What is a Physical Education Professor?
A Physical Education Professor is someone who teaches students about the importance of being physically active and how to stay healthy. They may also teach students how to play sports and how to exercise safely. Physical education professors typically work at colleges and universities, but they may also work at elementary or secondary schools.
What Does a Physical Education Professor Do?
A physical education professor's job duties can vary depending on their employer, but typically they are responsible for teaching classes, developing curricula, and assessing student progress. They may also be involved in advising students, conducting research, and publishing their findings. In addition, physical education professors often collaborate with other teachers and professionals in order to create well-rounded educational programs. Another large part of a physical education professor's job is to stay up-to-date on current trends and educational techniques.
Is This Career Right for Me?
If you enjoy working with students and are passionate about helping them stay healthy, then a career as a physical education professor may be right for you. You should be patient and detail-oriented, and you should also enjoy working with a team to achieve goals.
Essential skills a Physical Education Professor needs
- Excellent communication and public speaking skills – Physical education professors must be able to communicate effectively with students, colleagues, and the public.
- Strong teaching skills – Physical education professors must be able to convey complex information in an easy-to-understand way, and they must be good instructors.
- Knowledge of subject matter – Physical education professors must be knowledgeable about a variety of topics related to physical activity, including nutrition, injury prevention, and sports medicine.
- Leadership abilities – Physical education professors must be able to lead by example and inspire their students to stay active and healthy.
- Critical thinking skills – Physical education professors must be able to think critically about current research in the field and determine what is best for their students.
- Computer skills – Physical education professors must be able to learn new computer software and utilize it in order to stay current with trends in the field and communicate with students, colleagues, and the public about these trends.
- Problem-solving skills – Physical education professors must be able to solve problems related to issues such as student fitness levels and student behavior in the school's physical activity programs.
- Excellent organizational skills - Physical education professors must be able to stay organized when creating curricula for classes and staying up-to-date on deadlines; they also need good time management abilities in order to meet all of the different demands placed upon them by their job responsibilities.
- Good interpersonal skills – Physical education professors must be able to work well with others, including students, colleagues, and the public.
- Patience – Physical education professors must have patience when dealing with challenging students and when teaching difficult concepts.
- Creativity – Physical education professors need to be creative in order to come up with new ideas for classes and activities.
- Stamina – Physical education professors must be physically fit in order to participate in physical activity with their students and model healthy behavior.
- Strong leadership skills – Physical education professors must be able to lead by example and inspire their students to stay active and healthy.
How Can You Prepare?
A bachelor's degree or higher is typically required for teaching positions at the college level. In addition, most employers require their physical education professors to hold a teaching certification and/or be CPR-certified. Prospective students should take classes in fitness training, health promotion, human anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, injury prevention and treatment, coaching techniques, exercise programming for special populations (seniors), nutrition, program development and assessment, strength training and conditioning methods. Many colleges offer a master's degree that can help prospective physical education professors advance their careers by allowing them to gain leadership skills and earn promotions within the school system where they are employed. Physical Education Professor needs also needs excellent communication and public speaking skills. Many professors also find it beneficial to obtain certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) or American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
What Should I Major in to Become a Physical Education Professor?
A bachelor's degree in physical education, kinesiology, sports administration, or a related field is the typical route to becoming a physical education professor. However, other majors can also lead to this career path. For example, students who major in mathematics, engineering, or business may become physical education professors if they take classes in anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, exercise science, and sports psychology.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Physical Education Professor?
It takes approximately 4 years to earn a bachelor's degree and another 2-4 years to gain teaching experience, depending on the level of physical education professor you want to become. Higher-level positions usually require a master's degree or PHD in physical education. Some college athletic programs allow students to work as graduate assistants while pursuing their bachelor's degree; this provides valuable coaching, communication, and organizational skills that can lead to future opportunities as a physical education professor.
Most Common Colleges to earn Physical Education Professor Degree
There are many different colleges that offer degrees in physical education. Some of the most common schools are listed below.
- University of California, Berkeley
- Pennsylvania State University
- Texas A&M University
- East Carolina University
- The Ohio State University
- Indiana University Bloomington
Benefits of Being a Physical Education Professor
There are many benefits to becoming a physical education professor. Some of the most notable benefits are listed below.
- Flexible work schedule: Most professors have the flexibility to work a variety of hours, which allows them to balance their work and personal life.
- Good pay: The average salary for a physical education professor is approximately $60,000.
- Opportunities for professional development: Physical education professors have the opportunity to attend national and international conferences to learn new techniques and stay up-to-date on the latest research.
- Job security: Due to the increasing popularity of physical education, there is a high demand for physical education professors, which leads to job security.
Drawbacks of Being a Physical Education Professor
Although there are many benefits to this profession, there are some drawbacks. Some of the most notable drawbacks are listed below.
- Long hours: Many physical education professors work long hours due to weekly lesson plans and after-school commitments with students.
- Stressful working environment: A professor may experience high-stress levels due to difficult students, demanding supervisors, and issues that arise within the school district.
- Little to no free time: Many professors work during the evenings and weekends, which leaves little to no personal time.
