Salary Information for Physical Education Graduates
Most graduates with degrees in physical education go on to work at an elementary, middle, or high school as physical education and health teachers. While there are many more career paths for people with health education degrees, careers as teachers tend to be very popular.
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 Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically teach children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, and their median pay in 2012 was $53,090 per year. In 2012 there were 1,519,700 people working as kindergarden and elementary education teachers and the job growth should be around 12% between 2012-2022.
Salary Information for Middle School Teachers
Physical education teachers interested in working with older children can consider teaching at the middle school level. Middle school teachers build on the foundation that students learn in elementary school and help prepare the future high school students for the more difficult workload. They teach students between the sixth and eighth grades and made a median salary of $53,430 per year in 2012. There were 614,400 middle school teachers in 2012 and the job growth rate between 2012-2022 is expected to be 12%.
Salary Information for High School Teachers
Physical education teachers interested in working with teens should consider teaching at the high-school level. These teachers help prepare students for life after graduation, whether it’s college or working, and usually serve expanded roles as athletic coaches as well. In 2012 there were 955,800 people working as high school teachers making an annual salary of $55,050. This is slightly higher than the salaries of other teachers, but the job growth between 2012-2022 is only expected to be 6%.
As in all careers, the salary of a high school teacher can vary quite a bit based on education, experience, location, sector. Of course, those with more education and experience will, on average, make more money than less educated and younger teachers, and teachers working in private schools will make more than those working in public schools. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual wage of the 90% percentile of high school teachers was $86,720. Listed below are the five states with the top paying salaries in secondary education:
- New York at $75,250
- Alaska at $41,040
- New Jersey at $70,870
- Rhode Island at $69,990
- Massachusetts at $69,340
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 $53,800 in May of 2011. With a master’s degree, you may earn more. States with the highest employment level in this occupation include:
- New York
However, the top paying states for health educators are
- Maryland at $83,140
- District of Columbia at $74,710
- Georgia at $74,150
- Rhode Island at $66,270
- Delaware at $64,570
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