What does a PE teacher do?
A physical education (PE) teacher is responsible for addressing health and physical fitness in a variety of educational settings. They coach or lead students in recreational activities and sports and encourage life-long skills to promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyles. They provide instruction on the basic skills and techniques of individual and team sports, gymnastics, track and field, aquatics, and many other recreational activities. They also teach students about personal and community health issues such as nutrition, drug use, and sexuality. Most PE teachers are qualified to teach at least one other subject. PE teachers must always maintain a safe learning environment and they provide safety instruction about fitness facilities such as gymnasiums, athletic fields, and swimming pools.
What kind of training does a PE teacher need?
Physical education teachers must have at least a bachelor degree in physical education, athletic training, or other related field and a teaching certificate for the grade level they wish to teach. Most PE teachers complete coursework in physical education theory, human development, sports pedagogy, individual sports, team sports, general teaching methods, and physical education for students with physical impairments. Many PE teachers gain practical experience by pursuing volunteer opportunities in education settings. All states require public school teachers to be licensed. Licensing requirements typically include a minimum of a bachelor degree, teaching certification, supervised teaching experience, and passing a state examination.
What are the prospects for a career as a PE teacher?
Employment of all school teachers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 12% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The constantly increasing population and the increased emphasis on the value of physical education will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be favorable especially for positions in less desirable school districts. Job opportunities will also arise from the need to replace PE teachers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do PE teachers make?
As of October 2009, PE teachers with less than 1 year experience earned average annual salaries between $33,058 and $40,971. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earned average annual salaries between $30,870 and $41,949 (2).
A career as a PE teacher is an excellent choice for people who have a strong interest in physical fitness and recreational activities and enjoy teaching others. PE teachers must be in good physical shape and be efficient at demonstrating physical activities to many different students. They must have a strong commitment to physical fitness and personal health and promote it in a variety of ways. Patience, enthusiasm, motivation, encouragement, tact, understanding, and good communication are also essential qualities of PE teachers.