New York Physical Education Teacher Certification

Jan 02, 2019

Aspiring teachers may be drawn to New York because of the high salaries teachers earn. Physical education teachers can opt to earn a degree through an approved program or qualify for certification through individual evaluation.

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Physical education teachers play an important role in promoting health and fitness to school children. They may work with students of all ages, from kindergarten through grade 12. New York has the third-highest number of elementary, middle and high school teachers in the United States and NY pays some of the highest salaries in the country to teachers of these age groups.

New York Physical Education Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in New York (2016)* $72,510 (Kindergarten);
$77,330 (Elementary);
$78,060 (Middle School);
$81,410 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Physical Education
Testing Requirements edTPA, EAS, CST

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

Approved Program Pathway

The most direct path to becoming a qualified teacher in New York is to earn a bachelor's degree from an approved program. These accredited bachelor's programs incorporate core course requirements in physical education, anatomy and physiology, mathematics and education. All students must complete student teaching practicums to graduate. In order to qualify for a teaching certificate graduates must also receive a recommendation from their school.

Individual Evaluation Pathway

Those who do not complete their degree at an approved school must earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution and graduate with a 2.50 GPA or higher. The must fulfill specific academic requirements in their studies, which includes completing:

  • 30 liberal arts and science credits
  • 30 physical education credits
  • 18 credits of education courses
  • 40 days of student teaching

Step 2: Pass Certification Exams

There are three exams that must be passed to qualify to earn an initial certificate to teach in New York.


The edTPA is an exam designed to evaluate practical teaching skills. Elementary teachers are required to earn a score of 46 as of 2018. In 2020 the passing score for elementary teachers will increase to 47 and it will reach 48 as of 2022. Middle and high school teachers must obtain a score of 38 to pass the edTPA. That score will increase in 2020 and 2022 to 39 and 40 respectively.


Aspiring teachers must register to take the Educating All Students (EAS) exam and pay a fee of $92. This exam takes over two hours and you must earn a score of 500 or higher to pass.


The Content Specialty Test (CST) ensures teachers are equipped to instruct students in their chosen subject areas. The Physical Education CST takes 3.25 hours and those who take it must earn a score of 520 to pass. The fee for the CST is $134.

Step 3: Complete Additional Certification Requirements

To qualify for an initial certificate all aspiring teachers must take the Dignity For All Students Act workshop. Background checks are also required and applicants must provide their fingerprints.

Individual Evaluation Pathway

In addition to the background check and workshop requirements for all teacher certificate applicants, individual evaluation pathway applicants must also attend two additional workshops that cover child abuse and school violence.

Step 4:Apply For Initial Certificate

Both approved program and individual evaluation pathway applicants must demonstrate proof of identity and provide copies of transcripts when applying for their initial certificate. Approved program applicants must pay a fee of $50. The fee for individual evaluation applicants is $100.

Teacher Certification Resources

As you prepare for the Educating All Students exam, you can use the resource here to access a study guide and test prep materials.

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