Physical education degrees typically take three to four years to complete and prepare students for athletic and health education jobs. There are many types of careers an individual can pursue with a physical education degree other than becoming a physical education teacher.
Physical Education Teacher
Physical education teachers usually work in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. The job of a physical education teacher is to plan physical education curriculum for students and teach them how to lead healthy lifestyles. This includes teaching students how to play sports and educating them about healthy eating decisions, according to Education Portal. Physical education teachers who work with younger children usually implement games like jump rope and dodge ball to get children moving. Physical education teachers who work in high schools and middle schools use more traditional sports like basketball and soccer. Some physical education teachers specialize in teaching children with disabilities, according to Career Planner.
Some individuals with physical education degrees choose to coach sports teams instead of pursuing traditional jobs as physical education teachers, according to Education Portal. Sports coaches usually work at middle schools, high schools and colleges. The median salary for sports coaches as of May of 2008 in the United States was approximately $35,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are approximately 225,000 sports coaches in the U.S. and the majority of them work at schools. Some coaches at schools are physical education teachers during the day and sports coaches after school.
Personal Sports Trainer
A personal sports trainer coaches one athlete at a time instead of coaching an entire team. The majority of personal sports trainers focus on coaching one specific sport they have expertise in. For example, if an individual with a physical education degree played tennis in college, she would most likely be a personal tennis coach.
Personal Fitness Trainer
Some individuals with physical education degrees choose to become personal fitness trainers instead of teachers or coaches. The majority of personal fitness trainers work at gyms, but some travel to their clients' homes. The median salary for fitness trainers as of May of 2008 in the U.S. was approximately $29,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are approximately 261,000 personal fitness trainers in the U.S. Employment for personal fitness trainers is expected to increase by 29 percent from 2008 to 2018, making job opportunities abundant.
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