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Online Resource for Physical Education Degrees

The online Physical Education offerings have grown substantially in recent years. Shifts in Physical Education curriculum are resulting in the integration of health and nutrition into students’ education. Many choose to obtain degrees in Health and Wellness or Nutrition Science and become certified in Physical Education. Whether you’re just starting out or ready to earn your master’s degree, there is an online program designed to prepare students for immediate employment.

Kaplan University
Health & Wellness (BS)
Nutrition Science (BS)
The Kaplan University Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness is built to prepare you to enter many exciting industries. Courses focus on exploring the principles of nutrition, prevention, complimentary healthcare, and explores being mentally healthy, not just physically healthy. Kaplan also offers a Nutrition Science program that explores the effects of nutrition and diets on the body and mind.
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University of the Rockies
Org Development - Sports, Fitness, and Wellness (PhD)
The University of the Rockies offers students a transformative PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership - Sports, Fitness, and Wellness Management program. The program features specializations in Wellness & Fitness, Training & Injury, Sport Psychology, and Rehab Science. Graduates are prepared for national certification exams and work throughout the health industry.
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Physical Education Degree Defined

Physical education is the study of the body, athletics, health and fitness. Physical education is usually a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education or Athletics. Some programs have names such as Bachelor of Science in Physical Fitness or Fitness Education.

Most of these programs are to prepare a person to work as a physical fitness educator. The vast majority of people with a physical education degree go on to work in the public school system or with fitness organizations such as little league teams or community fitness programs.

What Do I Need to Work as Physical Education Teacher?

You will need a four-year degree (preferably in a related field), plus a teaching certificate valid for your state. This certification varies from state to state. If you work in one state, but move, you will have to take another certification exam in the new state. For those who do not have a physical education degree, you may be able to work at a school under a conditional contract that allows you complete appropriate physical education college courses, while actively teaching. Some states and districts are revamping physical education programs because of the rise in child obesity, but due to budget constraints this is happening at a slow pace. Those with advanced degrees in physical education may able to find employment on a committee at the local or state level to create new fitness guidelines required for each public school.

Do Most Physical Education Majors Work as Teachers?

The majority of physical education majors will become teachers and instructors for schools. Some may also work as a coach within or outside of the school and a select few go on to become full time coaches. To teach physical fitness at the college level, an instructor needs a master’s degree in the subject.

What Classes Do I Take in a Physical Education Program?

Students take physiology, biology and anatomy classes for a physical education degree. You also take basic college courses such as math, English and a foreign language. Other areas to explore for those interested in physical education are kinesiology, health education and sports science. These degrees places less emphasis on teaching and education for students and focus on those things for working with adults.

Where Can I Work with a Physical Education Degree?

You can work as a teacher at the primary or secondary school levels. You can also work as a trainer, either freelance, or for a gym or fitness facility. Many nutritionists work with trainers and those with an education in physical fitness to help clients get on the right track with their exercise routine. Non-profit agencies also sometimes employ fitness professionals to work with children and adults who need to learn how to care for their bodies safely. Safety is a major concern for those who are overweight and have limited fitness experience. Trained physical educators know modified movements that will burn fat and build strength without injuring those with limited mobility.

Are There Online Physical Education Degrees?

There are many online physical education degree programs out there, but only accredited programs will benefit your career. Schools require a teacher’s degree from an accredited university or college. This is a strict rule across the board for all public schools, in every state. When you begin researching online degree programs, you must ensure the program you enroll in is an accredited school. You do not want to end up spending time or money on an unaccredited program. Online physical education degrees that are accredited provide students with the same quality of education as traditional schools. You will learn the same material and be as qualified as someone who graduates from a traditional program.

What Can I Expect from an Online Program?

The objectives in course work is the same as a traditional school. The only difference is all work is completed online. Students work at their own pace. There are dates given at the beginning of the class for papers and exams. Beyond that, a student is responsible for keeping up with all material and readings on their own. Students who work full time and have family commitments can benefit from online degree programs because they do not have to report to class every day. It is still challenging work and as difficult as obtaining a traditional degree. Students should not feel that because the degree is obtained online that it is easier or requires less time to complete. Online physical education programs can be completed by participating full or part time. The average length for a bachelor’s degree in physical education is four years.

PE DegreeDo Schools Accept Online Degrees for Teachers?

Most public schools accept degrees as long as they are accredited, regardless if they’re obtained online or through a traditional setting. Most schools hire a candidate they need specifically for that position, so you will have already submitted proof of degree and your teacher’s exam score before appearing in front of the committee for an interview.

You may have multiple interviews with the school board and then the individual school that has an open position. In some cases, fellow physical education teachers at the school will be part of the interview panel. For others, it will only be the school principal and other administrators who interview potential candidates.

Is it Easy to Find a Job With a Physical Education Degree?

Many schools are cutting budgets, leaving little money for enhanced physical education programs. While it is an area of concern, there are no immediate signs of growth for physical education instructors in schools. People do leave their jobs at times, so it is possible to find employment, but it is not a booming area. Physical education majors are more likely to find gainful employment at the administrative level, creating fitness programs and techniques for schools and organizations.

Those with a physical education degree can work at gyms or as freelance trainers. The latter requires building up a sizeable clientele in order to work full time. Some trainers split their time between teaching classes through a fitness center or gym and working with freelance clients.

A Master of Physical Education Degree

The Master of Physical Education degree is not required to work as a teacher or instructor, but it can increase your pay if you choose to work in these positions. It also prepares students for high ranking positions within the fitness field. A Master of Physical Education degree along with a concentration in business or management allows a student to work as a manager at a gym or within corporate for major fitness brands and companies. Those with a master’s degree in the subject can also work for high end spas and gyms that require significant one-on-one interaction with clients. Many of these facilities want to provide clients with the experience of a top notch trainer who understands the science behind fitness and how the body gets healthy. They want to provide clients with a trainer who is personable and knowledgeable, making this an ideal position for someone with a master’s degree and experience working to get people in shape.

Jobs like these are most common in large metropolitan cities like LA, New York and Miami. Clients want to know the how and why of what’s going on with the health and bodies, as well as how to improve themselves. Someone with a master’s can explain these things in depth versus learning from a trainer with only basic certification. As health becomes a major area for disease prevention, more gyms and fitness centers will be looking for highly qualified physical education instructors who can explain the science of health to clients. Look for these positions on physical fitness job sites and by networking with people in the industry in your area. It is usually spas with fitness facilities and gyms that hire for these positions, which are essentially consultant positions that prep clients for fitness programs and regularly check in to gauge progress. Often high end hotels with gyms that allow public memberships also have a position like this.

The Fitness Industry and the Web

One area where the fitness industry is growing is the Internet. People around the globe are eager to get fit and take action for a healthy lifestyle. Websites, online magazines and interactive segments for major brands, companies and local TV stations and publications are all areas someone with a professional background in fitness can explore. You should well-versed with writing and conveying ideas to the public in a way that’s easy to digest. For some trainers, this is also a way to raise their profile and brand, while educating the public on fitness and health. Physical education majors who wish to go this route may consider additional courses in marketing and writing to enhance their abilities when contributing to online sources.

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