Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Health & Physical Education

Find Schools Near

2020 Health & Physical Education Degree Guide

If you enjoy working out and helping other get into shape, consider majoring in Health and Physical Education/Fitness.

In this major you will get to take classes in exercise science, biology, anatomy, physical education, nutrition, exercise techniques, and injury prevention. These classes will prepare you to teach others proper exercise and nutrition, monitor gym facilities, teach physical education classes, and improve athletic performance. A degree in this field allows students to work in a relaxed environment while improving the health and lifestyle of others.

While the general Health and Physical Education/Fitness major will allow students to learn about the field as a whole, some may decide they want to focus on a specific aspect of health and fitness. Areas of specialization available to students are Sport and Fitness Administration and Management, Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Physical Fitness Technician, and Sports Studies.

Health & Physical Education Degrees Growing in Popularity

#17 Most Popular Major
63.9k Degrees Awarded
2.1% Increase in Graduates

In 2017-2018, health and physical education was the 17th most popular major nationwide with 63,893 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 1,339 over the prior year, a growth of 2.1%.

The United States has 829 different schools where you can get a degree in health and physical education. Our 2020 Best Colleges for Health & Physical Education ranking analyzes 457 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for health and physical education students. Explore this or one of our many other custom phys ed rankings further below.

Health & Physical Education Degree Requirements

Students in Health and Physical Education will have to work closely with others, making interpersonal skills extremely important. Trainers and other health professionals must have the customer service skills to sell their services to new customers as well as retain those they already work with. Listening and problem solving skills will help professionals listen to the issues and goals of clients and develop health and exercise plans to help them meet those goals.

Health and Physical Education professionals work full time in varying environments. Those who pursue Physical Education often work in a school setting, while trainers and fitness technicians are employed in gyms or recreation centers. Some graduates work as personal trainers and may travel to clients' homes.

Summer jobs and internships will allow students to work in the field as fitness class instructors or other lower level employees. This experience will allow students to work in the field and decide if they wish to make it a career.

Along with a degree in Health and Physical Education/Fitness, professionals must also be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). While some employers will provide this training, graduates who already have the certification will be more competitive in the job market.

Phys Ed Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional phys ed certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Health & Physical Education Degree

There are many different phys ed degrees levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in health and physical education to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. Different health and physical education degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A master's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to phys ed, with approximately 28.8% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for phys ed workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Master’s Degree 30.5%
Bachelor’s Degree 27.4%
Doctoral Degree 10.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 7.9%
Post-Secondary Certificate 6.4%

Most workers in phys ed have at least a bachelor's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in health and physical education have received.

undefined

This of course varies depending on which phys ed career you choose.

Phys Ed Careers

Average Number of Jobs
$29.7k Average Starting Salary
12% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Health and Physical Education/Fitness graduates have found jobs in a variety of locations from recreation centers and gyms to schools, resorts, health clubs, and hospitals. Since graduates have the skills to personalize fitness programs, some have decided to become self-employed.

Many people are beginning to understand the importance of health and fitness, causing an increased demand for professionals in this field.

Solid Growth Projected for Phys Ed Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your phys ed degree? Health & Physical Education careers are expected to grow 11.8% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to health and physical education.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors 329,200 10.0%
Coaches and Scouts 311,700 12.9%
Athletic Trainers 34,100 22.7%
Recreation and Fitness Studies Professors 22,600 9.7%
Exercise Physiologists 17,100 13.2%

How Much Money Do Phys Ed Grads Make?

Health & Physical Education graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $29,694 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $10,100 to as high as $57,000. As you might expect, salaries for phys ed graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

undefined

High Paying Careers for Phys Ed Majors

Salaries for health and physical education graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers phys ed grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Athletes and Sports Competitors $87,030
Recreation and Fitness Studies Professors $72,190
Exercise Physiologists $54,760
Athletic Trainers $49,280
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors $44,580

Getting Your Health & Physical Education Degree

With over 2,932 different phys ed degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased phys ed school rankings to help you with this.

Health & Physical Education is one of 4 different types of Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Recreation Administration 4,172
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 3,541
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 275
Outdoor Education 235

View All Phys Ed Related Majors >

References

Featured Athletic Training Schools

Find Schools Near You