Sports Teacher: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sports teachers are responsible for helping students learn how to play different sports. These teachers generally earn a bachelor's degree and become licensed prior to being qualified to lead a class.

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Job Description of a Sports Teacher

Sports teachers, also known as physical education (PE) teachers, help students learn the rules and objectives of various sports. Physical education teachers also teach students how to live healthy lifestyles by encouraging them to take part in daily exercise and activity.


The duties of a sports or PE teacher include teaching students how to play sports, administering national physical education tests, monitoring students' progress, meeting the physical needs of patients with learning and physical disabilities, grading student's performance and communicating with teachers and parents.

Teachers need to be strong communicators and be comfortable leading classrooms of various sizes. Although most of the time PE teachers are instructing outside of the classroom, they will often teach in a classroom setting as well. Sports teachers are often also athletic coaches for different sports. They frequently work long hours and are required to stay after school to supervise athletic activities.


Aspiring sports teachers typically will need to earn a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in order to land a job. The grade level the prospective sports teacher wants to teach will determine the education specialty within the degree program. Schools offer teaching degree programs in early childhood education, middle school education and high school education, as well as special education for various age groups.

Although there are various education degrees that aspiring educators can earn, courses are similar in many programs. Earning a B.Ed. will generally take students four years. Prospective PE teachers can take electives that focus on teaching PE that might include:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • PE methods
  • Nutrition and health
  • First aid
  • Coaching theory
  • Classroom management

Licensing Requirements

Most states required educators to be licensed in order to teach a classroom. Licensing requirements vary by state, but generally include graduating from an accredited education program, completing required internships and passing certification examinations.

Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment opportunities for all teachers at the elementary and middle school levels, including physical education and sports teachers, will increase 12% from 2012 to 2022. High school teachers are only expected to see a 6% increase over the same period, which is slow compared to the national average for all job sectors. The salaries for these teachers vary little. The BLS reported that elementary school teachers made a median annual salary of $53,590, middle school teachers made a median of $53,940 and high school teachers made a median of $55,360 as of May 2013.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics