With a master's degree in physical education it is possible to pursue a career as a coach or physical education teacher. While a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement to enter these positions, a graduate degree may lead to higher salaries or career advancement.
A master's degree program in physical education is generally open to individuals who hold bachelor's degrees in physical education, athletic training or a related field. Many are certified teachers seeking the career advancement that could come with a graduate degree. Some master's degree programs in physical education are available through online study. Courses may include exercise physiology, injury prevention and the history of physical education. Many programs require a final research project.
|Career Titles||Coach||Physical Education Teacher|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Licensing||Teacher certification required to teach in a public school||Teacher certification required to teach in a public school|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6% (coaches and scouts)||6% (all kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school teachers)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$31,000 (coaches and scouts)||$54,550 (all kindergarten and elementary school teachers); $55,860 (all middle school teachers); $57,200 (all high school teachers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
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Graduates with a physical education master's degree have career choices in coaching and teaching. Both coaches and physical education teachers instruct others in effective training techniques for sports, everyday life or fitness training. A master's degree can substantially increase income over a bachelor's degree in careers teaching physical education.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), coaches and scouts made a median yearly salary of $31,000 as of May 2015. Salary and benefits can vary greatly for the best coaches. The lowest-paid 10% of coaches made an annual wage of $17,930 or less, while the top-paid 10% of coaches made $70,050 or more in yearly income. Coaching positions may see very keen competition due to the popularity of the position, but career options are more favorable at lower competition levels like high school sports. The employment growth for this career is expected to be average in comparison to other occupations.
Coaches train and organize athletes in a specific sport. Coaches can work in group sports like football or baseball, or one-on-one with athletes in solo sports like track or boxing. By having a thorough understanding of the sport and training regimens, coaches prepare athletes to perform at an optimum capacity and behave in a professional and competitive manner. Additionally, coaches come up with a strategy for their athletes, along with examining an opponent's strategy, talents and weaknesses.
Physical Education Teacher
PayScale.com reported that physical education teachers made a median annual salary of $41,432 as of January 2016. Physical education teachers who double as sport coaches tend to earn additional pay. PayScale.com also reported a typical salary range of $29,192 to $65,866 for PE teachers in January 2016. There are no employment growth statistics for physical education teachers specifically, but the BLS anticipates a 6% growth for kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school teachers for the years 2014 through 2024. Rural or urban school districts may have more career opportunities than other areas for this position.
Physical education teachers can work at any level of education, from elementary school to the college level, instructing students in health, nutrition and physical fitness. Physical education teachers supervise sports games along with physical exercises. Some physical education teachers also double as coaches for a school sports team.
From 2014-2024, coaches and kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school teachers are to see an average growth in employment opportunities. The median salary for coaches in 2015 was $31,000, while physical education teachers earned a median salary of $41,432.