How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Connecticut

To become a physical education teacher in Connecticut, you must be prepared to complete these five steps:

Complete a Program Leading to Initial PE Teacher Certification
Take the Required Examinations
Apply for Initial Certification as a Physical Education Teacher
Earn a Provisional Educator Certificate
Earn a Professional Educator Certificate

The Connecticut State Board of Education, through its Comprehensive School Health Education and Comprehensive Physical Education Standards, recognizes physical education as a planned, sequential, PK-12 curriculum that provides learning experiences and cognitive content in:

  • Aquatics
  • Basic movement skills
  • Dual sports
  • Games
  • Individual sports
  • Physical fitness
  • Rhythms and dance
  • Team sports
  • Tumbling and gymnastics

The Connecticut State Board of Education also recognizes that quality physical education should promote each student’s mental, emotional, physical, and social development through a well-defined curriculum.

Certified physical education teachers are responsible for assessing student knowledge, motor skills and social skills. They are also responsible for providing instruction in a safe and supportive environment while providing physical education in a planned, on-going, and sequential manner.



Step 1. Complete a Program Leading to Initial Certification

All individuals applying for a Connecticut educator certificate must successfully complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

You may achieve educator certification in Connecticut through one of two paths:

  • Completion of a State-Approved Educator Preparation Program: There are currently three programs that offer a physical education endorsement as both an undergraduate and graduate degree program. You must maintain a B- in all undergraduate courses to qualify for certification. *


  • Completion of the State’s Alternate Route to Certification Program: If you qualify for the Alternate Route to Certification (ARC) Program, you:
    • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a major in (or closely related to) physical education
    • Meet specific course requirements for certificate as established by the Connecticut State Department of Education
    • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in either an undergraduate program or the completion of at least 24 semester hours of graduate study

The ARC conducts two sessions a year, which offer subject-based methods classes and training in educational topics such as: classroom management, specific teaching strategies, assessment of student learning, special education, and Common Core State standards. Click here to apply to an ARC.

*All teacher preparation programs include the following:

  • 30 semester hours of credit in physical education
  • 18 semester hours of credit in professional education in an approved planned program of study distributed among the following:
    • Educational psychology and characteristics of learners, including child and adolescent development
    • Curriculum and methods of teaching
    • A planned sequence of varied field experiences in elementary and secondary settings representing a diversity of cultural and linguistic backgrounds
    • Supervised student teaching in an elementary or secondary setting

*Note: On or after July 1, 2016, you must earn a master’s degree in subject related to physical education to achieve a professional educator certificate.

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Step 2. Take the Required Examinations

All candidates for teacher certification in Connecticut must take and pass:

The Praxis II examination is broken down into the following content categories:

  • Content Knowledge and Student Growth and Development
  • Management, Motivation, and Communication
  • Planning, Instruction and Student Assessment
  • Collaboration, Reflection, and Technology
  • Instructional Design

You can learn more about the Praxis II Physical Education: Content and Design through the related study guide.

You must receive a passing score of 172 on PPST Reading exam, a score of 171 on the PPST Writing exam, and a score of 171 on the PSST Mathematics exam. You must also receive a minimum score of 175 on the Praxis II exam.

You can find more information on the Praxis examinations and their requirements here. You can also visit the Praxis Series website to register for the Praxis exams and find test sites and upcoming test dates.



Step 3. Apply for Initial Certification as a Physical Education Teacher

If you have qualified for teacher certification in Connecticut through a traditional teacher preparation program, you can apply for an Initial Educator Certificate, a three-year certificate.

However, if you have completed one of Connecticut’s ARC programs, you will be granted a 90-day temporary permit, during which time you will be provided supervised, school-based experiences and ongoing support (as a substitute for the typical full-time student teaching required of traditional certification programs). Upon successful completion of this supervised 90-day period, you may apply for initial certification.

To apply for initial certification, you must first register with the Connecticut Educator Certification System (CECS), which will allow you to complete the application and pay for the $50 application fee online.

Upon completion of the online application (ED 170 General Application), you must send your official transcripts, including all postsecondary coursework completed, to:

Connecticut State Department of Education
Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification
P.O. Box 150471 – Room 243
Hartford, CT 06115-0471



Step 4. Earn a Provisional Educator Certificate

The next step of Connecticut certification is the provisional educator certificate, which is held for a period of 8 years. You must have worked as an educator for at least 10 months under your initial educator certificate to qualify for the provisional certificate.



Step 5. Earn a Professional Educator Certificate

The 5-year professional educator certificate is Connecticut’s third and highest level of certification. To qualify for the professional educator certificate, you must:

  • Complete at least 30 school months of successful experience under the provisional educator certificate; AND
  • Complete at least 30 semester hours beyond a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited college or university*

Note: The Connecticut General Assembly recently passed legislation that repealed all continuing education requirements for professional educator certificates. However, as of July 2013, Connecticut school districts are responsible for offering at least 18 hours of professional development per year to all educators.

Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Connecticut

In 2013, the Connecticut Department of Labor found that there was an average phys ed teacher salary in Connecticut of $67,124, which was just about 5% higher than the national average of $63,770. The median salary in Connecticut was reported to be $63,049. The average at the entry level was $44,986, but those in the top ten percent were found averaging $103,301, an astounding 35% more than the statewide average.

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The Department also showed how median phys ed teacher salaries went up each year:

Current: $63,049
2012: $62,730
2011: $61,510
2010: $60,554
2009: $59,493
2008: $58,856
Equally important is how phys ed teachers are paid locally. Here is a breakdown of those salaries by location:


Current Median: $48,016
2012: $47,774
2011: $46,844
2010: $46,117
2009: $45,308
2008: $44,823

Current Median: $63,262
2012: $62,942
2011: $61,717
2010: $60,759
2009: $59,694
2008: $59,055
More phys ed teacher salaries across Connecticut are given in the table below, which was furnished by the U.S. Department of Labor:

Area name
Annual median wage
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford CT
Springfield MA-CT

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