Job type

PE teacher

£18k - £41k

Typical salary

33 – 35

Hours per week

Physical education (PE) teachers work in secondary schools and colleges, teaching sport and fitness to young people.

More info

  • Teach sport and fitness to pupils in secondary schools
  • You'll need to be a qualified teacher and have good physical fitness and specialist knowledge of sport and fitness
  • Progress into school leadership roles like head of department, assistant headteacher or headteacher

As a PE teacher, you'll work in state or independent schools and colleges, including free schools, academies, sixth forms and the further education sector.


  • Prepare lessons and teach materials
  • Teach classes of different ages and abilities
  • Manage class behaviour
  • Arrange matches with other schools and colleges
  • Set and mark homework and assignments and prepare for exams
  • Attend meetings and training
  • Talk to parents and carers about their children's progress
  • Organise events like sports days and field trips


You could work at a school or at a college, and your working environment might be outdoors in all weathers.

You'll need

To be a PE teacher, you'll need knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses, the ability to use your initiative, knowledge of English language, the ability to work well with others, excellent verbal communication, leadership skills, sensitivity and understanding, and the ability to teach pupils how to do something.

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.

You could also get into this job through a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship, if you have a degree.

You may be able to get into teaching, if you're a PE or sports graduate, by working as a sports coach in a school, then moving onto a teacher training programme. You'll need coaching qualifications in your specialist sport to do this.

Paid or voluntary work with young people would be useful but not essential, such as at a school, doing youth work, or coaching at a sports club.

You'll need to pass numeracy and literacy skills tests, as well as enhanced background checks.


With experience, you could become a specialist leader of education, supporting teachers in other schools. You could also be a curriculum leader, head of department, deputy head or headteacher. You could use your experience to work in coaching or sports development.