Careers Paths

How to Get a Job as a Physical Education (PE) Teacher

Teachers can choose to specialize in a variety of academic areas and interact with children of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. One subject area where teachers advise pupils on things like nutrition and exercise is physical education. A job as a physical education (PE) teacher may be a great choice to make if you’re passionate about teaching and working with pupils in an active environment.

In this post, we will discuss the function of physical education (PE) teachers, what it takes to become one, and provide answers to several related concerns about jobs in PE teaching, like the employment forecast over the coming ten years.

What exactly is a physical education (PE) teacher?

Physical education (PE) teachers, sometimes known as PE teachers, are teachers who focus on instructing and advising pupils on subjects like physical growth, nutrition, and involvement in sports. PE instructors are caring educators who incorporate mobility and sports exercise into each classroom instruction and evaluation they provide. They operate throughout all levels of the K–12 system.

What do physical education (PE) teachers do?

Physical education (PE) teachers have several duties they carry out every day, based on the class and age ranges of the children they deal with, including:

  • Creating educational activities and classes that use movement- and exercise-based approaches to learning by local, state, and federal curriculum standards
  • Creating tests to gauge pupils’ knowledge of physical education subjects like athletics, nutrition, and human growth and development
  • Monitoring the growth and advancement of students in areas of physical education like kinesthetic learning, exercise, and other kinesthetic activities
  • sharing educational objectives relating to students’ physical growth and outcomes for good health with the public and staff
  • Involving children in movement-based activities to improve learning and success in sports, fitness programs, as well as other areas of physical education
  • Updating guardians and parents on academic activities, school programs, student performance, and student achievement
  • Setting and achieving goals for student’s physical and mental education, as well as assisting them in honing their motor and kinesthetic abilities
  • Assessing and assisting pupils who have issues with their ability to move, their motor abilities, or their spatial reasoning

How to become a physical education (PE) teacher

Physical education (PE) teachers receive the same schooling and preparation as general education teachers, but they also receive specific instruction in the developmental processes, health science, and haptic applications. What you must do to become a PE instructor is outlined in the steps below:

1. Get a bachelor’s degree.

To begin their teaching professions, all aspiring educators must earn a bachelor’s degree. A lot of physical education (PE) teachers have a bachelor’s degree in education and choose to specialize in areas like kinesiology, health sciences, or physical education. Your education curriculum may encompass subjects like physical education theory, individual as well as team sports, and fundamental teaching techniques.

2. Finish a summer internship

You will typically need to do an internship (academic practicum) as a component of your courses if you are enrolled in a physical education bachelor’s degree. You can complete a practicum within a single semester or commit to an internship during your whole academic career. Your practicum’s duration will vary according to which college you attend.

3. Pass the certification examinations you need to take.

Physical education (PE) teachers need a bachelor’s degree, but they also need to complete several certification tests to get their teachers’ certificates. Tests in their academic subjects, general education concepts and procedures, and other tests that states they work in demand may be taken by physical education teachers. Furthermore, your state can insist that you possess particular credentials for the grade levels you instruct.

4. Get a state teaching license.

You must apply for and receive your teaching license from your state to teach physical education in grades K–12. Most states only require an application and your test results. Nonetheless, it’s wise to confirm the precise requirements for your state, particularly if you intend to teach in a different state from where you obtained your degree.

5. Get certification in physical education

You can obtain your state teaching credential and physical education endorsement by passing the certification examinations required for employment as a physical education (PE) teacher. As physical education is your area of specialization, you also need to get your teaching license with this endorsement.

Your teaching credential as well as your endorsement in physical education must be renewed periodically as well. While states may have different specific standards for recertification, teachers normally renew their credentials every 3 to 5 years and must undergo continuing education (CE) to do so.

Should I Work as a Physical Education (PE) Teacher?

A profession in physical education (PE) teaching can appeal to you if you enjoy working with children and imparting fitness knowledge. You may profit professionally by teaching physical education, have coaching chances, and have the chance to improve the lives of others. It can be beneficial to understand more about the many duties, requirements, and advantages of becoming a physical education (PE) teacher before making a decision.

What credentials do I require to teach physical education?

To start their professions, physical education teachers normally need the following qualifications, expertise, and skills:

Diploma from high school

A high school graduation or an equivalent qualification, such as a GED, is frequently required to start a career as a physical education (PE) teacher. You can learn important, fundamental physical education abilities in high schools, such as oral communication and physical endurance.

