How to Become a Physical Education (PE) Teacher Online

Dec 26, 2019

Physical education teachers help students learn about health and physical exercise. Find out more about this profession, and learn helpful steps you can follow to prepare for this career online.

Physical Education Teacher Career Overview

Physical education (PE) teachers provide students with an opportunity for physical activity during the school day and instruct them on health, exercise, and coordination. Physical education teachers are usually responsible for developing class plans that introduce students to PE concepts and activities. Becoming a physical education teacher online can be challenging, but there are some online teacher education programs that offer this option.

Required Skills Communication skills, teaching skills, patience, physical adeptness
Job Growth (2018-2028) 3% (all kindergarten, elementary, and middle school teachers); 4% (all high school teachers)*
Median Salary (2019) $44,097**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **

Steps for Becoming a Physical Education Teacher Online

Traditional teacher education courses are most often in-person, but select schools with online teacher education offer options to become a PE teacher online. Although certification will likely require instances of in-person work, many of the following steps can be completed with the help of online resources.

Step 1: Research Schools and State Requirements Online

Each state has its own set of requirements for teacher certification. These requirements are readily available through the Department of Education website of the given state or states in which you wish to be licensed. Further, many states have reciprocal licensure protocols, meaning if you are licensed in one state, you will be able to be licensed to teach in another. Knowing these requirements can help you fulfill your state licensure procedures. Research schools online that offer not only distance teacher preparation programs, but those that also have options for physical education teachers.

Step 2: Complete an Online Teacher Preparation Bachelor's Degree Program

Although rare, it is possible to find online teacher preparation programs that offer an option for physical education. These programs will help you learn about how to properly educate students in PE, as well as prepare you for licensure. Courses specific to physical education might include the following:

  • Individual and team sports
  • Human physiology and anatomy
  • Leisure activities
  • Kinesiology and biomechanics
  • Physical education teaching materials and methods
  • First aid
  • Motor learning
  • PE advanced topics

An in-person internship or student teaching experience is usually required. These bachelor's degree programs typically span four years.

Step 3: Prepare Online to Become a Certified Physical Education Teacher

Now that you have completed an online bachelor's degree program, you will need to become officially certified to teach. As mentioned before, the procedures for earning your teaching license can vary considerably from state to state. Typically, however, there is an exam or series of exams that you must pass to establish your competence. Study materials for these exams are often available online, although the tests usually must be taken in person. Once you have completed examinations and all other requirements and online application procedures, you will be issued a state teaching certificate. These certificates will vary in validity period from state to state, as will methods for renewing and upgrading certification.

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