What Is the Starting Salary of a PE Teacher?

Physical education teachers work in the combined fields of health, fitness and education, and they help make sure school kids are getting proper exercise. Read on to learn more about the starting salary, education and licensing requirements for these professionals. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Starting Salary Overview

According to PayScale.com, PE teachers who responded to the site's salary survey and had from zero to five years of experience earned a median of around $36,000 annually as of May 2014. The median wage for all PE teachers regardless of experience was $39,573 at that time, while most of these professionals overall earned from $25,237 to $61,123. Your location and employer may also affect your earnings.

Salaries by Grade Level and Location

The following table illustrates a few states' entry-level and median salaries for general elementary, middle and high school teachers as reported by each state's labor department.

State Year Grade Level Entry-Level Median
Georgia 2012 Elementary School
Middle School
High School
$39,911
$40,409
$38,276
$54,145
$53,829
$53,940
New York 2013 Elementary School
Middle School
High School
$46,110
$49,720
$50,000
$69,230
$72,540
$72,370
Idaho 2011 Elementary School
Middle School
High School
$37,902
$34,488
$34,951
$51,774
$46,605
$51,192
Illinois 2012 Elementary School
Middle School
High School
$37,902
$38,419
$42,749
$56,214
$55,309
$62,913
Texas 2011 Elementary School
High School
$41,167
$41,203
$51,666
$53,290

Educational Requirements

All 50 states require you to be licensed in order to teach in a public school system. The academic requirements vary by state, though you'll generally need at least a bachelor's degree in the field you intend to teach. Some bachelor's degree programs include teaching instruction, though you could also supplement a health, kinesiology or sports science major with an additional teaching program in order to satisfy state regulations. You can also meet state requirements by earning a master's degree in education.

In a physical education bachelor's degree program, you'll take courses in general education fundamentals as well as specialized courses in physical education, kinesiology and sports science. You can also expect to complete coursework in anatomy and physiology, health, sports officiating and first aid. Programs that include teacher education also introduce you to the theory and methodology of teaching, usually at a particular grade level.

Licensing Requirements

Obtaining a teaching license or certification through your state's Board of Education usually involves passing one or more exams, such as the PRAXIS exams. You'll be tested on your knowledge of academics and teaching principles, as well as your familiarity with physical education. To qualify for the exams and state licensure, you'll need to meet educational requirements and show proof of teaching experience before or within a certain period of time after testing. Most states require that you participate in continuing education in order to maintain your teaching credential.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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