How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Oregon

Here you’ll find the steps to become a PE teacher in Oregon and implement these standards:

Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Including a PE Teacher Prep Program
Take Three Sets of Exams
Apply for Your Oregon PE Teacher’s License
Meet the Requirements to Renew Your Oregon PE Teacher’s License

Physical education (PE) programs help students understand the benefits of physical activity, value this activity, and learn the skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities. Given the importance of physical education, the Oregon Department of Education has developed a comprehensive set of standards that PE teachers are expected to adhere to when instructing students.

Oregon’s standards are broken down for grades 3, 5, 8 and high school. Standards are constructed around he following areas for each of the designated grade levels:

  • Expressive and Efficient Moving
  • Fitness for Lifetime
  • Self-Management and Social Behavior



Step 1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Including a PE Teacher Prep Program

All licenses to teach PE in Oregon require at least a bachelor’s degree. The traditional path is to get a PE teaching degree from an approved school. You also may be able to obtain a license through an alternative path if you have a non-teaching bachelor’s degree.

Initial 1 Teaching License – The first step in getting the standard Initial 1 Teaching License is to complete an approved Oregon teacher’s preparation program. As of the 2014-2015 school year, there were 8 approved undergraduate programs for training PE teachers and 14 graduate programs.

You can obtain this license by getting a bachelor’s degree or by completing a fifth year teacher preparation program or full graduate program. Some of the five-year programs will provide you with a master’s degree.

Oregon’s PE teachers generally specialize in particular grade levels. Teacher prep programs are often geared toward the authorization levels:

  • Early childhood (PreK-4)
  • Elementary (3-8)
  • Middle (5-9)
  • High school (9-12)

You can also get authorization for teaching K-12. Many candidates complete their training in more than one authorization level, which allows more flexibility when it comes to qualifying for PE teacher jobs in Oregon. It is common to combine authorization levels as shown here:

  • Early childhood and elementary
  • Elementary and middle level
  • Middle level and high school

Most of the PE teacher preparation programs in Oregon require that you pass a basic skills test before they will accept you. There are several different types of tests that you can take, and you should check with your particular program to determine which ones to take. You will also have to take the Oregon PE test at one of the following steps:

  • Before you are admitted to the teacher preparation program
  • Before you take part in student teaching
  • After you have completed the teacher preparation program

Your license will specify both a PE endorsement and the specific grade levels that you are authorized to teach. An Initial 1 Teaching License will also permit you to teach as a substitute.

Initial II Teaching License – Once you have been teaching with an Initial 1 Teaching License for two renewals, you will need to advance to either an Initial II Teaching License or a Continuing Teaching License.

If you have a bachelor’s degree, you will need to take graduate level coursework to advance to an Initial II Teaching License. You will need to obtain at least a master’s degree in the arts and sciences or else take at least 10 semeseter/15 quarter hours in each of the following coursework areas:

  • PE
  • Education related
  • Electives

The requirements differ if you got your Initial I Teaching License on the basis of post-baccalaureate work. You must complete one of the following:

  • An approved school district program equivalent to the above
  • An approved professional assessment
  • 6 semester/9 quarter hours of graduate academic level that is:
    • After your Initial I Teaching License was issued
    • Germane to PE or public school employment

In all cases, you must have the equivalent of a master’s degree or 30 semester/45 credit hours.

Continuing Teaching License – Instead of obtaining an Initial II Teaching License, you have the option of getting a Continuing Teaching License. Doing so requires a high level of educational achievement. You must meet all the requirements for both the Initial I and Initial II Teaching Licenses and have the following:

  • At least a master’s degree in the arts and sciences OR an advanced degree in the professions
  • Five years of teaching experience at least half time or more on a non-provisional license
  • One of the following:
    • An approved Continuing Teaching License Program
    • Certification by the National Boards of Professional Teaching Standards
    • A doctorate degree in education

Substitute Teaching License – If you have completed an approved teacher’s preparation program, but do not hold a regular Oregon teaching license, you can get a Substitute Teaching License.

Restricted Substitute Teaching License – If you have a bachelor’s degree, but have not completed a teacher preparation program, you can get a Restricted Substitute Teaching License. Your school district must jointly apply for this license. You are can teach up to 60 days a year.

Restricted Transitional Teaching License – You can also get a Restricted Transitional Teaching License if you have a bachelor’s degree, but have not completed a teacher preparation program. In this case, you will need to have expertise in PE. Your school district will provide a mentor for you, and you will have to enroll in a teacher preparation program during the first year of your license.

