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How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Arizona

To become a physical education teacher in Arizona, you must complete these steps:

Complete the Appropriate Path to PE Teacher Certification
Take the Required Examinations
Apply for Initial Arizona PE Teacher Certification
Renew Your Arizona PE Teacher Certification

The Arizona Department of Education recognizes physical education as a planned and sequential curriculum for grades K-12. The Arizona Health Education and Physical Education Standards, which are articulated by grade level, provide a foundation in physical education for all students, as well as concepts and skills that are critical to the understanding of importance processes and relationships across the grade spans.

These standards also provide a framework for physical education teachers in Arizona when helping their students adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, which may include:

  • Helping students develop a set of core values that encourage healthy behaviors
  • Helping students develop group norms that value a healthy lifestyle
  • Helping students develop the skills needed to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors
  • Teaching skills and essential concepts

The National Health Education and Physical Education Standards provide a framework for physical education curricula in Arizona, although specific content may be added by local education agencies.

 


 

Step 1. Complete the Appropriate Path to PE Teacher Certification

To qualify for certification as a physical education teacher in Arizona, you may:

Complete an Arizona State Board approved teacher preparation program (includes a bachelor’s degree program or higher and all required coursework and experiences needed for certification); OR

Complete the Alternative Pathways to Teacher Certification Program (Teaching Intern Certificate), which is designed for retired professionals, recent college graduates, or mid-career changers.

You may teach in physical education in Arizona with a Teaching Intern Certificate if you:

Note: Certified teachers in other states may explore Arizona’s reciprocity program to achieve PE teacher certification.


 

Step 2. Take the Required Examinations

Approved Teacher Preparation Program

Upon completion of an Arizona approved teacher preparation program, you must take and pass:

The physical education examination is organized into the following areas, each of which is worth 25 percent of the examination score:

  • Growth and motor development
  • Movement activities
  • Lifelong physical fitness
  • The physical education program

Teaching Intern Certificate Program

Before you can apply for an Intern Certificate in Arizona, you must take and pass the Arizona Educator Exam in Physical Education.

Before the end of your second year under the Teaching Intern Certificate, you must take and pass one of the following Professional Knowledge Exams:

 


 

Step 3. Apply for Initial Arizona PE Teacher Certification

To apply for initial certification in Arizona, you must complete the appropriate application (all application forms can be found here). You must also:

  • Obtain a valid Arizona DPS Identity Verified Print fingerprint clearance card and include it with your application (You can call DPS at 602-223-2279 to request a card.)
  • Include a check or money order for the appropriate amount (made payable to Arizona Department of Education): $60 for an initial certificate/teacher intern certificate, plus $60 for the physical education endorsement
  • Include your official transcripts

Add the Physical Education Endorsement

You must also add a K-12 physical education endorsement to your certification. To qualify for this endorsement, you must be able to show proof of the completion of at least 30 semester hours, which include one course in the methods of teaching physical education at the elementary level and one course in the methods of teaching physical education at the secondary level.

You must also be able to show proof of the completion of at least 24 semester hours in the physical education content area and a passing score on the Subject Knowledge Physical Education Arizona Educator Exam. You must check the appropriate box on the application to apply for the physical education endorsement and provide the required documentation.

Mail your application packet to:

Arizona Department of Education
Teacher Certification
P.O. Box 6490
Phoenix, Arizona 85005

 


 

Step 4. Renew Your Arizona PE Teacher Certification

Teaching certificates in Arizona are renewed every 6 years. To renew your teaching certificate, you must complete a Renewal of Certificate form, submit a fee of $20 for each certificate being renewed (check or money order made payable to Arizona Department of Education), and provide proof of the completion of at least 180 clock hours of professional development activities or at least 12 semester hours of education coursework (or a combination of the two). Send the application, along with all required documentation, to:

Arizona Department of Education
Teacher Certification
P.O. Box 6490
Phoenix, Arizona 85005


Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Arizona

According to the Arizona Department of Administration, the average phys ed teacher salary in Arizona during 2013 was $52,568. The median salary was about 26.5% lower at $38,612. Those with many years of experience, however, were likely to be in the top 25% or 10% of all physical education salaries statewide, which was $67,687 and $94,688 respectively.

To compare, here are the salaries from 2012:

Median: $37,498
Average: $49,760
Top 25%: $58,311
Top 10%: $87,910
We can also look at the city and county salary information provided by the Arizona Department of Administration to get a better idea of how phys ed teachers in Arizona are paid:

Phoenix

Median: $31,929
Average: $45,494
Top 25%: $55,332
Top 10%: $87,162
Maricopa County (Mesa and Glendale)

Median: $29,287
Average: $43,242
Top 25%: $48,439
Top 10%: $81,504
More salary information regarding phys ed teachers in Arizona can be found in the following table furnished by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale AZ
630
31930

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