- Lack of respect: Not everyone is aware of what a professor does for a living; therefore, they may not receive the same amount of respect as other professionals do.
The following are some of the key responsibilities associated with this role:
- Teach physical education courses at the college or university level: This includes teaching the theory and principles of physical education, coaching students, and mentoring new faculty.
- Develop and implement curricula: Professors must create lesson plans that align with state and national standards.
- Research and publish scholarly work: Professors are responsible for conducting research and publishing their findings in peer-reviewed journals.
- Advise students: Professors provide guidance to students who are interested in a career in physical education.
- Participate in professional development: Physical education professors stay current on best practices by attending workshops, conferences, and webinars.
- Maintain professional relationships: Professors build relationships with other professionals in the field to collaborate on projects and share resources.
- Evaluate students: Professors perform evaluations that determine a student's progress throughout their courses.
- Serve as a role model: Professors serve as role models for current and future physical education students.
The role of a physical education professor can be extremely rewarding. This profession allows educators to share their love of physical activity with the next generation of students. Physical education professors have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities. They also have the ability to conduct research, publish scholarly work, and attend professional development workshops. Although there are some drawbacks to this career, such as long hours and stress, the majority of physical education professors report high levels of job satisfaction. So, if you are looking for a career that allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of others, then becoming a physical education professor may be the perfect fit for you!
Prerequisites to Being a Physical Education Professor
Although there are no official prerequisites to becoming a physical education professor, some institutions may require applicants to have earned a master's degree or higher before they can be considered for the position. In addition, most institutions require faculty members to bring their own laptop or mobile device in order to conduct online or onsite lectures and presentations. Furthermore, universities may also ask candidates to hold certification in CPR and first aid.
Average Physical Education Professor Salary by Education Level
The average salaries for physical education professors based on their level of education are as follows:
- Bachelor's degree: $48,000
- Master's degree: $53,000
- Doctorate degree: $64,000
Average Salary of Physical Education Professor by State
The average salary for a physical education professor varies by state. The following table lists the five states with the highest salaries.
- New York: $71,000
- California: $70,500
- Massachusetts: $69,000
- Maryland: $68,500
- Washington, D.C.: $68,000
The following are the five states with the lowest salaries for this profession.
- South Dakota: $39,000
- Oklahoma: $41,000
- Indiana: $42,000
- Mississippi: $43,000
- Arkansas: $43,500
Average Salary for Physical Education Professor by Position
The average salaries for physical education professors also vary by position. The following list includes some of the most common positions within this field, along with their salary ranges.
- Middle School Teacher: $46,200 - $68,100
- High School Teacher: $47,500 - $73,070
- Kindergarten Teacher: $35,000 - $62,000 (According to BLS)
Average Salary of a Physical Education Professor by Age
The age of physical education professors also affects their salaries; therefore, the table below lists the average salaries for people in this profession according to their age group.
- Less than 30 years old: $52,000 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- 30 to 39 years old: $52,000 - $72,000 (According To American College Personnel Association)
- 40 to 49 years old: $54,500 - $76,200 (ACPA)
- 50 to 59 years old: $61,090 - $83,270
Career Pathways for Physical Education Professor
Some high school students who are interested in a career as a physical education professor may not know exactly what they want to do when they enter college. This is why it's important for students to research potential career pathways that align with their interests and goals. Some of the most common areas of study for future physical education professors include:
- Health and Physical Education
- Kinesiology/Exercise Science
- Sports Management
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that professional certification and involvement in professional societies can provide job seekers an advantage in their field; therefore, aspiring physical education professors may benefit from obtaining one or both of these credentials.
The following are some potential career pathways for a Physical Education Professor :
- Teacher: If you want to be a physical education professor, teaching is the primary route that most people choose. There are many different levels of teaching, including middle school teacher and high school teacher
- Researcher/Academic: This route would require an additional degree, but it's very common for professors who teach at universities to spend some of their time doing research.
- Coach: Working as a coach is one way for physical education majors to stay active in educating students about various sports.
- A therapist or Other Health Care Provider: There are many opportunities for physical education professors to work in the health care industry. Some examples include being a therapist, a personal trainer, or working in an athletic training room.
- Administrator: This position would require experience in the field of physical education and managing a team of people. Some common administrative positions include Director of Physical Education, Athletic Director, and Principal.
- Other: There are many other options for those who want to become physical education professors that are not listed here. It's important to explore all of your options and find the best fit for you!
Career Outlook for Physical Education Professor
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for physical education professors are expected to increase by 12 percent through 2026. This growth is much faster than average, which means there will be more jobs available in this field for people who want them. Many school districts are introducing an increased focus on fitness and health; therefore, they're hiring additional physical education teachers/professors to meet these needs. However, increases in employment require that schools hire highly-qualified individuals; therefore, some schools tend to favor applicants with specializations or doctoral degrees.
So what does it take to become a physical education professor? First and foremost, it is important to have a love for teaching and working with students. In addition, it's important to complete the necessary education and/or training to obtain this position. Next, you'll need to earn certification and gain experience in your field. Finally, physical education professors should continuously learn and stay up-to-date with new advancements and research within their industry.