Physical Education Careers

Your chances of landing a good job in physical education careers might be increased by being aware of the most sought-after occupations in the industry. Regardless of the career path you decide to take in physical education, your career can be directly impacted by your understanding of its key criteria and obligations. It’s possible to have a great career in the field of physical education, but it’s also beneficial to be aware of alternative career choices. In this post, we’ll talk about some of the most appealing jobs in the physical education industry.

Physical education (PE) is what?

Physical education, sometimes known as PE, is learning about physical activity, safety, and health and well-being. Sports, dance, and weightlifting are just a few of the many activities that fall under the umbrella of physical education. PE aids in the growth and maintenance of traits like self-assurance, well-being, and social skills that will be more challenging to acquire in other academic areas.

What abilities will I get while studying PE?

Physical education will teach you numerous useful skills that will benefit not only your future career but also other GCSE and A-level subjects. You will learn a variety of talents, some of which are:

Communication abilities

Many components of PE include working in groups to achieve a common goal. You can develop strong interpersonal abilities that will aid you in the office by participating in team sports and working on problems with others. Every hiring manager looks for applicants who can effectively communicate both orally and in writing.

Social abilities

Physical education can need a considerable amount of teamwork and is an extremely social subject. You’ll gain skills for effective interpersonal interaction and communication. When you begin working, you will come into contact with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, each with a unique personality. Your ability to effectively communicate with team members will improve as a result of your study of PE.

Evaluation and analysis

Examining your own as well as others’ performance in PE at the GCSE and A-Level entails searching for ways to make it better. Because you’ll need to evaluate your work and pinpoint areas that need improvement frequently during your career, this is a very helpful ability to have. The soft skills that PE provides will be helpful to you if you operate in management since you will learn how to communicate effectively.

Physical condition

You’ll also gain from being physically healthy if you study PE! This will benefit you in more ways than only the physical aspect of the subject; it will also enhance your overall well-being. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress and support mental health.

Positions available in physical education

With a degree in PE, you can work in a variety of positions that need you to instruct young people, adults, seniors, and athletes on how to stay physically fit or advance their fitness levels. The following is a list of some positions in physical education:

1. Athletic trainer

Nationwide average yearly salary: $29,425

Primary responsibilities: Sports coaches in physical education careers have the responsibility of training either teenagers in high school and university or professional athletes, usually in a single sport. A particular teaching training may occasionally be required of those who work in schools. A PE degree can provide more in-depth information concerning physical growth, physical restoration, and other elements that make up the human body. Even though the coach’s history of participation in the pertinent sport is among the most pertinent expertise and understanding indicators, it is not the only one.

2. A dance teacher

Nationwide average yearly salary: $18,098

Primary responsibilities: Dancing instructors in physical education careers are often employed at dance studios, schools, and after-school programs. Depending on their area of expertise, they instruct their students in the fundamental movements of numerous dance forms. Although obtaining a degree in dance instruction or PE is not strictly required to work as a dance teacher in a home studio, doing so can help you advance your skills and expertise. A teacher preparation program must also be completed by dance instructors who want to work in government schools.

3. Sports trainer

Nationwide average yearly salary: $43,790

Primary responsibilities: Athletic trainers in physical education careers are healthcare professionals employed by a variety of organizations, including colleges, universities, hospitals, fitness facilities, and athletic organizations. They must identify and treat patients who have a variety of musculoskeletal problems in addition to imparting different injury prevention techniques. Usually, they serve as a conduit between patients and the doctors who treat them. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, sports physiology, exercise science, or athletic training is needed to become an athletic trainer.

4. Sports journalist

Nationwide average yearly salary: $35.420

Primary responsibilities: The main responsibilities of sports journalists in physical education careers are to produce and distribute content about one or more sports. Although their main responsibility is to debate or write about a particular sport, they have to place themselves in a great spot to accomplish that by attending numerous sporting events, making connections with people who work in the sector, and conducting research. Many of these positions are filled by former players and other athletic and health professionals since they typically require a substantial understanding of one or more sports as well as physical education as a whole.

5. A physical education instructor

Nationwide average yearly salary: $46,788

Primary responsibilities: One of the physical education careers that physical education majors are most likely to encounter is teaching physical education. They typically work in primary schools, middle schools, state schools, and universities, coaching children on how to utilize equipment, teaching them different physical games and abilities, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. P.E. teachers have to get a teaching certificate, which calls for classes in childhood development, psychology, and other educational subjects, in addition to a degree in physical education.

6. Sports nutritionist

Nationwide average yearly salary: $47,331.

Primary responsibilities: Sports dietitians in physical education careers advise both amateur and professional athletes on individualized or group nutrition plans intended to improve their performance. Sports dietitians work to stay up to date with the most recent business advancements and discover methods to incorporate them into their routines in addition to developing individualized diets based on the distinct physical attributes of an athlete or a team and the precise goals they want to attain. The majority of sports dietitians hold qualifications in clinical nutrition or a closely related field. Also, you must have a strong background in physical education to comprehend how nutrition can enhance performance.

