What are the requirements to become a PE teacher?

Physical education (PE) teachers specialise in training young children and teenagers in exercise, sports, fitness and nutrition. According to Education Portal, "nearly all schools from first grade through the end of high school employ physical education teachers." PE teachers can teach at the primary or secondary school levels, and as of April 2010, their average annual salary ranges from £21,866 to £33,443. Initial salary will usually increase with time and experience.

Bachelor's Degree

Most schools require that PE teachers have at least a bachelor's degree. Popular degree majors include physical education or health or a general Bachelor of Science degree. Courses that may be helpful to prospective PE teachers include biology, field sports, kinesthetics, motor skill development, exercise planning, nutrition and sports medicine.


Many schools require that PE teachers obtain a teaching license. License requirements vary by state. Many states also have tests that all public school teachers must complete in order to teach. In New York, one of the most popular PE teacher states according to Payscale, teachers must complete an initial certification program and pass a certification test in order to receive a license that is valid for five years. After the initial five-year period, they can go on to apply for a professional teaching certificate.

Master's Degree

Bachelor's degrees and teacher licenses are standard in most American states. Some schools may also require PE teachers to hold a master's degree in education, and sometimes this degree counts toward fulfilling the teaching license requirements, as noted at All Education. Other schools might require new PE teachers to begin a master's degree program during their employment.

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About the Author

Nicole Crawford is a NASM-certified personal trainer, doula and pre/post-natal fitness specialist. She is studying to be a nutrition coach and RYT 200 yoga teacher. Nicole contributes regularly at Breaking Muscle and has also written for "Paleo Magazine," The Bump and Fit Bottomed Mamas.