How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Nebraska

PE teachers in Nebraska can obtain certification to teach students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade or students in grades seven through twelve. Follow these steps to become a PE teacher in Nebraska:

Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education
Obtain Human Relations Training
Take the Appropriate Praxis Tests
Apply for Your Nebraska PE Teacher’s License
Meet the Requirements to Renew Your Nebraska PE Teacher’s License

The Health and Physical Education Section of the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) interacts with schools and other organizations to guide them in implementing high quality physical education (PE) programs. The NDE gives a great deal of flexibility to local school districts, allowing them to determine the content and the number of physical education hours appropriate for students in their schools.

Adapted PE is made available to children who have unique needs or verifiable disabilities. This type of endorsement requires teachers to obtain training in special education in addition to completing a PE educator preparation program.



Step 1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Approved by Nebraska

Qualifying for PE teacher jobs in Nebraska starts by earning a bachelor’s degree.

Regular Teaching Certificate – To obtain a regular teaching certificate, you must obtain an endorsement in PE or Adapted PE. You must also have at least fourteen weeks of experience in student teaching. The NDE provides the requirements for coursework in its revised 2013 Regulations for Certificate Endorsements.

PE endorsements for both PK-6 and 7-12 require at least 15 semester hours of coursework in the following PE areas:

  • Adapted physical education
  • Anatomy
  • Exercise physiology
  • Kinesiology and biomechanics
  • Motor learning and motor development

In addition, you must take at least 15 semester hours of coursework in these areas:

  • Curriculum planning and development
  • Instructional delivery and classroom management
  • Skill and fitness based competencies

If you want to become certified to teach both PK-6 and 7-12, you must earn at least 42 hours of the coursework described above.

Your student teaching programs must include a course in assessing student learning. These courses are specific to the grade range you’ll be teaching (PK-6 OR 7-12).

If you want to obtain an Adaptive PE endorsement (good for teaching PK-12), your teacher preparation program will need to include:

  • 6 semester hours of special education
  • 6 semester hours in PE content
  • At least 12 semester hours in adapted PE

The NDE maintains a list of schools with approved PE teacher preparation programs. As of 2014, eleven different institutions in Nebraska offered this type of training. Most schools offer you the option to learn to teach either PK-6, 7-12, or PK-12 students, while one specializes in grades 7-12.

Bachelor’s level PE teacher preparation programs available in Nebraska include:

  • Education with a subject endorsement in Physical Education PK-6 or 7-12
  • Human Performance with a concentration in Physical Education K-6 & 7-12
  • Physical Education
  • Physical Education Teacher Preparation
  • Physical Education—Secondary Subject Endorsement 7-12

In addition, you can get a Master’s of Arts in Education to become a Physical Education Master Teacher.

Local Substitute Teaching Certificate – If s school system requests it, you can get a three year certificate that will allow you to perform 45 days of substitute teaching a year. The Local Substitute Teaching Certificate requires:

  • At least 60 semester hours
  • One professional education course that deals with the education of children

One Year Provisional Teaching Certificate – If you have a bachelor’s degree and have completed a teacher education program at an approved school, you can qualify for a One Year Provisional Teaching Certificate.

Provisional Commitment Teaching Certificate – If you are employed in a Nebraska school system but have not yet completed your teaching program, you can obtain a Provisional Commitment Teaching Certificate. The Provisional Commitment Teaching Certificate requires:

  • A bachelor’s degree program
  • 50% of the pre-student teaching requirements of an approved teacher preparation program
  • A course in teaching methods
  • 75% of the requirements for your PE endorsement
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Step 2. Obtain Human Relations Training

Unless you are seeking a six month temporary certificate, you must demonstrate that you have skills in Human Relations. There are two ways to meet this requirement:

  • Taking a pre-approved college course
  • Writing a narrative that describes the employment experiences that gave you an opportunity to learn the following six skills:
    • An awareness and understanding of the contributions, values, lifestyles, and history of a pluralistic society
    • The ability to:
      • Recognize and deal with dehumanizing biases
      • Translate a knowledge of human relations into skills, attitudes, and techniques that result in favorable experiences for students
      • Recognize the ways in which instructional materials may reflect dehumanizing biases
      • Relate effectively to other individuals and groups in a pluralistic society other than your own



Step 3: Take the Appropriate Praxis Tests

Take the Praxis I Pre-professional skills test (PPST) during your college program. These tests measure your basic skills in the following areas:

  • Mathematics
  • Reading
  • Writing

Starting on September 1, 2014, you will not need to take the PPST test. Instead, you will have to take the Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) tests. This set of tests assesses similar areas as the PPST test.

Beginning on September 1, 2015, you will need to take the Praxis II exam in Physical Education to be able to get certified as a PE teacher in Nebraska.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, if you will be teaching elementary school the NDE advises that you take the Praxis II Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (EECIA) test even before it becomes mandatory. While you don’t need this test to be certified, it will allow you to be considered qualified to meet the standards of the No Child Left Behind act. Employers in Nebraska give priority to applicants who meet this standard.



Step 4. Apply for Your Nebraska PE Teacher’s License

You will need to be fingerprinted to apply for any teaching license in Nebraska. You can have this done at any law enforcement office, but the Nebraska Department of Education strongly suggests that you have it down for free a local State Patrol Office.

To start your application process, go to the main teacher certification website of the NDE. If this is your first certificate, click on the Teaching Certificate icon and go through the steps of the interactive website.



Step 5. Meet the Requirements to Renew Your Nebraska PE Teacher’s License

When you apply to renew your license after having held or been qualified to hold a license within the past five years, you will need to have:

  • Taught at least half time for one year within the past five years


  • Completed six semester hours within the past five years as recommended by an approved teacher education school

If your certificate expired over five years ago, you will need to show fifteen semester hours in the following areas before renewing:

  • Instructional techniques
  • Coursework related to PE
  • At lest one course that addresses current education issues such as the following:
    • Reading and writing in the content area
    • Special education
    • Gifted education
    • School law

You must also have at least 100 clock hours of classroom contact with students. Fifty percent of that time must have been spent performing instructional duties while supervised by a cooperating teacher.

Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Nebraska

The Nebraska Department of Labor’s online data portal, which is known as NEworks, reports that the median physical education teacher salary in Nebraska is $43,724. The entry-level salary is lower by 54% at $20,153. The tenure-level salary, however, is $56,563, which is 64% more than entry-level statewide and almost 23% more than the overall median nationwide.

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In order to get a better idea of PE teacher salaries in major metro areas in the state, the Nebraska Department of Labor focused on salaries in the Omaha metropolitan area.

There it was found that physical education teachers earned a median salary of $31,271. The entry-level salary was somewhat lower at $17,358, but the tenure-level salary was higher than its statewide counterpart by almost 12% at $64,068.

Additional salary information for PE teachers in Nebraska is included in this table furnished by the U.S. Department of Labor:

Area name
Annual median wage
Omaha-Council Bluffs NE-IA

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