Undergraduate degree

An aspirant PE teacher earns a bachelor’s degree after graduating from high school. There are three main possibilities for bachelor’s degree programs for students who desire to become physical education (PE) teachers:

  • Bachelor of Science in Education: The majority of students choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd). In a discipline like the health sciences or physical education, they frequently choose a specialization or concentration area.
  • Physical movement-focused bachelor’s degree programs: Some aspirants to become PE instructors decide to complete the educational requirements for a teaching license while also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a field like athletic training or kinesiology.
  • Post-baccalaureate program: Earning a conventional bachelor’s degree is a third choice. Following graduation, you can enroll in a post-baccalaureate training program to earn your teaching license.

A master’s degree

A master’s degree can help you stand out as a job prospect and develop your talents. It is an optional certificate for physical education (PE) teachers. It’s crucial to be aware that certain states have requirements for PE teachers’ continuing education that include obtaining a master’s degree in the subject. You might find it useful to find out if getting your master’s fulfills the state’s criteria for continuing education before choosing whether or not to pursue it.

Teaching internship for students

An aspirant physical education (PE) teacher often needs to complete a student teaching internship during or after earning a bachelor’s degree. You could teach students while being supervised by a certified physical education instructor if you secure a student internship in a PE environment. Also, it’s frequently necessary to get your state license.

Teaching certification

Getting your teaching credential or license from your state is the last requirement for becoming a PE teacher. Although each state has its standards for physical education (PE) teachers, the licensing procedure normally entails passing competency exams. These standardized exams could cover subjects like athletic pedagogy, athletic technique, healthy living, and working with kids.


Physical education (PE) teachers acquire a certain set of abilities. These professionals get a complete understanding of fitness and sports as well as educational concepts and approaches during their training.

Also, a physical education (PE) teacher usually has both hard as well as soft talents. Hard skills are aptitudes or knowledge bases that have been developed through experience, like the regulations of numerous sports or secure exercise methods. Soft skills, on the other hand, are traits of the mind and conduct that have an impact on how well you do your job, such as adaptability and critical thinking.

Consider honing the following abilities if you wish to teach physical education:

  • Patience: A student may occasionally find it difficult to listen or might not understand exactly what their PE instructor is saying. The remaining patient can help PE instructors decide how to respond to the circumstance, whether it involves adopting a different approach to communication, providing the student a demonstration, or giving them some space to figure out the situation alone.
  • Communication: Physical education (PE) teachers are excellent communicators and know how to use simple language to explain difficult concepts relating to sports or exercise. They know how to modify their style of communication for various learning contexts, like raising their voice during a sporting event and utilizing more individualized communication throughout a one-on-one engagement with a pupil.
  • Athleticism: A physical education (PE) teacher is well-versed in the theory of fitness and health, including safe exercise techniques. Also, they are frequently active individuals, which can be useful when teaching pupils how to perform exercises or use a sport.
  • Organization: The majority of physical education (PE) teachers have many courses each day, frequently with distinct curricula. Organizational skills are used by PE teachers to organize and manage their sessions for each different course.
  • Creativity: Physical education (PE) teachers come up with new and interesting ways to discuss fitness themes with kids who have a range of sports interests or abilities. For instance, a PE teacher may devise a game that renders the activity less intense and more enjoyable to encourage kids who aren’t as engaged in sports to love their PE time.
  • Psychological intelligence: Physical education (PE) teachers are frequently emotionally intelligent, which means they are skilled at analyzing and responding properly to others or their own emotions and thoughts. For instance, this could entail assisting a student with their present PE difficulties while observing their tense body language or voice.

Should I work as a physical education (PE) teacher?

You might find it useful to think about why other professionals would choose to pursue this job if you’re attempting to determine if you’d appreciate being a physical education (PE) teacher. These are some explanations as to why you might desire to work as a physical education (PE) teacher:

Working with children

Due to the chance to interact with students in an interesting way, many physical education (PE) teachers are interested in this line of employment. Teens and kids can learn from and be mentored by a physical education (PE) teacher. Other advantages, such as enhancing your attitude and mood, can result from working with young people.

