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Industries & Professions /
Fitness and Sports Training and Coaching
One of the first places Americans get formal instruction in fitness is physical education (PE) classes in school. State laws in 43 states mandate that physical education be taught at the elementary level, at the middle school level in 41 states, and at the high school level in 44 states. However, only 6 states require physical education in every grade K–12, and almost half of U.S. students do not receive PE in an average week. The classes often include sports activities, and young people get additional experience with sports in after-school games, community leagues, and summer camps. Those teaching PE in the public schools usually have a bachelor's degree with a specialization in physical education and have passed a state licensure exam. Those who coach youth sports in other settings come from many backgrounds and often are volunteers.
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