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In-Depth Jobs

Issue no 29, 16-22 October 2021


Career Opportunities In Physical Education

                Nidhi Prasad

n 29 August 2019, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the Fit India Movement to promote physical fitness as a way of life. Fit India Movement aims at behavioral changes - from a sedentary lifestyle to a physically active day-to-day living. Fit India would be a success only when it becomes a people's movement. 'How to Live' ought to be the first pillar of formal education. This involves teaching and practicing the art of taking care of one's body and health daily. Schools have to be the first formal institution after home where physical fitness is taught and practiced. In the above background, the Fit India Mission encourages schools to increase physical activities and physical education to make a fitter, healthier, and happier India.

Earlier, physical education (PE) was generally understood as physical activities in school time table that included some freehand exercises, games, sports, racing, swimming, etc. With time, the subject has changed dramatically. It has expanded from school settings to nonschool settings and from schoolaged children to people of all ages. Moreover, the COVID-19 induced awareness of the importance of immunity and mental well-being has brought about a fitness boom and the wellness movement.

Physical education now involves a holistic approach to improving students' physical competence and knowledge of movement and safety and their ability to perform a wide range of activities associated with developing an active and healthy lifestyle. There is a wide range of activities associated with physical education, including sports, dance, and fitness training. Moreover, physical education helps develop and maintain confidence, well-being, and social skills that can be more difficult to achieve through other subjects. Students develop a wide range of skills and the ability to use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas to perform successfully. When performing, they think about what they are doing, analyze the situation and make decisions. They also reflect on their own and others' performances and find ways to improve upon them. Hence, the role and scope of physical education (PE) instructor have also expanded considerably.


Bachelor of Physical Education (B. PEd) is the best program for students interested in sports, health, and fitness. It is generally offered as 1-2 yearlong or 3-4 year-long undergraduate course. Following a graduate degree in physical education, one can opt for postgraduate courses like M.PEd, MBA in Sports Management, and PhD in physical education. B.PEd can be pursued both as a full-time and part-time course. The eligibility criteria vary from university to university. However, there are certain basic requirements.

B.PEd eligibility criteria for 1-2 years duration course

·         Candidates should clear graduation from a recognised university/ college with a minimum percentage (usually 50-60 %).

·         Š Preference for admission is given to candidates who have studied Physical Education during graduation or have played sports at the college level.

·         Candidates should be between 19-25 years of age.

B.PEd eligibility criteria for 3-4 years duration course

·         Candidates should be Class 12 pass in any stream from a recognised board

·         Candidates should have obtained a minimum percentage in Class 12 (usually 45- 60 %) as stipulated by the university/ college in which they are seeking admission

·         Š Preference at the time of admissions is given to candidates who have played some sports at the school level or had physical education subject in Class 12th

·         Candidates should be of minimum 17 years of age or more

Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education admissions are provided mainly on the basis of candidates' performance in the entrance exam conducted by different universities and colleges. A B.PEd entrance exam can be divided into four main components:

·         Š Written Test: The test is aimed at evaluating candidates on subjects such as General Aptitude, General Knowledge, English, Science, etc.

·         Physical Efficiency Test: This component of the exam tests the physical fitness of a candidate. The test may consist of physical activities like pull-ups, flexed leg situps, shuttle run, 600-yard run, standing broad jump, etc.

·         Š Game/ Sport Ability Test: In this test, a candidate is assessed for anyone sport or a game of his/ her choice.

·         Š Personal Interview: The interview round aims at judging the overall personality of a candidate.

On the basis of a cumulative score obtained by candidates in all the tests mentioned above, they are shortlisted for B.PEd admissions. However, the entrance exam components mentioned above may vary depending on the university/ college in which a candidate is applying.

Direct Admission to B.PEd

Although a majority of universities conduct entrance exams, some institutions provide direct admission to candidates. Direct admission is provided to candidates based on marks obtained by them in the qualifying exam (Class 12 or graduation).


