How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Arkansas

According to the Arkansas Department of Education, physical education creates opportunities for students to develop habits that will lead to rewarding and health-enhancing lifestyles.

Follow the five steps in this guide to learn how you can become a PE teacher in Arkansas:

Complete an Approved Route to Educator Licensure in Arkansas
Take and Pass the Required PRAXIS Assessments
Apply for Your Provisional Arkansas PE Teaching License
Apply for Your Standard Arkansas PE Teaching License
Renew Your Standard Arkansas PE Teaching License

PE teachers in Arizona are expected to demonstrate the following knowledge and competencies:

  • Scientific and theoretical knowledge (e.g., the ability to describe and apply physiological and biomechanical concepts as they related to physical activity, skill movement, and fitness)
  • Knowledge and Application (e.g., the ability to describe and apply concepts related to personal health care, such as safety, basic first aid, mental and emotional health, etc.)
  • Planning and Implementation (e.g., ability to design and plan both short- and long-term goals that are aligned with lesson plans)
  • Instructional Delivery and Management (e.g., ability to communicate both verbally and non-verbally across a number of instructional formats)
  • Impact on Student Learning (e.g., ability to use assessment to evaluate student learning before, during and after instruction)
  • Professionalism (e.g., ability to participate in activities that enhance personal growth and development)
  • Discipline Literacy



Step 1. Complete an Approved Route to Educator Licensure in Arkansas

There are a number of ways you can prepare for to earn a physical education teacher license in Arkansas:

Traditional Educator Preparation Program

There are 19 college and universities in Arkansas that have been designated by the Arkansas Department of Education as approved educator preparation programs, 16 of which have programs that have been approved for physical education. An approved educator preparation program will include all components necessary for licensure as a teacher in Arkansas, including courses in pedagogy and a student teaching component.

Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure (APPEL)

APPEL is an alternative route to teacher licensure in Arkansas that is designed for candidates who already possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. The APPEL allows you to be employed as a classroom teacher while completing the necessary requirements for a standard Arkansas teaching license.

This two-year preparation track includes:

  • Assessments
  • Face-to-face and inline instructional modules
  • Mentoring during the course of the program
  • On-the-job professional learning

For some candidates, the APPEL may result in a master’s degree. You can view alternative-route master’s degree programs here.

Provisional Professional Teaching License

The Provisional Professional Teaching License is a three-year, provisional educator license designed for experienced professionals who want to teach part- or full-time in an Arkansas public school.

To qualify to teach physical education in Arkansas on a provisional professional teaching license, you must:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited organization
  • Possess at least three years of working experience in your specific content area (physical education)
  • Possess an offer of employment to teach in an Arkansas public school
  • Have at least two professional letters of recommendation relating to your expertise in physical education
  • Pass all state-mandated basic skills assessments
  • Pass the content knowledge examination in physical education
  • Pass all background checks (Arkansas State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Child Maltreatment Central Registry)
  • Complete professional development training for teen suicide prevention, child maltreatment, and parental involvement

During your first year of licensure, you must complete at least 24 hours of training in pedagogy. Once you have successfully completed your third year of teaching physical education under the Provisional Professional Teaching License, your license may be converted to the standard, five-year educator license upon a successful summative evaluation and recommendation by your employing school district.

You may direct questions regarding the Provisional Professional Teaching License by contacting the Office of Educator Licensure at 501-682-4342.

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Step 2. Take and Pass the Required PRAXIS Assessments

The Arkansas Department of Education requires the successful completion of the following exams so as to meet qualification standards to become a PE teacher in Arkansas:

You can view the Praxis Series website to learn more about the registration and the Arkansas test requirements process, to find test preparation materials, to view upcoming test dates, and to view nearby testing centers.



Step 3. Apply for Your Provisional Arkansas PE Teaching License

To become a physical education teacher in Arkansas, you must apply for a one-year (non-renewable) provisional license, during which time you are required to complete a mentoring program.

Every novice teacher in Arkansas must complete a mentoring program that is at least one year in length. A mentoring program should include:

  • Support from a licensed, certified mentor
  • Focused feedback regarding classroom management, instructional skills, and professional behaviors

Upon the successful completion of the mentoring program, you may apply for the Standard Teacher License in Arkansas.



Step 4. Apply for Your Standard Arkansas PE Teaching License

The Standard Arkansas Teaching License is valid for a period of 5 years, and is granted upon the successful completion of your mentoring program and first year of teaching.

The cost of applying for this license is $75, which you can pay for through the Arkansas Department of Education Teacher Licensure System.



Step 5. Renew Your Standard Arkansas PE Teaching License

Your Standard Arkansas Teaching License must be renewed every 5 years by completing the renewal application and paying the $75 renewal fee online through the Arkansas Department of Education Teacher Licensure System.

You will need to provide proof of the completion of at least 60 hours of professional development annually for each year of the 5-year license period. The annual 60-hour requirement must be completed, regardless of your employment status.

All applications, including renewal applications, must be sent (along with all appropriate documentation) to:

Office of Educator Licensure
Arkansas Department of Education
Four Capitol Mall
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Arkansas

According to Discover Arkansas, the state-sponsored labor information portal, the average physical education teacher salary in Arkansas is $49,790, though the median is just slightly lower at $46,230. The lower range of salaries is between $23,670 and $34,420, but this mainly pertains to less experienced teachers who are just starting out in the profession. At the top 25% percent, Discover Arkansas reports physical education teachers averaging $62,410 and $80,460 per year in the top 10%.

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It’s also important to point out that salaries tend to vary by district and/or city, as shown here:

Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway

Median: $42,320
Average: $43,240
Entry: $29,570
Experienced: $50,070
Northwest Arkansas WIA

(Includes Benton, Carroll, Boone, Marion, Baxter, Washington, Madison, Newton, and Searcy Counties)

Median: $65,554
Average: $68,414
Entry: $46,864
Experienced: $79,189
In addition, the salary table below, which is from the U.S. Department of Labor, reports physical education teacher salary findings for specific cities in Arkansas:

Area name
Annual median wage
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers AR-MO
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway AR
Central Arkansas nonmetropolitan area

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