructor make? According to the website Zip Recruiter shares these statistics. The average annual pay for a full time karate instructor is $47,188. Other annual salaries include $115,500 for the highest salaries and the lowest salaries at $11,000.

The pay scale for a karate instructor

As noted from the data from the website Zip Recruiter, the salary of a Karate instructor is broken into three groups. The high end, median average and low end.

Lowest karate instructor salaries($11,000)

The lowest noted annual salaries of karate instructors was marked at $11,000. These numbers are most likely for instructors that work less than 20 hours a week. Most likely working at an after school program or some kind of rec center.

Median salaries of karate instructor($47,188)

This is the national average that karate instructors make across the US. It is a decent living doing something that you love to do, but won’t make you rich by any means.

Highest Karate salaries($115,500)

Karate instructors that net over $100k a year are the hustlers of the industry and likely the best at business. To earn this much, they most likely have high gym fees and over various other things along with karate.

How do you become a karate instructor?

Before worrying about how much you can make being a karate instructor, you first have to know how to become one. There are two things you need to do in order to become a karate instructor.

  • Earn your black belt in karate
  • Getting experience as an assistant instructor

Become a karate black belt

The most obvious step to become a karate instructor is to earn your black belt in karate. Potential students will only want to learn from an experienced black belt that has vast experience in the martial art. Once you earn your black belt, you can take steps to become an instructor.

Be an assistant instructor

Many karate schools have a program for students that want to become future instructors. When they are a high colored belt or young black belt, they can choose to be assistant instructors.

Any owner of a karate school at one point was an assistant instructor in their first gym. Being an assistant instructor will give you the experience needed to become a head instructor in the future.

Where can a karate instructor work? 

As a karate instructor, you have a few different options for places that you can work. There’s a variety of different places that have openings for karate instructors.

Some of these different places include:

  • Your own academy
  • Rec Centers
  • Sports Centers
  • Churches/Religious Centers
  • Freelance

Own your own academy

The dream for just about every aspiring karate instructor is to own their own school. Being their own boss and running classes the way they want in their own Karate academy. We’ll go further into how to open your own karate school in the next section.

Rec Centers

A lot of rec centers offer after school programs that include karate classes. They are always hiring, so you can definitely land a teaching job at these types of places.

Sports Centers

There are many workout gyms that are becoming sports centers. All in places, where you can work out and participate in various types of sports like karate. Gyms like LifeTime Fitness are a good example of these types of places.

Places of worship

Other places that offer karate as after school programs in places of worship like churches or mosques. If you’re a religious person or more open minded, you can find a job working in one of these places.


Thanks to this modern age of technology, you can even work as a freelance karate instructor. There are various websites and apps people use to set up private lessons to learn karate. You can teach karate from your home, travel to student’s homes, or even online.

How to open your own karate school?

The dream of anyone that wants to be a karate instructor is to own their own school. Here is what you need to know about opening your own karate school.

Choose a location

The first step in owning your own karate school is choosing a location to open your school. You are really going to have to do your research and scout out potential areas. A place that you can afford paying rent and get a lot of traffic, so people can see your school.

Buy Equipment

If you want to own a karate school, you’re going to need to buy equipment to deck it out. You’re going to need everything from:

  • Mats
  • Punching Bags
  • Kimonos
  • Sparring Gear
  • Front Desk
  • Chairs For Parents

Take out a loan

Opening a karate school is expensive and takes a lot more money than most people have. Consider going to a bank to see if you can take out a loan to open your own school. 

How to make more as a karate instructor? 

Your goal should not only be a karate instructor, but also how to be a successful one. Here are three things you can do to make more as a karate instructor.

Choose a good location

We touched on this in the previous section, but we’re going to expand on the importance of a good location. A good location will decide if your school will succeed or fail. 

You need to choose a good location, where there’s a dense population and one that is more affluent. This will help you get more students and earn more for running classes.

Learn how to be a sales person 

Teaching karate isn’t your only job as an instructor. You also have to be a good sales person to potential clients.

Being able to confidently talk to potential clients and make them want to learn from you. If you aren’t a good communicator, then you may not make much as a karate instructor.

Be a mentor

Making a good living from being a karate instructor is more than just teaching the martial art. You also have to be a mentor to your students.

Be someone that can help them with something in their personal life and better them as a person. Having a good reputation can definitely factor into growth in your teaching salary.

Offer different programs

Many karate schools don’t just offer karate in their schools, but a variety of other types of programs. Successful karate schools offer everything from:

  • Weapons classes
  • Adult Fitness Classes
  • Grappling Classes
  • After School programs

Offering any one of these programs along with karate can help you earn more as an instructor.

Go follow your dream of being a karate instructor

Being a karate instructor is a lot of work, but it is a fulfilling job. You can make a good living being one and even get paid well to do what you love. All you need to do is put in the work and you can make a living being a karate instructor.

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Let's Roll BJJ aims to be the leading source of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling information and news on the web. Dorian, the owner and editor of Let's Roll BJJ is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and has been training and competing for over 6 years. Apart from being a BJJ geek, Dorian is a software developer by trade, a husband, and a father of two wonderful kids who he's recently began teaching Jiu Jitsu. When he's not training, coding, or writing, you can find him hiking, camping or occasionally binging on video games.


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