Health & Physical Education
Types of Degrees Health & Physical Education Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many health and physical education graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Health & Physical Education Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to phys ed and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Phys Ed Majors
Phys Ed majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Skills for Phys Ed Majors
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to phys ed:
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Abilities for Phys Ed Majors
Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a phys ed student include the following:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
What Can You Do With a Health & Physical Education Major?
People with a phys ed degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Athletes and Sports Competitors||7.6%||$50,650|
|Coaches and Scouts||12.9%||$33,780|
|Recreation and Fitness Studies Professors||9.7%||$62,620|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Health & Physical Education?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of phys ed majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||1,226|
|Hispanic or Latino||774|
Phys Ed appeals to people across the globe. About 5.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
How Much Do Health & Physical Education Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The median early-career salary of health and physical education students with a master’s degree is $39,200 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $36,000 (25th percentile) and $42,425 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a phys ed degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Phys Ed majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $44,580 to $72,190 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Health & Physical Education
Some degrees associated with phys ed may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to phys ed have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||5.9%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||5.9%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||6.4%|
|Some College Courses||2.3%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||7.9%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||1.9%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||1.3%|
Online Health & Physical Education Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 1,358 schools offered some type of health and physical education program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||224||4|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||123||4|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||4||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||64||4|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||1||0|
Is a Degree in Health & Physical Education Worth It?
The median salary for a phys ed grad is $49,280 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 24% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $187,600 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Health & Physical Education
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to phys ed.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies||3,561|
|Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies||227|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.