Passion for sports and athletics

As a physical education teacher, you can encourage students’ enthusiasm for athletics in addition to teaching them the necessary procedures for training or playing sports. Many PE teachers have a strong personal interest in exercise and sports. Becoming a physical education (PE) teacher might allow you to share your love of sports, fitness, and healthy living with others.

Instilling good behaviors

Physical education (PE) teachers can assist pupils in creating healthy habits. This may involve knowing how to exercise well, selecting wholesome foods, and learning about adolescence and sex education. Students who adopt these and other practices will not only be healthier as adults but will also be healthier as children.


Benefits packages are often available to PE teachers, which is a wonderful reward. Since most PE instructors follow the conventional academic schedule, they frequently get to take extensive summer vacations in addition to breaks in the spring and winter semesters. The physical education (PE) teacher may also provide you with health insurance, a 401(k) retirement package, life insurance, and tuition assistance.

Opportunities for coaching

A career as a PE instructor can be an excellent method to attain those roles if you’re interested in coaching youth or youth sports teams. After the school day is over in the afternoons, most physical education (PE) teachers train in team sports. Be it via your school or a different workplace like a community center, you can potentially have the opportunity to coach several sports over the summer.

Encourage kids to control their stress

Students, whether they are in primary or high school, frequently spend the majority of their time seated and concentrating on their studies. Students may benefit from taking physical education lessons as a physical and psychological vacation from other subjects. Having the freedom to roam about or engage in physical activity during class time can aid in stress management and enhance concentration.

What Qualities Should a PE Teacher Have?

Here are nine qualities that a successful physical education (PE) teacher must possess:

1. Physical fitness

A physical education (PE) teacher must possess athletic skills because they frequently demonstrate activities to the students. It’s crucial that the children can carry out the exercises on their own to show appropriate form and inspire them to keep up their fitness education. Because they are aware of how each activity affects a person’s body, fitness trainers are better able to create lessons for physical education classes.

Sports prowess and gaming aptitude are both examples of athletic ability. physical education (PE) teachers can teach pupils how to engage in these sports or supervise after-school activities incorporating them, such as basketball or soccer. A physical education (PE) teacher may find it easier to get their students involved in the games and sports they play if they have a talent for those activities. Physical education sessions might be more fun for the students if the instructor enjoys exercising.

2. Teaching potential

Since a PE teacher is a part of the faculty at the school, they must possess the teaching skills necessary to convey lessons to the pupils. Teaching requires a variety of competencies, including technical skills specific to each professional’s area of expertise. By developing these abilities, PE teachers may engage with their students and construct engaging sessions that motivate them to exercise in the most beneficial ways for their health. For PE teachers, it’s critical to have the following abilities:

  • Maintaining a lively presence in the classroom
  • Practical learning
  • Project development
  • Lesson preparation
  • Technology

3. Social skills

Being members of faculty teams, PE teachers must collaborate with other educators as part of their duties. When behavioral concerns emerge, they frequently work in conjunction with the student’s general education instructor to resolve them. They can collaborate with other classrooms to organize field trips and themed field outings for the pupils. Talking with peers may guarantee these conversations remain fruitful and generate opportunities for more satisfying lessons. By exhibiting healthy social connections, teachers can also serve as emotional skill role models for their students.

PE teachers can communicate with pupils and their loved ones more effectively by using interpersonal skills. A student will frequently be able to engage in physical activities or engage in games to the most of their abilities if they are allowed to communicate their needs and preferences. Interpersonal skills include, among other things, knowing how to calm pupils’ fears and meet their emotional needs. You may apply a few of these identical strategies to family interactions to improve communication and motivate students.

4. Verbal and written communication

As a result of their frequent daily interactions with students, families, and other staff members, PE teachers must be proficient in both spoken and written communication. A PE instructor might use their communication abilities in a study guide to precisely communicate any homework or expectations for students. Also, they might record directions in a document and subsequently outline them in a lecture for the class.

When participating in seminars or classroom-building activities, they also use their communication skills to discuss their teaching materials with other PE teachers. Even after many years of teaching, many teachers still pursue their education. If they believe another instructor might benefit from it, they may exchange advice or unique lessons they have created. Physical instructors can obtain feedback on their sessions and continue to develop their teaching strategies by building a community.

5. Organization

Organizational abilities can help PE teachers make their class planning sessions more effective. For instance, they can decide which semesters or quarters to present new concepts during and store all of their preparations in one location. These goals may alter over the year due to unanticipated setbacks, but teachers of physical education can still maintain control over the direction of their class’s curriculum by using organizational abilities.