The most popular career path available for candidates after obtaining a B.PEd degree are:

1)      Teacher/ Instructor/ Coach: The job involves teaching physical activities and developing strength, coordination, and motor skills. But aside from developing these physical skill sets in class, P.E. teachers generally encourage a healthy and balanced lifestyle in their students.

Skills required for becoming a P.E. teacher: : Dedication, hard work is the key in this field. Any candidate aspiring to build a career as a P.E. teacher needs to have certain traits and a range of skills beyond only knowing the sports.

Athletic skills: The aspirant must be a good athlete and reflect good health, physical coordination, and vitality. The aspirants who are confident and strong, physically fit will demonstrate the techniques needed for competitive sports and exercise routines.

Teaching skills: Physical education teachers need to break down complex concepts and instructions into smaller, more manageable steps. They must be able to recognize which students require encouragement and deliver it when needed. Other key skill requirements include:

·         Adaptability Š

·          Time management and determination

·         Š Perceptual skills (ability to read the game and anticipate the play)

·         Š Interpersonal skills Š

·          Knowledge of health issues and physical activity

·         Š Motivation, empathy and leadership skills Š

·          Observation and analytical skills

Organizational skills Physical Education teachers are required to have solid organizational skills. Their duties include collecting parental permission forms and additional fees significant for field trips and sporting events involving other schools.

2)      Umpire/Referee: An umpire or a referee presides over a sporting event to help maintain the standard of play. An umpire/ referee detects violations and decides penalties as per the rules of the sport/ game.

3)      Sportsman/Professional Athlete: A professional athlete regularly exercises and practices under the direction of professional trainers or coaches to develop skills, improve physical condition and prepare for competitions.

4)      Team Manager- Team Managers are responsible for handling the business side of sports. Bringing in investors, managing media and press, organizing events and competitions etc. are some of their duties.

5)      Consultant- Consultants are experts in their respective sports and are hired in organizations and institutions that use their expertise for the team's overall improvement.

6)      Sport/Athletic Trainer: A sport or athletic trainer is a highly skilled healthcare professional who collaborates with physicians to provide services like emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries to players.

7)      Commentator: A sports commentator is a professional who gives running commentary of a game or sport in realtime, typically during a live broadcast.

8)      Sports Journalist: A sports journalist reports as well as writes stories on professional sports and games. A sports journalist interviews coaches and players, report sports statistics, and sometimes offer game commentary. A sports journalist can work for different media platforms, including television, print, and radio.

9)      Sports Administrator: A sports administrator has various functions within sports clubs, fitness centers, sports organizations, etc. A sports administrator typically organizes and schedules sports events, manages budgets, and oversees the recruitment and training of the staff.

10)   Sports Photojournalist: A sports photojournalist/ photographer takes pictures of sporting events, athletes, sports teams, etc. A sports photojournalist can work as a full-time employee for an organization or freelance to sell their photographs to newspapers and magazines.

In the government sector, the opportunities are highly rewarding for graduates in physical education. Top government organizations that regularly recruit sportspersons and P.E. graduates include:

·         Š The armed forces Š

·          Paramilitary forces Š

·          Police and other security forces Š

·          Indian Railways

·         Š Sports Authority of India

·         Š Directorate of Health Services


·         The University of Delhi - Delhi Š

·          Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Science, Delhi Š

·          Amity University, Noida Š

·          Chandigarh University, Punjab

·         Š Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi Š

·          BPCAs College of Physical Education, Mumbai Š

·          VNS College of Physical Education and Management Studies, Bhopal Š

·          Jyotiba College of Physical Education, Nagpur Š

·          Bangalore University, Bengaluru Š

·          Aligarh Muslim University

If you love playing sports, have bundles of energy and enjoying learning about sports, health and fitness, then studying Physical Education (P.E.) could be a good career move. Physical education isn't just about sports though. You'll learn a lot about health, well-being and the human body.

The author is a career counsellor. She can be reached at nidhiprasadcs@ gmail.com). Views expressed are personal