How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Hawaii

Prospective PE teachers in Hawaii will need to demonstrate their qualifications for licensure to the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board. This can be accomplished through a number of routes that are determined by your level of education, the state in which you obtained your degree, and any teaching experience you might already have. Hawaii’s PE teachers play an important role in the state’s future, ensuring students in pre-school through the 12th grade have every opportunity to grow up with healthy bodies healthy minds.

It takes commitment to become a licensed PE teacher in Hawaii, a goal that can be accomplished through the following steps:

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree and Complete a Teaching Program
Pass the Required Tests
Apply for a Hawaii PE Teaching License
Renew Your Hawaii PE Teaching License
Upgrade Your Hawaii PE Teaching License



Step 1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree and Complete a Teaching Program

One of the key qualification requirements for PE teacher jobs in Hawaii is the state-approved teacher education program (SATEP), which includes a student teaching segment. If you are planning on earning a bachelor’s degree in PE from a Hawaii school, the program will likely be combined with an SATEP.

Unless you are already an experienced and licensed PE teacher in another state, you will need to graduate from an SATEP or take an Educational Preparation Program (EPP) before you can become a PE teacher in Hawaii.

Alternative Route Programs – Educational Preparation Programs (EPP) are alternate routes to become a physical education teacher in Hawaii if you already hold at least a bachelor’s degree and for whatever reason did not attend an SATEP. These can be thought of as being similar to SATEPs in that they focus on teaching and pedagogy, however instead of a student teaching portion you will be trained on-the-job as more of an apprentice. The Teacher Standards Board provides a useful list of all EPPs. If becoming certified through this route, make sure to choose a school with an EPP in physical education.

Student Teaching – When you are completing your student teaching or on-the-job training, you can expect to experience the following:

  • Gradually increasing immersion in the PE classroom
  • Close supervision and direction from your assigned PE teacher or mentor
  • Detailed suggestions and constructive criticism
  • Acting initially as a PE assistant and transitioning to the leader of PE activities
  • Developing constructive relationships with students that facilitates the most effective physical education development
  • Developing and modifying lesson plans based on teacher and student response and feedback
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Step 2. Pass the Required Tests

Depending on your situation, you will need to take the following tests before being eligible to apply for a PE teaching license. Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers all exams.

Basic Skills Test

There are three components to this test, which evaluates you on your foundational knowledge of reading, writing, and mathematics. ETS offers two versions of the Basic Skills Test for you to choose from, with the Praxis I version being discontinued after June 30th, 2014:

You can be exempt from taking these tests for any of the following reasons:

  • All three tests – you already have a bachelor’s degree
  • Reading – you took the SAT Reading test with a score of at least 530
  • Mathematics – you took the SAT Mathematics test with a score of at least 560

Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam

You will need to take this exam if you are an out-of-state experienced and licensed teacher who did not complete an SATEP. The Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam is tailored to four different age groups, and you will need to choose the test that best corresponds to your PE teaching goals:

This exam evaluates you on your basic knowledge of teaching and pedagogy, specific to the age groups you intend to be instructing.

Praxis II Physical Education: Content Knowledge Exam

To become specifically licensed in the field of PE, you will need to take and pass the Praxis II Physical Education: Content Knowledge Exam. This evaluates you on your knowledge of four basic areas and is comprised of 120 multiple-choice questions. You will have two hours to complete the following question categories:

  • Content knowledge; student growth and development – 30%
  • Instruction, planning, and student assessment – 25%
  • Motivation, communication, and management – 25%
  • Reflection, technology, and collaboration – 20%

To help you better prepare for this test ETS has released a 37-page study guide.



Step 3. Apply for a Hawaii PE Teaching License

Physical education teacher jobs in Hawaii are popular, and for this reason the Teacher Standards Board outlines several paths to PE certification that you can choose from depending on your unique situation. In addition to these paper applications, you can also submit your application online:


    • You are about to complete an SATEP and you need to apply for your first license
    • You are licensed as a PE teacher in another state but have not completed an SATEP
    • You are a licensed PE teacher in another state and have completed an SATEP
    • You have a valid teaching license and NBPTS PE Certification


  • Alternative EPP Path – to become licensed through this route, your EPP will need to recommend you to the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board for such. This will involve you passing a performance assessment that is determined by your EPP, as well as the required tests detailed in Step Two for standard licensure.



Step 4. Renew Your Hawaii PE Teaching License

The Standard Hawaii Teaching License is valid for five years and costs $240. As with your initial application, renewing your PE teaching license can be done online or by mailing in an Application for Renewal to the Teacher Standards Board in Honolulu. As part of your renewal you will need to complete two forms that verify you have been actively teaching and have been maintaining yourself according to the Hawaii Teacher Performance Standards:

You do not need to include these with your application for renewal, however if you are randomly audited by the Teacher Standards Board you will need to submit these.

Hawaii Teacher Performance Standards

These standards are in place to ensure you are maintaining your professional edge as a PE teacher. The Teacher Standards Board has identified 10 areas in which you need to maintain a high level of proficiency and awareness:

  • Student development
  • Learning differences
  • Learning environments
  • PE content knowledge
  • Application of physical fitness content
  • PE assessments
  • Instructional planning
  • PE instructional strategies
  • Ethical practice and professional development
  • Leadership and collaboration

By the time you renew your license you should have completed the qualifying suggestions for each of these skills, found on the 5010 Teacher Performance Standards form. Having either National Board Certification or a satisfactory rating in all areas of your evaluation and professional development plan will count as satisfying all 10 of these areas.

National Board Certification

Developed and sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), National Board Certification signifies that you have proved your effectiveness as a PE teacher through a rigorous evaluation process. To become NBPTS-certified you will need document your teaching style and strengths over the course of a year and submit this to the Board. Means of documentation can be written assessments, video recordings, and evaluations of your own work performance. These should demonstrate the growth experienced by your students as they improve their capabilities and health in the field of physical education.



Step 5. Upgrade Your Hawaii PE Teaching License

An upgraded PE Teaching License is valid for 10 years and can be obtained by experienced and advanced PE teachers. To be eligible for this license you will need to meet several requirements:

  • Currently hold a standard teaching license
  • Have at least five years of full-time teaching experience in the past eight years
  • One of the following:
    • Hold an advanced degree in PE, such as a master’s degree, doctoral degree, or specialist degree
    • Have National Board Certification

The Advanced License costs $480, and when you can meet these qualifications you can fill out the application for an Advanced Hawaii Teaching License.

Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Hawaii

The U.S. Department of Labor has reported a median physical education teacher salary in Hawaii of $35,270, although the average salary is 15.5% higher at $41,740. It’s important to note that salary is greatly impacted by the level of experience a physical education teacher has. For example, the data released by the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that physical education teachers in the top 25% statewide earn $55,050 per year, roughly 24% more than the statewide average.

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Physical education teachers in the top ten percent, however, average much more at $70,770, which is 41% more than the statewide average.

The table below takes a look at physical education teacher salaries in the areas of Maui and Kauai:

Area name
Annual median wage
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released

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