Physical Education Degrees

The Advantages to Earning A Physical Education Degree

Physical education degrees are a great way for individuals interested in teaching children and young adults the vital aspects of health, wellness, nutrition, recreation, and sports. Graduates from physical education programs gain the skills necessary to promote wellness and health in a variety of occupations with courses in physical science, exercise and fitness, health and nutrition, kinesiology, physical development, sports, and morphology. Students who complete physical education degrees also learn motivational techniques necessary for teamwork, the rules regarding various sports, and how movement, exercise, and other physical activities benefit the body and overall health.

Many students interested in expanding their educational knowledge manage work and family responsibilities in addition to pursuing a degree. Most college and universities have developed innovative online programs to extend instruction to students managing obligations beyond educational responsibilities. Most online courses feature virtually the same educational experiences as their traditional, brick and mortar counterparts with the added benefit of increased flexibility in course scheduling. Online classes provide groups of 25 students 24 hour access to course materials, instruction, and information. Additionally, students within online programs gain access to instructors and other students through online chats. Many students find online degrees are one of the most convenient, personalized, and affordable paths to increasing education necessary for future career success.

What Students Learn Within Physical Education Degree Programs

Students within physical education degree programs gain knowledge regarding exercise, sports, health sciences, human development, kinesology, motivational techniques, and principles of wellness. Physical education degrees provide graduates with the skills necessary to qualify for employment in multiple careers based in the educational system and/or fitness industries. Most physical education instructors must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and state regulated licensing procedures in order to qualify for employment as physical education teachers and other jobs. Many students begin their education with an associate degree.

Associate level courses include: human anatomy, human physiology, introduction to kinesiology, introduction to sports injuries, college Algebra, elementary statistics, general psychology, introduction to sociology, introduction to general chemistry, introduction to physics, general physics, ethnic dance, fundamentals of healthful living, introduction to exercise physiology, racket sports, track and field, coaching football, coaching baseball, coaching soccer, coaching basketball, coaching volleyball, emergency care and water safety instruction, sports management, officiating Fall sports, officiating Spring sports, English composition, analysis of sports and exercise, health and nutrition, safety practices and CPR, anatomy and physical assessment, and individual and group fitness instruction. Graduates with associate’s degrees may advance to entry level employment within health or fitness jobs or advance studies to higher degree programs.

Bachelor degrees in physical education give students a solid educational understanding of human anatomy, motor development, fitness, wellness, psychology, team sports, and the physiology of exercise. Courses at a bachelor level include: individual, team, and dual activities; wellness/fitness assessment; aquatic activities; intercollegiate activities; safety and first aid; introduction to sports and fitness; skills and techniques of individual sports; motor development; activities for children; skills and techniques of team sports; theory and practice of football; theory and practice of basketball; theory and practice of baseball and softball; contemporary health problems; kinesiology; theory and practice of volleyball; theory and practice of track and soccer; workshop in sports and fitness; athletic training clinical practicum; tests and measurements; the psychology and physiology of exercise; concepts of kinesiology and fitness; athletic training; athletic therapeutic exercise; therapeutic modalities of athletic training; administration of an athletic training program; teaching health in the public schools program; anatomy, physiology, and health education; organization, methods, and supervision in physical education; yoga education; history of physical education recreation and camping; scientific principles of coaching and officiating, management of sports injuries; and introduction to test, measurement, and evaluation and computer application in sports. Graduates from bachelor degree programs in physical education generally advance to licensing procedures necessary for employment as PE instructors within school districts and other fitness related jobs. Some graduates advance to graduate level programs to specialize knowledge and complete studies.

Master’s degree programs in the discipline of physical education provide students with skills and knowledge necessary to advance their careers and gain employment as administrators or upper level instructors within various careers. Courses at a master’s level generally include: human biology: introduction to human anatomy and physics; exercise principles; net, target, and fitness activities; invasion games; dance and gymnastics; kinesiology; lifeguard and water safety; CPR and First Aid; cooperative activities and elementary activities; movement education and elementary activities; teaching methods and physical education; adapted physical education; human growth and motor development; assessment in physical education; seminar in teaching PE and health; concepts in teaching sport skills; student teaching in grades 1-6 and 7-12; child abuse seminar; and prevention of school violence seminar. Graduates from master’s level physical education degree programs generally advance to employment or continue studies to doctoral programs to qualify as experts in the field.

