Woman thinking how do I become a certified meditation instructor

How to become a meditation instructor

Last Updated:
December 4, 2020
Hunter Varnum

There has never been a better time to learn how to become a meditation instructor. The meditation and mindfulness industry is one of the fastest growing health movements in America, and becoming a certified meditation instructor is an excellent way to take advantage of this growing industry. 

Before you invest in a meditation teacher training, it’s important to be clear about what your goals are as a meditation instructor.

Meditation Instructor vs. Meditation Facilitator – What’s the difference?

One of the biggest sources of confusion for potential instructors is the new & often ambiguous terminology used by certified meditation instructor training programs.

The big question for you to answer is this: 

Do you want to teach or instruct people on how to meditate or do you want to learn how to guide someone through a meditation experience?

Defining these two terms can help clarify what your goals are as a meditation instructor:

  1. Meditation Teacher: Teaches students how to meditate, including demonstrating proper posture, breathing techniques, etc.
  2. Guided Meditation Facilitator: Guides clients through an inner journey with a specific objective using proven guided meditation techniques

Most professionals entering the field of meditation desire to guide their clients through meditation experiences, not just provide instruction on how to meditate. Unfortunately, most trainings are designed to create “teachers of meditation” not guided meditation facilitators.

Knowing how to lead a guided meditation is a powerful differentiator in the personal development industry. Facilitating guided meditations in your work produces deep and insightful experiences that help clients achieve specific goals and outcomes. 

Therefore, in this article, when we refer to “meditation instructors”, we are referring to highly trained professionals who facilitate guided meditations for their clients, as opposed to just providing instruction.

Additionally, guided meditation has far more applications for those who want to lead meditation classes or workshops. To learn more about applying guided meditation in a group setting, check out my article on 9 Tips for Leading a Group Guided Meditation Session.

Do You Have to Be a Certified Meditation Instructor to Lead a Meditation?

Although there is no set of minimum qualifications to become a meditation instructor, it’s important to appreciate that guided meditation is both an art and a science that can only be perfected through experience.

Completing a meditation instructor training is both the most efficient and effective way to obtain the knowledge you need, without having to go through years of trial and error. Additionally, the right training will give you the confidence to perform under pressure and consistently deliver novel experiences for your participant(s). 

That being said, it is important for you to choose your training program wisely because the wrong training might leave you feeling discouraged & unprepared to implement your new skill set.

How to Choose a Meditation Instructor Certification Course?

Be aware that the meditation instructor certification industry is brand new, and many selling courses on the subject have little to no professional experience themselves. Therefore, you’ll want to vet both the curriculum & the teacher when selecting your meditation training. However, learning from an experienced meditation facilitator isn’t the only factor to consider when evaluating a training program.

If your goal is to be able to lead immersive guided meditation experiences for individuals or groups, be sure any training you’re researching teaches the correct meditation methodology. Like we discussed earlier in the article, many meditation instructor trainings don’t teach guided meditation, and leave students feeling certified but not qualified. 

If you are serious about becoming a trained meditation instructor, read my article on how to choose the right meditation certification from start to finish before shelling out any of your hard-earned money.  

In Person vs. Online Guided Meditation Instructor Training

Guided meditation provides an interactive experience where your audience follows your guidance, either in person or via audio/video, and meditates in response to your words. Therefore meditation instructor training can take place either in person or online. But which is better?

Learning to facilitate guided meditations requires that you learn a lot of information, but also have the necessary support to put that knowledge to work for you.

Personally, I would not waste my money on in-person only training.  There is simply no way to learn, practice and become confident enough in leading guided meditation experiences in a 3-day (or even a 3 week) seminar.

If the curriculum is well-organized & provides the adequate amount of support, becoming a certified meditation instructor online is a better pathway.  Online formats allow for more in-depth instruction, often including a self-paced format, that will ultimately lead to a better long-term learning experience.  


The problem with both in-person and online meditation instructor certification programs is they typically don’t support you during or after the training is complete.  

Ongoing support, coaching and mentorship is critical to the success of new meditation instructors, because most questions arise when trying to integrate a new modality into your work, not during the learning phase.

So, be sure that you choose a program that doesn’t leave you hanging, or it will likely become one of those trainings you buy and never actually use.

I have found the best meditation instructor training format is a hybrid online training, group coaching and a mentorship program with an in-person certification for graduates.

This combination ensures that you gain enough information on leading guided meditations, have the support you need to integrate and implement the information and get to practice your new meditation coach skills in-person, under pressure.   

How Much Does a Certified Meditation Instructor Make

The meditation and mindfulness industry is growing rapidly and meditation instructor salaries can be very rewarding. Reported meditation instructor salaries range from $60 to $80 or more per hour. 

However, the value of anything you learn depends on what you do with it. Becoming a certified meditation instructor is a great skill to build a wellness-based business, enhance existing coaching services or create impactful online courses. With the multitude of avenues available in this burgeoning industry, becoming a meditation coach can be the first step in building a six-figure business, depending upon how you choose to utilize your new skillset.

Whether you’re looking to start your own meditation business or bring the benefits of meditation to your existing company, family or friends, the list of possible applications is as immense as the societal need for more meditation instructors armed with the ability to help our world find more calm, clarity & courage.

If you’re interested in learning more about guided meditation in the workplace or how to start a meditation group, I’ve created quite a few resources on the subject, including specifics on how to integrate guided meditation strategies specific to coaches, yoga teachers, school teachers, healthcare professionals, and addiction counselors

I hope that you now have the information you need to make the best investment possible of your time and attention.

If you’d like to learn more about how to become an immersive meditation leader, feel free to check out our The Guided Meditation Framework’s guided meditation facilitator training!

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