How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in North Carolina

As you take the first steps toward becoming a physical education teacher in North Carolina, you will want to know what to study, what exams to take, and how to get licensed. With the information in this article, you can answer all three of those questions.

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Becoming a physical education teacher in North Carolina involves choosing a specific degree program while attending a college or university. As you approach the end of your studies, you'll also have to be ready to take two standardized exams. In the state of North Carolina, those who receive licensing for physical education are covered for kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Requirements for Physical Education Teachers in North Carolina

Average Salary for Teachers in North Carolina (2017)* $45,690 (Elementary and Middle School Teachers), $46,370 (Secondary School Teachers)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Physical Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills; Praxis Physical Education Content Knowledge (K-12) or Praxis Health and Physical Education Content Knowledge (K-12)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn your Physical Education Degree

Anyone who wants to become a physical education teacher in North Carolina will need to earn a degree in the same field. This can be done with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. Along with an internship/student teaching experience, this degree prepares future teachers to focus on the health and well-being of their students. Courses included in this degree program may include introductory exercise and sport science, introduction to biomechanics, structural kinesiology, and movement education. A similar degree, the Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education, covers much of the same material, offering courses such as current health problems, children's movement, and fitness concepts.

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Step 2: Pass Your Exams

Physical Education teachers in North Carolina must pass two Praxis Exams. The first, the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test, analyzes three areas of general knowledge for all teachers: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. The Writing test contains two prompts that will require longer answers, as well as multiple choice questions, while the Reading and Mathematics sections are entirely composed of multiple choice questions. Scores of 156, 162, and 150 are needed to pass the Reading, Writing, and Math exams respectively.

Physical education teachers must also pass their subject test. Praxis administers the Physical Education: Content Knowledge (K-12) exam, a two-hour multiple choice test that can be passed with a score of 152. If you want to include health, Praxis also offers the Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge (K-12) exam. This test has 130 questions that can be compleded in 130 minutes; a score of 160 or above is needed.

Step 3: Earn Your Educator License

For first-time physical education teachers, North Carolina issues the Professional Educator's Initial License. This particular credential is not renewable, and will expire after three years. Licenses can be obtained upon completion of a valid degree program and evidence of passing all of the required exams. The cost of a license when applied for by an in-state educator is $70. When applying for the license, official transcripts should be sent from all attended schools; photocopies are accepted by North Carolina if necessary. The application process is conducted entirely online through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's website.

Addition Resources for Physical Education Teachers in North Carolina

On the way to earning a license in North Carolina, physical education teachers should look into's online database of practice guides and study material for their exams. Check out some of the content below to get an idea of what you can expect from the Praxis exams:

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