Massachusetts Physical Education (PE) Teacher License

Massachusetts offers certification for PE teachers in two grade ranges: preschool to 8th, and 5th through 12th. There are four different licenses available to educators with varying requirements. Read on to learn more about licensure for physical education teachers. Schools offering Exercise Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Physical Education Licensure in Massachusetts

There are four license types available to Massachusetts educators: temporary, provisional, initial and professional. Each certificate has different requirements, and educators are able to advance their certification type as they complete those requirements. All certifications require at least a bachelor's degree, as well as applicable assessments.

Education Required Bachelor's Degree
Exams Required MTEL (Communication and Literacy Skills)
PE content assessment
License Validity Period 1 year (temporary)
5 years (provisional, initial, and professional)
Advancement Requirements Additional college credits
Master's degree
Teaching experience
Mean Salary*
(2018, statewide, all teachers)
$39,180 (preschool)
$75,510 (kindergarten)
$82,600 (elementary)
$79,030 (middle school)
$80,020 (high school)
Estimated Job Growth*
(2018-2028, nationwide)
7% (preschool)
4% (kindergarten)
3% (elementary)
4% (middle and high school)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

License Requirements

The requirements for each license differ, and all licenses are available in the two grade range endorsements (preschool through 8th, 5th through 12th). Below are the requirements for each licensure type.

  • Temporary: To qualify for this certificate, an educator must hold a valid out-of-state license with a PE endorsement, have three years of teaching experience under that license, and cannot have taken and failed the content or MTEL test.
  • Provisional: To qualify for the provisional certificate, an educator must achieve passing scores on both the PE content test as well as the MTEL test.
  • Initial: An educator may qualify for the initial certificate if they meet any one of the following:
    • Completion of a qualifying physical education program with qualifying scores on the required tests
    • Possession of a provisional license in PE for the same grade level
    • Possession of a regional credential applicable to the PE license
    • Possession of a valid out-of-state license with a PE endorsement, three years of qualifying experience, and passing scores on the content and MTEL tests
  • Professional: To qualify for a professional license, an educator should already hold an initial license and have three years of qualifying employment with 50 hours of mentoring. Additionally, an educator must have at least one of the following:
    • Qualifying master's degree, or any master's with qualifying relevant graduate credit hours
    • Completion of a program leading to a master teacher status
    • Completion of an approved district-based program
    • Completion of a department-sponsored Performance Assessment Program

Applying for Licensure

The quickest and most convenient way to apply for licensure is on the Educator License and Renewal portal (ELAR), although applications can also be submitted via mail. Applicants will need to submit their official transcripts, verification of test scores, and a $100 initial application fee ($25 if applicants have previously applied for any certification).

Validity Periods

The temporary license is valid for one year, but the provisional, initial, and professional are all valid for five years. The temporary, provisional, and initial licenses do not lose validity when an educator is not working. For example, an educator who goes on maternity leave after using only one year of their five licensed will still have four valid years whenever they return to work.

License Renewals

Renewals have a $25 processing fee, and do not require documentation unless an educator is selected for an audit.

  • An initial license can be extended once before advancing to a professional license.
  • A professional license is valid for five years, and can be renewed by meeting the following criteria:
    • Educator's employer must approve a professional development plan
    • Educator must have a minimum of 10 professional development points (PDPs)

License Advancement

Educators can apply to advance their license to a higher level when they have met the requirements for that certification. A temporary license can be advanced to a provisional or initial license, a provisional license can be advanced to an initial license, and an initial license can be advanced to a professional license. Applications for advancement can be completed on the ELAR portal, and will require a $25 processing fee. License advancement applications do require submission of documentation verifying that the requirements have been met.

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