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Physical Education Degrees in Alabama

Physical education is a crucial component of the teaching system in Alabama. With a degree in physical education, you can help students create healthy lifestyle habits and hobbies that improve their quality of life for years to come.

Earning a degree in physical education involves learning how children of various ages take in information, process it, and react to it. On top of that, you study physical health, athletics, and anatomy. By the time you graduate, you should be able to combine this large body of information and use it effectively in a gym class.

Role of Educators with a Physical Education Degree in Alabama

With Alabama’s teacher shortage, there’s a growing need for graduates who are passionate about this field. Find out how to become a PE a teacher by contacting Alabama programs below.


As an Alabama physical education educator, you fill an important role in students’ daily routine. Alabama has an above-average obesity rate; the Center for Disease Control reports that between 30% and 35% of adults in Alabama are clinically obese (2016). The habits that lead to this issue are developed in childhood, so the work you do can actually strengthen the state as a whole.

Physical activity is a priority in Alabama. The Alabama State Department of Education requires students from kindergarten through sixth grade to get 30 minutes of physical education per day. This increases to 50 minutes per day for seventh and eighth graders. Whether you choose to work in elementary or secondary school, you can use your expertise to create activities and games that students enjoy. As a result, you can help them develop a lifelong love of exercise and sports.

If you’re ready to start an exciting new career and meet an area of need in Alabama, check out the list of physical education degrees Alabama has to offer below.

Getting Your Physical Education Degree in Alabama

The process of becoming a physical education teacher include several steps. First, you have to attend an accredited teacher education and licensure program in the state of Alabama. The vast majority of programs are developed for students who have not yet earned a degree. These programs lead to a Bachelor’s degree in physical education.

However, there are alternative certification and Master’s degree options for students who already have an undergraduate degree.

To earn a Bachelor’s degree in physical education, you need to earn a minimum of 120 credits. This takes place over approximately eight semesters. After completing general education courses, you may get accepted to the teaching program and begin your teaching theory classes. Most Alabama institutions offer early field experiences in your chosen area of expertise, giving you the chance to decide if you have chosen the right teaching specialty and become comfortable with students.

Many of the courses required in this degree address general teaching theories and theories that are unique to physical education. Because of your teaching specialty, you should also plan on taking courses in anatomy, physiology, and exercise science.

Courses that are commonly required in Physical Ed teaching programs are listed below with typical credit requirements:

  • Introduction to Teaching and Learning (3 credits)
  • Field Experience (multiple 1 credit courses)
  • Methods of Teaching Physical Education (3 credits)
  • Measurement and Assessment (3 credits)
  • Teaching, Coaching and Officiating Sports (3 credits)
  • Teaching Elementary Games and Activities (3 credits)
  • Motor Learning and Motor Development (3 credits)
  • Adapted Physical Education (3 credits)
  • Teaching Aspects of Physical Education (3 credits)
  • Kinesiology (3 credits)
  • Exercise Physiology (3 credits)
  • Student Teaching (12 credits)

Student teaching is the final line on this list because it takes up the entire final semester of your degree. Although this course only includes 12 credits, you are expected to work 40 hours per week in your assigned classroom as a student teacher.

Because of the amount of work that goes into teaching, many schools forbid students from holding outside jobs while student teaching. This gives you the freedom to attend additional training events, go to special school events, and complete grading or lesson preparation as necessary.

Studying physical education can be extremely rewarding. If you talk to adults, most have memories of at least one strict or overly demanding physical education teacher. By earning your license and working in this field, you can ensure that Alabama students have a positive, rewarding, and encouraging experience in gym class. Teaching students to enjoy sports and feel good about themselves after exercising is an accomplishment that can completely change their future health choices and habits.

As you think about different PE teaching degrees, AL schools can help you make the decision that’s right for you. Contact schools below to get in touch with advisors at Alabama colleges and universities.

Working with a Physical Education in Alabama

After you have completed your degree, you can finish the rest of the teacher licensing process in Alabama. The Alabama State Department of Education requires you to pass the Praxis Subject Assessment that relates to your area of licensure. In your field, that means passing the Physical Education: Content Knowledge exam.

The job outlook and salary that await you depend largely on what grade level you want to teach. At all grade levels, physical education has to be taught by a teacher who is certified in the subject area, so you may choose to work with elementary students, middle school students, or high school students.

In Alabama, elementary school teachers report an average salary of $49,120per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Secondary school teachers earn an average of $50,060 annually (BLS, 2016). Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects job openings for elementary teachers to increase 12% and job openings for secondary teachers to increase 5% (2016).

Getting involved with local teaching organizations can help you build valuable connections and learn about your school’s culture. The Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance is a great resource for physical education teachers who want to advocate for healthy habits in Alabama.

A physical education degree can put you in a great position to start a meaningful, in-demand career. Reach out to Alabama programs below to get more information on physical education degrees.

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