7. A fitness instructor

Nationwide average yearly salary: $55,769

Primary responsibilities: Fitness instructors in physical education careers might coach a single client one-on-one or instruct classes of pupils in fitness. Even while it’s not always necessary to have a degree in physical education to work as a fitness teacher, you’ll need to have an understanding of anatomy, physiology, and other topics that you acquire while working for the degree to pass the certification test you choose to take. Graduation from a program in body movement science can also lead to employment as a fitness instructor because these programs teach you sophisticated concepts about human movement that you can apply to design workout routines.

8. Senior fitness professional

Nationwide average yearly salary: $61,557

Primary responsibilities: Senior fitness instructors in physical education careers specialize in helping older persons adopt a fitter, healthier lifestyle. The physical and functional changes that occur with advancing age, the psychosocial aspect of aging, and the physical recommendations for appropriate exercise sessions tailored for older folks are just a few of the knowledge and abilities they normally possess. Senior fitness expertise and a degree in sports or muscle contraction are often requirements for individuals seeking work as senior fitness teachers.

9. A physiatrist

Nationwide average yearly salary: $82,469

Primary responsibilities: Physical therapists in physical education careers assist patients who have had serious physical injuries in regaining their fundamental capacities. The process typically takes a long time; before recovering their physical traits, many patients need to undergo months or years of hard rehabilitation under the direction of a physical therapist. A degree in human movement science and a master’s or doctoral degree in physical therapy is normally needed to become a physical therapist.

10. Occupational therapist

Nationwide average yearly salary: $82,570

Primary responsibilities: Occupational therapists in physical education careers assist patients who are wounded, ill, or incapacitated in carrying out routine daily tasks. They assist patients in gaining strength and motor control, recovering from serious illnesses or injuries, and working on their daily living and employment abilities. They can also assist patients in learning how to utilize different adapted devices, like braces, wheelchairs, and feeding assistance, depending on the precise patient issue. A degree in occupational therapy from a program certified by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education is normally necessary to become an occupational therapist.

What does a physical education instructor do?

Physical education instructors, sometimes known as PE teachers, are teachers who focus on instructing and advising pupils on subjects like physical growth, nutrition, and involvement in sports. PE instructors are caring educators who incorporate mobility and sports exercise into each classroom instruction and evaluation they provide. They operate at all stages of the K–12 system.

PE instructors manage a range of activities daily, depending on the grade and age levels of the kids they work with, such as:

  • Creating educational activities and classes that include movement- and exercise-based learning techniques by state and federal curriculum standards
  • Creating tests to assess how well pupils comprehend physical education subjects including sports, nutrition, and human growth and development
  • Tracking students’ growth and improvement in areas of physical education like kinesthetic learning, exercise, and other motor coordination
  • Sharing educational objectives relating to students’ physical development and results for good health with the community and workplace
  • Involving students in movement-based programs that enhance learning and success in athletics, exercise programs, and other physical education disciplines
  • Updating parents and guardians about educational activities, school events, and the development and success of their children
  • Assisting children in setting and achieving goals for their physical education and wellness as well as assisting them in honing their motor and kinesthetic abilities
  • Assessing and assisting pupils who have issues with their ability to move, their motor abilities, or their spatial awareness

How to become a physical education teacher

PE teachers receive the same training and preparation as general education teachers, but they also receive specific instruction in human growth and development, biomedical sciences, and kinesthetic applications. The steps you must take to become a physical education teacher are as follows:

1. Get a bachelor’s degree.

To start their physical education careers as teachers, all aspiring educators must finish an undergraduate degree. Several physical education instructors pursue specializations in the health sciences, kinesiology, or physical education while pursuing their Bachelor of Science in teaching. Theoretical frameworks for physical education, individual and team sports, and core instructional techniques are all topics that your educational program might cover.

2. Finish an internship.

You are often required to perform an internship (educational practicum) as a component of your curriculum in physical education bachelor’s degrees. You can complete a practicum within a single semester or commit to an internship during your whole academic career. Your practicum’s duration will vary depending on the university you attend.

3. Pass any necessary certification tests.

Physical education instructors need a bachelor’s degree, but they also need to complete several certification tests to get their teachers’ certificates. Teachers of physical education may take tests in their academic subjects, general studies concepts and practices, and other exams mandated by the states in which they operate. Furthermore, your state can insist that you possess particular credentials for the grade levels you instruct.

4. Get a state teaching license.

You must apply for and acquire your teaching license via your state to teach physical education in grades K–12. Most states only require an application and your test results. Nonetheless, it’s wise to confirm the precise requirements for your state, particularly if you intend to teach in a different state from where you obtained your degree.

