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Physical Education Degrees in Illinois | EducationDegree.com

Physical Education Degrees in Illinois

Many experts believe that physical activity levels are at an all-time low, particularly for children. Access to gaming systems, tablets, and other forms of entertainment have minimized the amount of exercise that children get naturally through playing. In addition, different forms of transportation make it easy to get wherever you need to go without walking or biking.

Physical education in schools is one of the key factors in improving childhood health and ensuring that the next generation develops healthy eating and fitness habits.

Role of Educators with a Physical Education Degree in Illinois

With a PE degree, you may be in a position to start a career you love while contributing to a stronger future in Illinois.

Request information from Illinois physical education programs below to learn more.


The need for physical activity in childhood has not gone unnoticed in Illinois. Gym teachers and others within this field work toward common goals in groups like the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

They advocate for gym requirements in schools and try to encourage active fitness habits outside of school settings. This group runs a number of events each year. They increase public awareness, provide incentives for physical activity, and benefit other causes. Some of the programs that this group is responsible for in Illinois include Enhanced Physical Education, Jump Rope for Heart, and Let’s Move in Schools.

Do you have what it takes to succeed in Illinois schools? Find the right degree program for you by requesting information on how to become a PE teacher below.

Getting Your Physical Education Degree in Illinois

Education is a licensed field throughout the United States, and each state has slightly different learning and licensing requirements. To work in Illinois, a state known for its high education standards, you must enroll at a state-approved teacher education program.

Most programs culminate in a Bachelor’s degree, but students with Bachelor’s degrees may look into alternative licensing options and Master’s degree programs.
Earning a Bachelor’s degree in physical education requires you to earn 120 credits. A physical education degree includes general teaching courses, coursework in exercise science, and field experience classes.

To gain the experience you need to be a competent gym teacher, you may take classes like:

  • Team Sports
  • Individual Sports
  • Teaching Team Sports Methods
  • Teaching Individual Sports Methods
  • Motor Behavior
  • Biomechanics of Human Movement
  • Foundations, Organization, and Administration of Physical Education
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Methods of Teaching Elementary Education
  • Methods of Teaching Secondary Education
  • Measurement and Evaluation in Physical Education

As you compare Illinois schools, look into curricular requirements. The more field experience you get as a teaching student, the more well-equipped you may be to begin a teaching career after graduation. The ideal situation involves a teaching experience course in your first year and several throughout your education.

The final requirement for physical education teachers is a semester of student teaching. Since physical education teaching licensure covers all grades from kindergarten through 12th grade, your student teaching assignment should require you to work with many different grade levels.

After you have earned your degree, you must become a licensed teacher before you begin working. This process is regulated by the Illinois State Board of Education. In addition to passing a background check, submitting your transcripts, and sending in an application, you must pass the physical education licensure test. This test is administered by the Illinois Licensure Testing System. Once this process is complete, you may begin working in Illinois schools.

If you do well during your student teaching assignment, you may secure a teaching position before getting your license. However, you cannot actually work until you are licensed.

As a teaching student, you should develop an understanding of the importance of physical education in Illinois school systems. Discover how physical education can improve student self-esteem, give them a natural outlet for their emotions, and help them interact more effectively with their peers. Many students do not get the chance to play sports outside of school, and physical education is their opportunity to uncover hidden talents.

Working with a Physical Education Degree in Illinois

There’s a lot involved in building a teaching career. Before you begin your first year as a teacher, you have to create a curriculum, plan courses, and make sure you have the materials you need to carry out your curricular plans.

This may be particularly time-consuming for physical education teachers, since they often work with multiple classes at any given time. Your curricular plans may cover diverse subjects like team sports, adaptive physical education skills, individual sports, healthy eating habits, and teamwork.

Salaries are set at the district level, but average salary data can give you an overview of this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of $69,300 per year for Illinois elementary school teachers (2016). Their data shows that secondary school teachers claim an average income of $59,680 annually (BLS, 2016).

The job outlook in Illinois is positive for teachers. Through 2022, O*Net expects a 7% increase in elementary school teaching jobs (2016). Each year between 2012 and 2022, they predict an average of 1380 new job openings for secondary school teachers (O*Net, 2016).

This is the time to focus on your education and improve health in Illinois. Learn more about PE teacher degrees—Illinois schools are listed below.