Physical Education Jobs

If you are physically fit, enjoy sports and physical activities and enjoy working with children, a job in physical education may be the perfect fit for you. Besides employment in schools as a Physical Education teacher, training for this career also can lead to a job as a special education teacher, health teacher, trainer, sports coach, or exercise physiologist.

In public and private schools, a physical education teacher works in elementary and secondary schools. A typical day consists of preparing lesson plans and instructional materials, classroom instruction, grading , and monitoring student activities in classrooms and on the rest of a school’s premises. Physical Education teachers also are called on to teach health, and may coordinate intramural sports activities. And coach sports teams.  Most physical education teachers teach 5 to 6 classes that are anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. In elementary schools, classes usually half-hour periods. Some teachers circulate between more than one school.  Other duties may include monitoring of students after-school during lunch, and study hall. Many schools have a year-end Field Day coordinated by their physical education teacher.

As with any other teaching position, physical education teachers must complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program. Areas of study can include kinesiology, exercise physiology, health and wellness, sports psychology, anatomy and physiology, sports officiating, first aid and physical activity instruction. Courses in general teaching and physical education-specific teaching courses are included in most degree programs.  Before graduation, most physical education students serve in an internship or student-teaching experience. For those pursuing a coaching career, classes in that sport are required.  All 50 states require teachers to be licensed for the public school system.

To prepare for a physical education teaching career, and to see if you would like this type of work, you can help coach a little league or intramural team, work at a local YMCA or YWCA or city parks and recreation department.  You also would benefit from participating in as many sports and activities as possible including rock climbing, rollerblading, tennis, football, softball, golf, running, ultimate Frisbee, basketball, aerobics, gymnastics and others.

According to, the starting salary for physical education teachers varies greatly from state to state, anywhere from $19,271-$51,755 as of October 2011. The employment outlook for physical education teachers is steady. With the White House emphasizing the need for physical fitness among children, schools are placing more emphasis on physical activities. Many websites like PE Central list jobs and provide resources for physical education teachers or those looking to at this career.