Doctoral degree programs in physical education provide students with the knowledge necessary to work as experts. Courses at a doctoral level include: research methods in health and physical education; mechanisms of motor skill acquisition; educational psychology of physical education; analysis of instructional behavior in physical activity programs; cognitive factors in motor skill acquisition; development of skilled sport performance; historical and contemporary perspectives on the study of teaching and instruction; seminar in research on teaching in physical education; research, theory and practice of teacher education in physical education; advanced curriculum and philosophy; educational statistics; qualitative research in education; research methods in physical education; methods of ethnographic description; correlational and multivariate methods; design and analysis of experiments; assistantship and other teaching experiences; mechanisms of motor skill acquisition; educational psychology of physical education; development of skilled sport performance; correlational and multivariate methods; design and analysis of experiements; and analysis of instructional behavior in physical activity. Graduates from doctoral degree programs generally advance to employment as instructors or researchers within higher education institutions.

Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Physical Education Degrees

Graduates from physical education degree programs qualify for employment within various health and fitness sectors. Most graduates from physical education programs advance to employment as PE instructors upon completion of bachelor degree programs and licensing requirements. Graduates with associate’s degrees often work as personal trainers, assistant coaches, fitness center management assistants, recreation assistants, wellness coaches, or entry level community health educators. Graduates from bachelor degree programs work as elementary school level physical education teachers, fitness center managers, recreation directors, sports team coaches, sports managers, wellness coaches, personal trainers, or community health educators. Graduates with master’s degrees often work as PE instructors within middle or high schools, personal trainers, health educators, developers of physical education curricula, health and wellness consultants, or instructors within vocational schools or community colleges. Graduates with doctoral degrees often work as lead researchers and instructors within colleges and universities.

Salary Range For Graduates With Physical Education Degrees

Graduates who complete physical education degree programs earn varied salaries based upon level of education, organization of employment, geographic location, area of specialty, and related work experience. Graduates who work within public or private school districts also have earnings based on student enrollment, experience level, and grade level of students from elementary to college age groups. As with most occupations, graduates who advance studies and gain work experience generally have higher earnings in comparison to graduates with less education and experience. Graduates with associate’s degrees who gain employment as personal trainers generally earn $19,610 to $44,420 annually. Bachelor degrees graduates who work as elementary school physical education teachers generally earn salaries ranging from $41,400 to $51,180 annually. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs and work as instructors within vocational schools or community colleges generally earn $39,460 to $59,470 annually. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs and work as college or university professors earn $41,600 to $83,960 annually. All earnings are based upon reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Graduates With Physical Education Degrees

Graduates with physical education degrees gain knowledge necessary to promote knowledge in field of exercise, nutrition, and health industries. Professionals with physical education backgrounds are predicted to find numerous employment opportunities within the educational system, health clubs, fitness gyms, and other health facilities as educational institutions, consumers, and businesses focus upon improving fitness and maximizing health. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics anticipates growth in fitness industries to increase by 29% through 2018 at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations. Several factors will contribute to job growth in fitness industries as people increasingly seek means of achieving fitness and means of living healthily for themselves and their children. Additionally, as present economic factors and budgetary issues limit physical education programs within school districts and systems, many parents seek professionals to increase fitness and decrease childhood obesity within non-educational settings.

Demand for professionals with physical education backgrounds is expected to remain steady, particularly for those who complete advanced degrees in fitness related specialty areas like wellness, aging, and technological studies. The demand for low impact trainers is expected to remain high to accommodate the fitness needs of an aging population. As a number of people leave the fitness occupations, employment opportunities will increase. Most graduates begin employment within entry level jobs and advance to managerial or administrative positions upon completing continuing education requirements and gaining relevant work experiences. Personal trainers may advance to positions as directors upon establishing their reputation and gaining experience. Some graduates may advance to self operated businesses working as independent trainers or establishing fitness centers. Graduates with advanced degrees tend to being employment within managerial or administrative positions and advance to larger organizations, fitness centers, or educational systems with increase responsibilities and higher earnings.

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