As video games and hundreds of television channels conspire to keep children indoors, physical & health education is more important that ever before. Physical education & health teachers help children understand the human body as well as provide much-needed exercise to kids who are growing up in a world that gets less physically demanding every day.
Physical & health education skills and concepts
Students who complete degrees in physical & health education learn fundamentals of modern education, such as curriculum organization, pedagogical theories and effective methods of communication in the classroom setting. Some of the topics covered by health education teachers can be sensitive, and it's important to know the right ways to approach these subjects. They also learn in-depth information about topics ranging from anatomy to nutrition to sports.
Coursework in a physical & health education degree program may include:
- First aid and personal safety
- Health promotion protection management
- Methods and strategies of teaching health
- Health risk factors
- Teaching sexuality education
Students focusing on becoming physical education teachers may take a slightly different set of courses. Take a look at this short list:
- Exercise physiology
- Human anatomy
- Athletic injury prevention and care
- Human growth and development
Types of physical & health education degrees
Although requirements vary from state to state, a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a teaching certification are typically all that graduates need before entering the workforce as physical education or health teachers. However, many teachers chose to pursue master's degrees for either career or salary advancement.
Degrees in physical & health education include a number of hands-on components, such as student teaching, that require students to attend some campus-based classes, but many academic courses may be available online. Several universities offer online degrees in physical & health education at the certificate or master's degree level. These online programs allow students to continue their schooling while balancing existing work or family responsibilities. Post-graduate study is essential for students who wish to teach physical education and health in a college or a university environment.
Physical & health education degrees and the job market
Although a small percentage of graduates from physical and health education programs go into the workforce as personal trainers, coaches or other professions with a physical focus, most of them find employment in the education sector. Here's a quick breakdown of mean annual salaries in a few different educational fields, according to 2010 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Post-secondary (college or university): $71,280
- Secondary (high school): $55,990
- Middle (junior high school): $54,880
- Elementary: $54,330
Degrees in physical & health education can help students find their way into rewarding careers helping students develop healthy habits and learn to become fit adults.
Physical & health education at a glance
- Careers: Degree holders commonly go into: educational fields, exercise science
- Salaries: Salary range for common careers: $54,000-$71,000 per year
- Education: Minimum education requirement: bachelor's degree