Teachers of physical education can keep their classrooms tidy by using organizing skills. Balls, equipment, and tools are typically needed in physical education lessons to play activities that might appear on the lesson plan. Also, they arrange equipment and choose where to keep it in their storage area or classroom.

6. Flexibility and endurance

Since children are learning how to control their emotions and absorb a lot of new information at once, working with them might test one’s tolerance for waiting and flexibility. Because of this, it’s crucial to be patient and kind to them as they attend your class so they are comfortable and inspired to finish their work. Teenagers can need more tolerance and flexibility as they adjust to their developing bodies and mental concentration.

There may be situations that force you to modify lesson plans, just like in any employment where you complete duties in real time. For instance, you might need to modify your lesson plan if it starts to rain on the day you had scheduled for students to do a mile of running outside. In that case, you could have them engage in endurance exercises inside a gym.

7. Focus

Focus is a key quality in a PE teacher because kids frequently need their whole concentration throughout the class, particularly if they’re mastering a challenging physical skill. Your lesson plans can be centered on particular components of physical education that you feel are crucial for children in a given age group or skill level. If pupils need mentoring, you can also concentrate on meeting their requirements to give them a reliable support structure.

Your career goal may be guided by concentrating on your students. It can help you develop a set of core values that guide your lesson planning and mentoring interactions. You could grow into an advocate for every child in your class by using this enthusiasm for the welfare of your students. To promote their hobbies, you can also set up after-school programs or assist in raising money for various field excursions.

8. Creativity

A physical education teacher’s creativity can assist them in coming up with enjoyable ways to offer new information to their pupils or to reinforce earlier courses. To keep kids interested, they can teach brand-new games or come up with fun ways to modify an existing game’s rules. They can draw inspiration from their personal interests or favorite media elements, such as music, dances, or film scenes. Students who prefer hands-on learning activities over lectures may be more engaged by a diversified lesson plan.

9. Passion for instructing in fitness and sports

A physical education instructor must be enthusiastic. Several physical education exercises involve a lot of energy; therefore they may be best suited to an individual who enjoys instructing others in them. Also, a passion for working with children and having a positive influence on their lives is necessary for effective PE teaching.


Becoming a physical education (PE) teacher may be a good career choice for you if you appreciate working with children and sharing fitness tips. You may profit professionally by teaching physical education, have coaching chances, and have the chance to improve the lives of others. It can be beneficial to understand more about the many duties, requirements, and advantages of becoming a PE teacher before making a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions about physical education (PE) teachers

  • What are the employment prospects for physical education teachers?

Between 2021 and 2031, the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics predicts a 5% increase in employment for all instructors. Although the projected increase in job possibilities is for all educators, specific teaching specialties can experience variable growth rates in the years to come. For example, according to the statistics office, special education teachers may anticipate slower job growth over the next ten years, with an average rate of 4%.

  • What kind of setting do physical education teachers work in?

PE instructors work in both indoor and outdoor environments. PE instructors frequently concentrate on nutrition, health sciences, and the academic facets of movement as well as physical exercise in the classroom.

Teachers may coach children in team sports outside of the classroom, assess students’ physical health and fitness, present exercises, and assist students in drawing links between their diet and activity. Periodically required attendance at faculty and school board conferences allows PE teachers to engage with other teachers in developing creative teaching strategies.

  • What is the typical pay for a physical education teacher?

The average pay for a physical education teacher in the US is $51,537 per year, according to Indeed salary data. Nevertheless, depending on several variables, including your degree of expertise, this typical income may change. New teachers and educators frequently make less money than more experienced instructors.

The amount you earn as a teacher may also depend on your degree level. Teachers with advanced degrees frequently make more money than those with bachelor’s degrees. The states in which you teach and the grade level you instruct are two more variables that can impact your salary level as a PE teacher. Most PE teachers working in secondary schools may make more money since some countries pay higher salaries than others.

  • What extra credentials are offered to PE teachers?

Physical education teachers might pursue extra education and certifications. Certain physical education teachers pursue graduate degrees in kinesiology, health science, nutrition, or physical education. A second endorsement from your physical education degree is available for those who want to become certified to teach physical education to students with special needs.

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