How to Become a PE Teacher in Arizona
Learn about the process of becoming a PE teacher in Arizona. Get the relevant information on certification, education requirements, and salary expectations.
Info for Arizona PE Teachers
Arizona PE teachers must hold a valid Standard Professional PreK-12 Physical Education certificate. The certification process involves several examinations, a background check, and a review of all college transcripts to ensure course guidelines are met. The table below is an overview of pertinent information and statistics for Arizona PE teachers.
|Education Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Exam Requirements||Professional and subject knowledge required examinations|
|Certification||Standard Professional PreK-12 Physical Education Certificate|
|Certification Renewal Period||12 years|
|Average Salary for Arizona Teachers (2018)*|| Kindergarten: $44,670 |
Middle School: $43,560
High School: $48,610
|Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)*|| Kindergarten and Elementary: 7% growth|
Middle and High School: 8% growth
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete a Bachelor's Degree or Arizona Teacher Preparation Program
To begin the application process, you must verify that your education credentials comply with the guidelines for certification. Graduates from state-approved teacher preparation programs should graduate from a physical education track with the state's predefined coursework (which includes training in topics such as motor development and movement activities). Those who did not graduate from an approved teacher preparation program must have at least two years of teaching experience in a similar role and a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Their college transcript must also demonstrate adequate preparation in both teaching and physical education concepts (the list of mandatory coursework is available at the Arizona Department of Education website). Candidates with an out-of-state teaching certification in physical education are eligible to apply for Arizona certification without meeting any coursework requirements (as long as they have an accredited bachelor's degree in any discipline).
Step 2: Meet All Examination Requirements
Once you have verified that your education credentials are eligible for certification, you must complete two separate examination requirements. The professional knowledge requirement involves the completion of an Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA) or National Evaluation Series (NES) test on professional knowledge (elementary or secondary). The subject knowledge requirement involves the completion of an AEPA or NES test in physical education. Both requirements can be waived with scores on comparable tests from other states, a comparable certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), several years of physical education teaching experience, post-secondary teaching experience in the subject, or five years work experience in a physical education field. Check the Arizona Department of Education website for a comprehensive list of options to waive the examination requirements.
Step 3: Complete the Required Background Check
All candidates should visit the Fieldprint website to schedule a fingerprint scan with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS). This scan will be used to ensure you have no criminal history or prior convictions. Candidates must clear this background check before submitting their certification application as they must include a fingerprint clearance card in the packet. Check the Fieldprint website for instructions on relevant locations. Candidates can also conduct a scan via mail or fax if they reside outside of Arizona.
Step 4: Find Work as a PE Teacher and Maintain Your Certification in Good Standing
Once your application is approved, you will be responsible for maintaining your certification in good standing. Though certifications are valid for 12 years, all certified teachers must complete several mandatory coursework requirements in their first three years of certification. The topics for these required courses include ethics, the United States constitution, and the Arizona constitution.