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Salary Information for Physical Education Graduates

Salary and JobsMost graduates with degrees in physical education go on to work at an elementary, middle, or high school as physical education and health teachers.

The type of teacher you choose to become should depend on the specific age group you like to teach. How much can you earn teaching at these various age levels? Let’s take a look at the salary information for teachers, based on studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary Information for Elementary Teachers

Elementary school teachers typically deal with children between the ages of 5 and 10 and they make an average of $54,330 annually, with most earning between $41,750  and $64,890 annually. Top paying positions for elementary school teachers can be found in the following states: Alaska, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia.

Salary Information for Middle School Teachers

If you’re interested in working with slightly older children (ages 10 to 14, approximately), you can consider becoming a middle school physical education teacher. On average, teaching at this level makes it possible for you to earn an average of $54,880 annually, just slightly more than you’ll earn as an elementary school teacher.

Most teachers at this level make between $42,070  and $65,450  annually. At the middle school level, the top-paying jobs can be found in New York, Connecticut, Alaska, Maryland, and New Jersey.

Salary Information for High School Teachers

Physical education teachers interested in working with older children can consider teaching at a high school level and work with teens. High school teachers earn slightly more – an average of $55,990 annually with most teachers earning between $42,670 and $67,210  annually. The highest-paying positions are located in the following states: New York, Alaska, Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Making More Money as a Physical Education Graduate

Want to make more money as a physical education teacher? No matter what level you teach at, here are a few tips you can use to earn a higher salary:

  • Earn a master’s degree in your field.
  • Take on activities responsibilities, such as coaching after school.
  • Continue working at a single school throughout your career.
  • Work in a high-need area (which also allows you to apply for loan forgiveness programs in some cases).
  • Work for a private school rather than a public school.

If you want to work as a health educator, you will likely have to take additional courses as well as complete a certification exam, depending on where you live and the type of employer. A health educator provides and manages health education programs that help people maximize and maintain healthy lifestyles. Some schools hire full-time health educators with a physical education background.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, health educators earned a mean annual wage of $52,150 in May of 2011. With a master’s degree, you may earn more. States with the highest employment level in this occupation include:

  • California
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • Pennsylvania

The Best Online Physical Education Degrees

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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Argosy University
Sports Exercise Psychology (MA)
Argosy University's MA in Sports Exercise Psychology features courses in Managing Personal Health, Healthy Eating Habits, Exercise Science Terminology, Fitness Anatomy and Physiology, Flexibility Training and Injury Prevention, and Stress Management Techniques. This distance learning program gives you the skills to work in fitness and health fields.
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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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