PE teachers provide learning experiences that meet the developmental needs of their students while applying standards-based educational programs that ensure all students are learning to cooperate with others and develop positive social skills.
Physical education teacher salaries are determined by individual school districts, but vary based mostly upon experience. However, a number of other factors play a part in determining a physical education teacher’s salary, such as geographic location, grade level, and the level of degree they hold.
PE Teacher Salaries By State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
PE Teacher Salaries According to Level of Education
One of the most significant differences in physical education teacher salaries comes not only as a result of experience, but also as a result of the degree they hold.
New York City schools, for example, starts teachers off at $45,530; however, teachers with additional education beyond a bachelor’s degree earn higher salaries:
- Bachelor’s degree plus 30 credits: $47,124
- Bachelor’s degree plus 60 credits: $50,071
- Approved master’s degree or bachelor’s degree plus 30 credits, with 36 credits in physical education: $51,425
- Bachelor’s degree plus 60 credits and an approved master’s degree or 36 credits in physical education: $54,372
- Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and an additional 30 credits: $57,320
Likewise, Fairfax County schools start teachers with a salary of $45,839. The level of pay goes up from there based on the degree a teacher holds:
- New teachers with a bachelor’s degree plus 15 credits in physical education earn a starting salary of $47,335
- A bachelor’s degree plus 30 credits earns a starting salary of $48,852
- A master’s degree earns a starting salary $51,500
- A master’s degree plus 30 credits in physical education earns a starting salary of $52,960 Ph.D. earns a starting salary of $55,062
PE Teacher Salary Data According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of May 2012, high school teachers in the United States earned a median annual salary of $55,050, with the top 10 percent in the field earning more than $85,000.
The BLS reported that kindergarten teachers earned a median annual salary of $50,120 during the same time, with the top 10 percent earning more than $78,000.
Elementary school teachers earned a median annual salary of $53,400, with the top 10 percent earning more than $83,000.
The BLS reported that coaches earned a median annual salary of $28,360, as of May 2012, although the top 10 percent in this profession earned more than $65,000. Coaches in schools providing instruction at the state, local, and private levels earned a median annual salary of $26,090 during the same period.
The median annual salary for middle school teachers was $53,430 in May 2012, with the top 10 percent earning more than $82,190.
PE Teacher Salary Data According to the National Association of Colleges
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2014 annual salary summary, new teacher graduates earned an average starting salary of $40,863.
Two-thirds of respondents reported that teachers with physical education/coaching degrees earned an average starting salary of $43,700, making them the highest paid teaching graduates, according to the 2014 survey.
Physical education teachers even managed to edge out special education majors, who reported an average salary of $43,000 during the same period.
PE Teacher Salary Data According to the National Education Association
According to the National Education Association’s (NEA) Collective Bargaining/Member Advocacy Teacher Salary Database, the average starting salary for teachers in the United States was $36,141 as of December 2013.
The NEA also reported salaries across the U.S., with teachers in Washington D.C. earning the highest salary, at $51,539, followed by Alaska, at $44,166; New Jersey, at $48,631; and Connecticut, at $42,924.
In the southern United States, Louisiana teachers received the highest starting salary, at $38,655, while the state with the highest starting salary in the northeast was New York, at $43,839.
California topped the western states for starting teaching salaries, at $41,259, while Wyoming was the highest amongst the northwestern states, at $43,269.