How to Be a Physical Education (PE) Teacher in Texas

Physical education, or PE, teachers help students build foundations of a healthy lifestyle through fitness and exercise. You'll need to complete a bachelor's degree and certification exams to teach this subject in Texas. Schools offering Exercise Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Texas Physical Education Teacher Career Overview

As a physical education, or PE, teacher, you'll help students get active and develop knowledge of physical fitness and exercise appropriate for their age. The job will possibly require you to work outside and frequently move around. You may teach about personal fitness, sports and adventure or outdoor activities. To become a PE educator in Texas, you need to get a state teaching certificate in physical education, which will qualify you to teach the subject from early childhood through grade 12.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree in physical education and teacher preparation program
Exams Required TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) EC-12 (160)
TExES Physical Education EC-12 (158)
License Validity Period Five years
Renewal Requirements 150 professional development hours
Mean Salary for TX Teachers (2018) $34,960 (preschool)
$54,780 (kindergarten)
$56,520 (elementary school)
$56,580 (middle school)
$58,190 (high school)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 10% (preschool)
7% (kindergarten and elementary school)
8% (middle and high school)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor's Degree and Teacher Preparation Program

First, you'll need to have a bachelor's degree and complete an approved teacher preparation program, which is required for any Texas teacher regardless of their subject. The most traditional way to do this is to get a bachelor's degree in physical education, which will include a teacher preparation program and student teaching. However, you can also complete a teacher preparation program through an advanced degree or an alternative method, if you already have a bachelor's degree in a different subject but want to change careers. View a list of state-approved programs on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website; search for Physical Education: Grades EC-12 programs.

Step 2: Take and Pass Certification Exams

Next, you'll need to pass two Texas Examinations of Educator Standards, or TExES. These computer-based exams are:

  • Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) EC-12 (160), which is required for all teachers who want initial certification in the state. This exam covers classroom instruction, the role of the teacher and more.
  • Physical Education EC-12 (158), which is the required subject exam for PE teachers. It covers health and physical fitness, movement skills and how to instruct students in PE.

Each exam fee is $116 (as at 2019) and the passing score is 240.

Step 3: Apply for Your Certification

You're ready to apply for your certification once you meet the education and testing requirements. Your teacher preparation program will likely help you ensure this. You'll apply online through the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS), which you'll also use later to view and print your certificate and renew it. To access ECOS, you'll create a Texas Education Agency Login (TEAL) account. Then you'll follow the application steps in ECOS and pay an application fee.

Step 4: Get Fingerprinted

Texas requires its teachers to get fingerprinted for a national background check. Once you complete your application, the ECOS system will start the fingerprinting process, and you'll receive an email from the state's fingerprinting vendor about scheduling an appointment. The fingerprinting fee is $50.25 as of 2019.

Step 5: Understand Renewal Requirements

After you pass the fingerprinting background check and your application is approved, you'll receive your teaching certificate. This certificate will be valid for five years. You'll be able to renew it at the end of that period as long as you complete 150 hours of professional development. You can find approved providers on the TEA website. Then, renew your certification through the ECOS system.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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