what is a PE teacher?

As a physical education (PE) teacher, you instruct pupils and students on sports techniques, fitness and other active recreational activities. You impart knowledge on the basic skills and rules of team and individual sports to build interest and encourage healthy lifestyles. You also supervise students during physical fitness activities and help them improve their techniques. As a PE teacher, you align the syllabus with the recommended curriculum and use it to plan lessons. You grade students based on their attitude and performance and mark written tests and assignments. Aside from coaching physical activities, you also perform administrative tasks with other teachers in the school.

A significant responsibility for PE teachers is preparing the equipment for the training sessions since PE lessons require various sporting equipment. You use educational aides like posters and whiteboards when teaching nutritional values and healthy habits. If the school hosts or participates in inter-school or inter-state sports carnivals, you help organise the events and prepare teams for the competitions. You also plan training sessions and talks on health issues like drug use, sexuality and nutrition.

PE teacher jobs

average salary of a PE teacher

The average remuneration package for a PE teacher is $90,000 per year. In entry-level positions, a PE teacher earns a salary of $80,000 annually. With extensive experience and additional skills, your earnings increase to $95,000 yearly. PE teachers may also enjoy benefits from employers, like annual leave days and sick leave.

how to increase the salary of a PE teacher

The remuneration package of PE teachers depends on various factors. While the essential requirement for PE teachers is a bachelor's degree, having additional qualifications improves your salary. For instance, you are likely to earn more if you have a postgraduate certificate. Your experience also dictates your earning potential. PE teachers with a background in sports or fitness may negotiate a higher salary due to the additional expertise they bring to the role.

Your employer also influences your remuneration potential. For instance, working for private schools pays more than working in public schools. Private schools usually have additional resources and may offer a range of sports, broadening your role's scope. Working in metro areas also has some perks, including better remuneration packages. Metro areas have a higher demand for PE teachers, increasing their earning potential.

Want to know what you will earn as a PE teacher? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

PE teacher salary

types of PE teachers


Some of the types of PE teachers include:

  • aerobics instructors: as a PE teacher, you can train students on the best techniques and practices in aerobics. You help students attain the level of physical fitness required for high-intensity exercises and assess their performance.
  • athletics coaches: as a PE teacher, you train athletes and prepare them for competitions. Your job is to guide them on how to play individually and in teams to improve their performance. You also teach the best strategies, techniques and rules of the sport.
  • secondary school PE teachers: physical education classes are compulsory in the curriculum up to Year 10. That means secondary schools require PE teachers to cover the physical education syllabus to completion. Your job is to teach students sports, athletics and nutrition.
  • kindergarten PE teachers: physical education lessons are introduced into the curriculum when children are in kindergarten. While you don't teach complex games to young children, you build their interest in physical fitness and healthy lifestyles.
types of PE teachers
types of PE teachers

working as a PE teacher

Working as a PE teacher allows you to interact with students and help them develop an interest in exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Let's explore the role's specific duties, work hours and career prospects.


education and skills


Some of the requirements for becoming a PE teacher include:

  • bachelor's degree: the basic qualification for joining the profession is a bachelor's degree in education with a health and physical education major. You may also join a relevant bachelor's degree course like human movement and health science or sports science. The entry requirements for degree courses include completing Year 12 and meeting the Universities Admission Index requirements. Some courses also have prerequisite subjects.
  • postgraduate courses: if your degree course doesn't have a teaching component, you should complete a postgraduate course in education to teach in Australia. Your training includes teaching experience that helps you acquire a professional certification from the state education department. Work experience or a background in fitness or sports helps you secure entry-level jobs.


skills and competencies

As a PE teacher, the following personal attributes are vital for your role:

  • knowledge of health sciences: your job is to promote healthy practices in students and teach them about nutrition. You require human anatomy and general health sciences knowledge to teach students effectively and create lesson plans for physical education classes.
  • enthusiasm: you should be enthusiastic about exercise and physical activities to develop students' interest. Your enthusiasm encourages students to follow your example and become physically active. It also leads to greater class participation.
  • observational skills: you grade students' performance in physical activities by observing their exercises and sports techniques. Good observational skills and attention to detail help you identify minor changes in students' skill levels and write accurate reports on their participation.
  • physical fitness: PE teachers demonstrate exercises and sports techniques to students. Sometimes, you run or participate in basketball games when teaching students techniques. If you are physically fit, it sets a good example and avoids exhaustion. 
  • interpersonal skills: building a rapport with students encourages participation. Communicating with students helps them feel comfortable participating in games or athletics.

FAQs about working as a PE teacher

Here are the most asked questions about working as a PE teacher:

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