If you have a passion for healthy living and physical activity, why not promote public wellness and physical education by training to be a coach, teacher, personal trainer, health facility manager, or recreation director.  Or you can prepare for graduate study in physical or occupational therapy, exercise physiology, or sports medicine.  Small class sizes mean lots of hands-on, active learning with professors who take a personal interest in their students’ well being and success.  

Students may elect courses that prepare them for careers as elementary or secondary physical education teachers. A major in Physical Education will also prepare the student for a career in the public or private sector of recreation or coaching. 

Job Outlook

Employment of high school teachers is expected to grow by seven percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Overall growth is expected due to declines in student-to-teacher ratios and increases in enrollment. However, employment growth will vary by region.

Employment of coaches and scouts is expected to grow 29 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Those who are state-certified to teach academic subjects are likely to have the best prospects for getting coaching and instructor jobs in elementary, middle, and high schools. The need to replace coaches who change occupations or leave the labor force also will provide some jobs. Very strong competition is expected for jobs at the college or professional level.

Earnings

The median annual wage of high school teachers was $53,230 in May 2010. The median annual wage of coaches and scouts was $28,340 in May 2010.

Educational Qualifications

While majoring in a content area, future teachers enroll in the teacher preparation program and take classes in education and child psychology. Teacher preparation programs instruct how to present information to students and how to work with students of varying abilities and backgrounds. The program includes fieldwork, such as student teaching. Some states require high school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification. All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed. 

Curriculum Guide. To view general education requirements for this major, please visit the catalog.

Careers

A degree from the Kinesiology department prepares you for work in a hospital, school, fitness center, or gymnasium.  It also serves as preparation for graduate education in physical or occupational therapy, exercise physiology, or sports medicine.  Additional certifications offered in connection with degrees in the Kinesiology department increase employment opportunities.

Professions

  • Physical Therapist
  • Teacher
  • Coach
  • Trainer
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Recreational Director
  • Athletic Administrator
  • Fitness Specialist

39%
Expected employment growth of physical therapists 2010 to 2020

Faculty Profiles

Vesa Naukkarinen, MS

Kinesiology
Associate Professor
Email:

Chad Hutchinson, MS

Kinesiology
Assistant Professor
Email:

Paulino Santos-Andino, Ed.D.

Kinesiology
Assistant Professor and Department Chair
Email:

Request Information