What is a PE teacher?

A PE teacher has knowledge of health sciences, the human body and a wide variety of sports including basketball, gymnastics, football, baseball, tennis and aerobics. They are responsible for the education of primary and secondary school students in physical activity and psychomotor learning. Physical education teachers construct different lesson plans for classes of different aged children to help them develop athletic skills and enjoy exercising.

How to become a PE teacher?

To become a PR teacher, you can do a sport or physical education degree with qualified teacher status (QTS). You can also complete a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), if you have a first degree without QTS. This can be done at university or on a school-based training programme.

There are more training options if you want to change careers or specialise in teaching certain subjects.

You can get into this career through a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship, if you have a degree. For the requirements, you’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • GCSE science at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) for primary school teaching
  • Degree for a teaching apprenticeship

PE teacher duties

PE teacher duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • To plan, develop and deliver high quality lessons using a variety of approaches, to continually enhance teaching and learning
  • Make an impact on the experience young people receive through PE and sport
  • Ensure lessons are planned in accordance with departmental scheme of work
  • Assess, record, report on progress / attainment of pupils
  • Prioritise and manage time effectively, ensuring continued professional development in-line with the role
  • Empower students to be leaders in games and sports
  • Teach students about determinants of health
  • Help students explore endurance activities
  • Help students explore both indoor and outdoor physical activities

PE teacher skills

To be an effective PE teacher, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Ability to use your initiative
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • Be able to motivate and inspire pupils of all abilities to take part and learn new skills

How to find a PE teacher job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the PE teacher jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for PE teacher jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

PE Teacher Job Titles

When you search for PE teacher jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for PE teacher jobs include;

  • Phys Ed Teacher
  • Gymnast Teacher
  • Gym Teacher

What does a PE teacher do?

The job of a PE teacher varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of PE teacher job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a PE teacher include;

  • Prepare lessons and teaching materials
  • Teach and coach a range of sports and physical activities to pupils of different ages and abilities
  • Manage class behaviour, motivate and encourage all pupils to take part
  • Work with learning support assistants to help pupils with special educational needs and disabilities
  • Set and mark assignments and prepare pupils for exams
  • Attend meetings and training
  • Talk to parents and carers about their children’s progress
  • Work with other professionals such as educational psychologists, counsellors, social workers and mentors
  • Organise events like sports days, field trips and matches with other schools and colleges
  • Take registers, update records and write reports