With 25 college athletic programs, an Air Force base, over 70 hospitals, and several high school and youth sports leagues, athletic training jobs are open and available in The Natural State. When it comes to licensing, Arkansas has perhaps the fastest processing time for new athletic trainer licensees, three days, and the licensing rules and regulations are fairly straightforward. On average, athletic trainers earn about $41,850 in Arkansas.
In order to work as a licensed athletic trainer in Arkansas, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Arkansas’s State Board of Athletic training does not specify if your undergraduate degree must be in athletic training or if you must earn your degree from a Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredited program.
The CAATE is the accrediting body for all athletic training programs across the nation, and accreditation from the CAATE means that your athletic training program meets the educational standards of a competent athletic training education. There are currently six CAATE-certified athletic training programs in the state of Arkansas. Five of the programs are professional undergraduate programs, and one of the programs is a professional graduate-level program where students who already have an undergraduate degree in a non-athletic training discipline can gain the necessary knowledge to transition to a career in athletic training.
Like most medical professionals, athletic trainers must accumulate a certain amount of clinical hours as a component of their educational curriculum in order to be eligible for licensing and certification. Clinical internships gives athletic training students the real-life experience they need to put their in-class knowledge to the test. Arkansas doesn’t set a specific amount of clinical internship hours aspiring athletic trainers need to obtain a license, but all of the CAATE-accredited athletic training programs in the state provide for a clinical component to their athletic training curriculum. All athletic training clinical rotations and athletic training internships must be supervised by a licensed athletic trainer, physical therapist, or physician.
Transferring an Athletic Training License to Arkansas from Another State
If you already work as an athletic trainer in another state and wish to transfer your license to work as an athletic trainer in The Natural State, Arkansas does allow for licensing by reciprocity. However, the state or territory where you are currently licensed to work as an athletic trainer must have equal licensing rules and requirements to Arkansas’ at the time you wish to transfer your license. The quickest way to find out if you can transfer your license from your existing residence to Arkansas is to contact your state’s athletic training licensing board or athletic training association and ask if Arkansas athletic trainers are allowed to transfer their license to your state by reciprocity. If the answer is yes, obviously the licensing requirements in your state is similar to Arkansas’s and you should have no problem transferring your athletic training license. If the answer is no, then you may be required to interview with the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training to ensure that your credentials and capabilities meet the licensing requirements in the state. All persons who wish to transfer their license to Arkansas from another state must complete a reciprocity verification form and submit this form to all states and territories where he or she is currently licensed, certified, or registered as an athletic trainer.
Arkansas’s licensing rules and regulations doesn’t specify that athletic training applicants must be First Aid or CPR certified to obtain a license, but you intend to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC ) exam, the national examination administered by the National Association of Athletic Trainers (NATA) to determine if you have the skills and knowledge to perform the daily tasks of an athletic trainer, then you must maintain an emergency cardiac care (ECC) certification at all times. CPR/AED courses from the American Red Cross and CPR courses from the American Heart Association will fulfill the ECC certification requirements set forth by NATA. Since all aspiring athletic trainers who wish to work in Arkansas must pass the BOC exam to obtain an athletic training license, it’s safe to say that you must hold a CPR certification, AED certification, or some combination or additional form of ECC certification as approved by the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training.
All athletic trainers who wish to obtain a license in Arkansas must take and pass the BOC exam. In order to take the BOC exam, you must have already completed a CAATE-accredited athletic training program, or you must be in your final semester of your accredited program to sit for the exam. One unique thing about Arkansas is their issuance of temporary athletic training permits for athletic training graduates who are eligible to take the BOC exam. If NATABOC verifies that you are eligible to take the exam, you can obtain a temporary permit to practice as an athletic trainer while you prepare for the BOC exam. The temporary permit lasts for one year and it is not renewable.
Once you obtain an athletic trainer’s license in Arizona, you must complete a certain amount of continuing education (CE) hours to keep your license current and up-to-date. As with any medical profession, continuing education will keep your skills and knowledge sharp, and ensure that you stay abreast of any changes and developments in your career field.
Arkansas requires all licensed athletic trainers to obtain 75 CE hours every three years. You can obtain CE a variety of ways. From attending seminars to enrolling in online courses, as long as the continuing education provider is BOC-approved, the hours you earn from completing a course, attending an event, or even teaching a seminar counts towards your CE hours. In the eyes of Arkansas’s State Board of Athletic Training, as long as BOC accepts the CE hours, then they’re good enough for the board as well.