Health & Physical Education
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Health & Physical Education Overview

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.

Required Skills

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.


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. With the job market growing at a faster than average pace, graduates should have no problem finding a job, especially those with CPR certification.

Health and Physical Education/Fitness graduates earn and average starting salary of $34,314 and mid-career salary of $56,287.

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Related Majors

Explore all the majors withing the field of Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies

Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Health & Physical Education might open up.

Athletes and Sports Competitors
Athletic Trainers
Coaches and Scouts
Exercise Physiologists
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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