NCLB Alternative Route Teaching License – If you have not completed an approved education program, but you can demonstrate competency in PE as defined by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, you can get the NCLB Alternative Route Teaching License.

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Step 2: Take Three Sets of Exams

You will have to take three types of exams to obtain a license to teach PE in Oregon.

Civil Rights Exam – You will have to pass the Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments (ORELA) civil rights exam before you can get your first teaching license in the state.

Basic Skills Exam – Oregon accepts the results from several different basic skills exams. Since you will generally take one of these exams before you enter your teaching preparation program, you will need to check with your school to determine which exam to take. The options include the following tests offered in Oregon:

  • ORELA Essential Academic Skills (EAS) Exam
  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) exams
    • Reading 5712
    • Mathematics 5732
    • Writing 5722

The state of Oregon will accept the results of the following two exams, even though they are not offered in the state:

  • Washington Educator Skills Test—Basic (WEST-B)
  • California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST)

You are exempt from this requirement if you have a master’s degree.

PE Endorsement Exam – You will have to take the ORELA PE exam to get an endorsement to teach PE in Oregon. This test has approximately 150 multiple-choice questions and takes about three hours. The state provides preparation materials for this exam, including sample test questions. The exam is comprised of four sections that each account for 25% of the total score:

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



Step 3. Apply for Your Oregon PE Teacher’s License

If you are applying for your first license or are preparing to perform student teaching in a school, you will have to submit your fingerprints. If you have a gap of three years or more in your licensing, you will have to resubmit your fingerprints.

To apply for most licenses, you submit a C-1 form. You will have to complete questions about your character on page four of the form. The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission will not begin reviewing your form until you have submitted your payment.



Step 4. Meet the Requirements to Renew Your Oregon PE Teacher’s License

Recent changes in the Oregon code require all educators with licenses that can be renewed indefinitely to obtain Professional Development Units (PDUs). This abolishes the requirement for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) plans.

If your license expires in 2014, you will need to complete a total of 50 PDUs. For licenses that expire in 2015 or later, you will have complete 75 PDUs for a three year license and 125 for a five year license.

Initial 1 Teaching License – Your Initial I Teaching License is good for three years. You can renew it twice if you meet the following provisions:

  • You must start and complete at least 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours of graduate work after your license is first issued
  • If you received your license based on a bachelor’s degree, you must complete 30 semester/45 quarter hours of education-related graduate work or a master’s degree within the two renewal periods
  • If you had a master’s degree when you got your license, you need to complete 6 semester/9 graduate hours in education-related coursework after your license was issued

If you cannot meet all of these requirements within a nine-year period, you may be able to get an unconditional one-year extension.

Initial II Teaching License – You can renew an Initial II Teaching License repeatedly for three years. You will need to complete a total of 75 PDUs to renew your license each time.

Continuing Teaching License – You can renew a Continuing Teaching License for as many as five years once you have completed your teaching experience and 25 PDUs a year.

Substitute and Restricted Substitute Teacher LicensesThese licenses can be renewed every three years. You will need to complete 30 PDUs.

Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Oregon

It has been found by the U.S. Department of Labor that the average Oregon PE teacher salary is $66,780. The financial potential for PE teachers in Oregon is huge. In fact, those who are the most experienced generally find themselves earning in the top 75th or 90th percentile of salaries statewide, which is $84,260 and $112,420 respectively.

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Since location is one of the major factors to impact income, shown below is the salary schedule on which PE teachers employed through the Portland Public Schools are paid:

Bachelor’s Degree

Level A: $38,046
Level B: $39,340
Level C: $40,679
Level D: $42,060
Level E: $43,490
Level F: $44,970
Level G: $46,496
Level H: $48,079
Level I: $49,715
Level J: $51,404
Level K: $53,151
Level L: $54,962
Level M: $56,836
Bachelor’s Degree Plus 60 Units or Master’s Degree

Level A: $45,371
Level B: $46,915
Level C: $48,509
Level D: $50,156
Level E: $51,865
Level F: $53,626
Level G: $55,449
Level H: $57,335
Level I: $59,285
Level J: $61,301
Level K: $63,585
Level L: $65,546
Level M: $67,782
The following salary table shows PE teacher salaries in Oregon as published by the U.S. Department of Labor:

Area name
Annual median wage
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro OR-WA
Salem OR

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