How to Become a Physical Education Teacher

Physical education teachers are an essential part of the school system in both primary and secondary educational institutions.  They encourage students to be physically active and promote healthy eating habits. Physical education teachers are trained professionals that provide instruction to students to help them exercise properly and teach them to choose the right foods.

Job description

A physical education teacher addresses health education in a variety of ways. They are implemented through educational settings, such as a gym and classroom areas. A coach will lead students into activities and sports which helps them learn lifelong skills and promotes fitness and healthy lifestyle choices. They provide both basic skill instructions and techniques to their students.

This is done through basic activities such as sports, gymnastics, track and field and other activities. Physical education teachers also teach students about personal and community issues like attrition, drug abuse and sexual orientation. Most physical education teachers are qualified to teach more than one subject. Physical education teachers must remain in a safe environment and also teach students about safety procedures for gymnasiums, fields and swimming pools.

Training and education

Physical education teachers usually hold a bachelors degree in physical education, athletic training or related field. They also need to obtain a teaching certificate. Although, some physical education teachers complete coursework in just physical education theory, which is done through courses such as human development and sports teaching methods, many physical education teachers have personal experience in sports. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most usually require a bachelors degree, teaching certification, volunteer experience and they must also pass an examination.


Employment of all schoolteachers, including physical education teachers is expected to grow as fast as 12% in 2006. The constantly growing population and increased focus on how the choices for students is driving the value of physical education and teaching employment up. Job opportunities will also climb due to physical education teachers retiring, transferring or leaving the field for other choices.

As of October 2009, physical education teachers with less than one year experience earn an average salary of $33,000 to $40,000 per year. Those who have at least four years of experience, earn an average salary of $40,000 to $60,000 per year. Like any teaching job, the more teaching experience you have the more money you will make it again, this depends on the state you reside in and what school district you are employed with.

Traits of a Teacher

A career as a physical education teacher is a great choice for people who love our have strong interest in physical education including fitness, activities and enjoy teaching others. Physical education teachers must be in good shape themselves and are efficient at promoting and demonstrating physical activities to different type of students. They must also be dedicated and be in good personal health in order for their students to learn in a variety of ways. Patience, motivation, encouragement and respect are all essential tactics and qualities physical education teachers must have to be successful.