5. Get your endorsement in physical education

You can obtain your state teaching credential and physical education endorsement by passing the certification examinations required to become a physical education instructor. As physical education is your area of specialization, you also need to get your teaching license with this endorsement.

Your teaching credential as well as your endorsement in physical education must be renewed periodically as well. While states may have different specific requirements for recertification, teachers normally renew their credentials every three to five years and must complete continuing education (CE) to do so.

Pay and Job Prospects for Physical Education Teachers

The pay for a PE teacher is often comparable to that of other teachers, with average annual earnings for elementary schools averaging around $62,200 and secondary schools averaging $64,340.

The actual pay depends on several variables, including the school level (primary school, middle, high school, or university), the school’s location, and the qualifications and experience of the instructor. With a forecasted job rate of growth of 3-4% through 2028, there will be good job growth for teachers. There is a need for qualified physical education instructors with remarkable skills in the subject as well as an understanding of nutrition and health.

What other degrees and credentials do I need besides PE?

You may need to obtain a degree in physical education if you wish to specialize in coaching or teaching a particular sport. Having GCSE and A-level PE would undoubtedly be helpful when applying to universities if you intend to study sports medicine or occupational therapy. While applying for degree programs, you should verify the admission requirements with each university as each one is unique.

What courses complement physical education?

Physics, chemistry, and biology are subjects that complement physical education effectively at the GCSE and A-level and are particularly helpful when seeking employment and university programs. An employer or institution will be impressed if your school provides exercise science or sports science in addition to PE.

Effective abilities and experience

Prospective physical education instructors have a solid foundation thanks to their physical condition, participation in team sports, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Finding a job as a physical education teacher can be aided by an understanding of team dynamics, physiology, and nutrition. Promoting physical fitness and instilling in children the value of good health and eating practices are the two main objectives of a physical education instructor. Since competent PE instructors serve as positive examples for their students, they should exhibit all the qualities of good fitness and health. Students who take physical education classes are motivated to lead active, healthy lives.


A degree in physical education may be required if you want to specialize in coaching or teaching a particular sport. Having GCSE and A-level PE would undoubtedly be helpful when applying to universities if you intend to study occupational therapy or sports science. However, as every institution is unique, you should confirm the admission requirements with specific universities before applying to a degree program.

Physical education pairs well with physics, chemistry, and biology at the GCSE and A-level, and these subjects will be very helpful when seeking employment and university programs. An employer or institution will be impressed if your school provides kinesiology or sports science in addition to PE.

Frequently Asked Questions about physical education careers

  • Do I need to be certified to teach physical education?

Physical education teachers must be certified at the state level and have PE as a subject endorsement to work in public schools. Other certification paths exist, and exceptions can occasionally be granted. To learn more about the certification criteria in your state, you can contact the state education board or a college program.

  • What kinds of classes must a physical education instructor take?

The specific courses needed to depend on the degree attained, although the majority of programs for training physical education teachers include courses in physiology, nutrition, and athletic training.

  • How much money do teachers of physical education make?

The number of years of experience, level of education, and institution of employment are just a few of the variables that affect a PE teacher’s pay. The average teacher, including those who teach physical education, makes around $60,000 annually, according to the BLS.

  • What is the future of teaching physical education?

Between 2021 and 2031, the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics predicts a 5% increase in employment for all instructors. Although the projected increase in job possibilities is for all educators, specific teaching specialties can experience variable growth rates in the future. For example, according to the statistics office, special education teachers may anticipate slower employment growth over the next ten years, with an overall percentage of 4%.

  • What kind of setting do physical education teachers work in?

PE instructors work in both indoor and outdoor environments. PE instructors frequently concentrate on nutrition, health sciences, and the academic facets of movement and physical exercise in the classroom.

Teachers may give lessons in team sports, assess students’ physical well-being and fitness, introduce exercises, and assist students in making links between their diet and activity in outdoor settings. Periodically required attendance at faculty and school board conferences allows PE teachers to engage with other educators in developing creative teaching strategies.

  • How much does a PE instructor typically make?

The average compensation for a physical education teacher in the US is $51,537 per year, according to Indeed pay rates. Nevertheless, depending on several variables, including your degree of expertise, this typical income may change. New teachers and educators frequently make less money than more experienced instructors.

The amount you earn as a teacher may also depend on your degree level. Teachers with advanced degrees frequently make more money than those with undergraduate degrees. The state in which you teach as well as the grade level you instruct is two more variables that can impact your salary level as a PE teacher. Many PE teachers who teach in secondary schools may make more money since some states pay more than others.

  • What extra certificates may PE teachers obtain?

Physical education teachers might pursue extra education and certifications. Some physical education teachers pursue graduate degrees in kinesiology, health science, nutrition, or physical education. A second endorsement from your physical education degree is available for those who want to become certified to teach physical education to students with special needs.