(Last Updated On: 09/03/2017)

What Can I Do With a Major in Physical Education?

Physical education majors most commonly work as teachers at the elementary school, middle school, and high school levels.

Approximately 60% of all graduates with physical education degrees work in occupations that are closely related to their field of study, while 40% choose to work in areas unrelated to their major. Graduates who work in unrelated areas commonly work in sales, insurance, real estate, management, and administrative positions.

Some graduates work as personal trainers, where they are able to use their fitness and coaching training to help people achieve their health and fitness goals. Many personal trainers are self-employed, making it a great occupation for entrepreneurs who love to inspire a passion for fitness in others.

Physical education majors make a median salary of $46,000 per year, which is about 17% less than the median salary of all college graduates combined. By the time they reach retirement age, physical education graduates earn a median salary of $55,800 per year.

While the salary numbers are a good guide, don’t put too much emphasis on them. The overall median salaries are brought down significantly by the large percentage of physical education majors who work as teachers. Graduates who enter high level sales positions frequently make salaries in excess of $80,000 per year. Remember, the amount of money that you make is rarely determined by your major. Instead, it’s determined by the direction you take with your career.

Careers for Physical Education Majors

Below is a list of occupations that physical education majors commonly work in. This is not a comprehensive list, but it should give you an idea of the types of work that graduates commonly find.

Occupation Median Salary Median Hourly Current jobs Outlook Required Education
Athletic Trainer $41,600 $20.00 16,350 Good Bachelor’s degree
Chiropractor $67,200 $32.31 49,100 Good Doctoral degree
Coach / Scout $28,340 $13.63 242,900 Good Graduate Degree
College Professor $62,050 $29.83 1,756,000 Good Graduate Degree
Elementary School Teacher $51,660 $24.84 1,549,520 Good Bachelor’s Degree
Fitness Trainer $31,090 $14.95 261,150 Good Varies
High School Teacher $53,230 $25.59 1,109,500 Good Bachelor’s Degree
Middle School Teacher $51,960 $24.98 659,460 Good Bachelor’s Degree
Nutritionist $53,250 $25.60 60,260 Normal Bachelor’s degree
Occupational Therapist $72,320 $34.77 104,500 Good Master’s Degree
Physical Therapist $76,310 $36.69 185,500 Good Master’s Degree
Recreation Worker $22,260 $10.70 327,530 Good On the job training
Recreational Therapist $39,410 $18.95 23,280 Normal Bachelor’s Degree
Umpire / Referee $22,840 $10.98 19,500 Normal Varies