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Physical education (PE) teacher

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Summary of occupation

PE teachers instruct and supervise school students in sports and other physical fitness activities. They teach the basic skills, techniques and rules associated with a wide range of team and individual sports, and encourage students to lead a healthy and active life. In most schools, PE teachers are responsible for organising and coordinating annual athletics, swimming and cross-country sports carnivals, both within the school and in competition with other local schools. In some cases, PE teachers may also teach students about other health issues, such as nutrition, sexuality and drug use.

ANZSCO description: PE teachers instruct and supervise school  students in sports and other physical fitness activities.
Alternative names: PE Teacher, Phys Ed Teacher, Sport Teacher
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A PE teacher needs:

  • a commitment to personal health and physical fitness
  • to enjoy working with children and young people
  • good communication skills
  • to be enthusiastic and able to motivate others
  • to enjoy and have reasonable skills in a wide range of physical activities
  • a high level of organisational and planning ability
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Working conditions

PE teachers work in public and private schools throughout Western Australia. They often work outdoors, though lessons may be taken indoors in extreme heat or rain. While standard school hours are generally between 9 and 3, all teachers, including PE teachers, may be required to start earlier and finish later, in order to plan lessons or run extracurricular activities, such as coaching a school sports team. Many PE teachers are also qualified to teach at least one other subject, such as health education or society and environment.

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Salary details

On average, physical education teachers can expect to earn between $1 368 and $1 886 per week ($71 158 and $98 084 per year), depending on the organisation  they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

PE teachers use a range of sporting equipment depending on their teaching program. When teaching inside a classroom they may use a range of education aides, such as white-boards, text books, and posters. In most cases they will also need basic computer skills, particularly when compiling reports on a student's performance.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a physical education teacher you usually need to complete a degree in primary or secondary education, majoring in health and physical education. Alternatively, you can complete a degree majoring in exercise and health, sport science, movement science, or a relevant area, followed by a postgraduate qualification in primary or secondary education.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To work as a school teacher in Western Australia, you must be registered with the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia (TRBWA). You also need to hold a current Working With Children Check issued by the Department of Community Services​​​, and undergo a National Police History Check conducted by the Department of Education Screening Unit. Contact the Department of Education for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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