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PE Teacher: Career Profile

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a physical education teacher. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and licensure required to find out if this is the career for you.

Physical education (PE) teachers help students improve their physical development, and also promote healthy life skills. A bachelor's degree and teaching license are requirements for this job. Here are more requirements needed for becoming a PE teacher, as well as salary and career outlook information.

Essential Information

A physical education (PE) teacher needs a bachelor's degree in physical education and a state-issued teaching license. Besides instructing students in physical education, these professionals often have other responsibilities, like coaching sports teams.

Required Education Bachelor's
Other Requirements State license for public school teachers
Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024)* 6% for all kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school teachers
Median Salary (2016)** $41,432 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

PE Teacher Career Information

PE teachers instruct students in the benefits of physical activities through games, organized sports and other activities that improve a child's physical development. PE teachers at the secondary level also teach students about nutrition and wellness to help them develop healthy life skills, according to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (www. shapeamerica.org). Some PE teachers may receive additional training to work with special needs students.

PE teachers have job duties similar to other teachers, including evaluating a student's understanding of the subject and enforcing school policies. PE teachers must be able to identify students who have health or physical disabilities that may prevent them from performing an activity.

Educational Requirements

Aspiring PE teachers typically earn a degree in physical education or a related major. The curricula of these programs include physical and general education topics. General education coursework may cover topics in educational psychology and learning theory. Physical education courses may include exercise philosophy, kinesiology and physical education administration.

Prospective PE teachers must complete a student teaching requirement in order to graduate. During this experience, they teach physical education classes at varying grade levels while being supervised by a licensed teacher. Student PE teachers are evaluated throughout the assignment.

Licensing Information

According to the BLS, every state requires public school teachers to be licensed. While requirements vary by state, many require graduating from an approved program and passing a qualifying exam. Beginning teachers may start with a temporary or probationary license prior to earning a full teacher's license.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for elementary, middle and high school teachers are expected to increase 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Job opportunities vary by location and may be impacted by a state's budget. Student enrollment also influences the amount of job prospects available and varies by region.

In January 2016, PayScale.com reported that most PE teachers earned between $29,192 and $65,866 annually. Some PE teachers also work as coaches, which may provide extra income. PayScale.com indicated that PE teacher earnings might depend on factors such as experience and location.

PE teachers introduce physical games and sports to students, teaching them skills to improve their physical development and health. A bachelor's degree and teaching license are required for this career, and demand for all teachers from kindergarten to high school, including PE teachers, is expected to grow at a rate of 6% through the year 2024.

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