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PE teacher

Physical education (PE) teachers work in schools and colleges, teaching sport and fitness to young people.

Annual Salary

£30,000 to £47,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 45 term time

You could work: evenings / weekends; attending events or appointments

Future employment

There will be 4.3% more PE teacher jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You will:

  • plan lessons and coaching sessions
  • teach a range of sports and physical activities to students of different ages and abilities
  • motivate students to fulfil their potential
  • set and mark assignments, and update school records
  • talk to parents and carers about their children's progress
  • work with other professionals like mentors, educational psychologists and social workers
  • organise sports days, field trips and matches with other schools and colleges

Working environment

You could work at a school or at a college.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You can do a sport or physical education degree with qualified teacher status (QTS).

You can also complete a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), if you have a first degree without QTS. This can be done at university or on a school-based training programme.

There are more training options if you're a career changer or want to specialise in teaching certain subjects.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • GCSE science at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) for primary school teaching
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You could get into this career through a Teacher Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship, if you have a degree.

This takes 12 months to complete and involves training while you work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • GCSE science at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) for primary school teaching
  • a degree for a teaching apprenticeship
For more information

If you're a PE or sports graduate, you may be able to get into teaching by working as a sports coach in a school or college, then moving onto a teacher training programme.

You'll need coaching qualifications in your specialist sport to do this.

Volunteering and work experience

You'll find it helpful to get some experience of working with young people though this is not essential. You can do this through paid work or by volunteering at a school, doing youth work or coaching at a sports club.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

You can attend teacher training events before you apply to get advice about the profession, the different training routes and funding. You can attend events in person and online.

A driving licence would be useful, as you may be expected to drive a minibus to take teams to sporting fixtures and events.

Further information

You can find out more about how to become a teacher from Get Into Teaching.

You can also search for jobs through the Teaching Vacancies service.

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With experience, you could become a leading practitioner, supporting teaching staff, particularly those relatively new to the profession. You might also gain promotion to head of department, deputy head or headteacher.

You could use your skills and experience to move into coaching, sports development or the fitness industry.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • be able to motivate and inspire pupils of all abilities to take part and learn new skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • leadership skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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