There are nearly 70 college athletic programs, 12 military bases, and hundreds of hospitals where athletic trainers work together and promote the importance of the profession within the state of Georgia. Athletic trainers in Georgia earn an average of $45,410 each year, with the potential to earn nearly $60,000 each year. Georgia requires that all athletic trainers receive a license from the Georgia Board of Athletic Trainers before they can legally practice in the state. Keep reading to find out the rules and regulations you need to meet to obtain a license to work as an athletic trainer in The Peach State.
Graduating from an athletic training program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) is the first step to fulfilling the rules and requirements for a Georgia athletic trainer’s license. The CAATE commands the educational standards for all undergraduate and graduate level athletic training programs in the United States and Canada. In Georgia, there are only five CAATE-accredited athletic training programs, all of them being undergraduate programs. For several reasons, you absolutely want to graduate from a CAATE-accredited program as it will impact the certification, job outlook, salary, and various other aspects of your career as an athletic trainer.
Georgia doesn’t specify if you must earn a certain amount of clinical hours during your undergraduate education, but the CAATE requires that all of the programs it accredits meet certain academic and clinical practice standards.
Athletic Trainer Licensing Exam Requirements
Georgia’s Board of Athletic Trainers requires that all licensees take and pass the national athletic training certifying exam administered by the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification (BOC). In order to register and eventually take the BOC exam, you must graduate from an athletic training program that is accredited by the CAATE. This is another reason why it’s important to enroll in an athletic training curriculum that the CAATE approves. BOC certification also makes it easier to transfer your license from one state to another because most states draw their athletic training licensing standards from the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Board of Certification. If you’re able to meet the national certification standards for athletic training, you’ll most likely meet the licensing and certifying standards for athletic training at the state level in most locales. For an in-depth description of the BOC exam and all it entails, check out this post for more information.
Obtaining an Athletic Trainer’s License by Reciprocity in Georgia
Even if you are licensed to practice athletic training in another state, it is illegal to practice in Georgia without obtaining the proper license. However, if you’re already a licensed, certified, or registered athletic trainer in another state, lucky for you, you can transfer your license to Georgia without examination. This is known as licensing by reciprocity or by endorsement. As long as you graduated from an athletic training program that the Georgia Board of Athletic Trainers approves of and the state where you are currently licensed has licensing rules and regulations that are similar to or more stringent than Georgia’s, obtaining a license via reciprocity should be no problem for you. A quick way to determine if your state has similar licensing rules for athletic trainers is to ask your state’s licensing board if they grant licenses to athletic trainers from Georgia. If the answer is yes, then obviously your state has similar licensing requirements. If the answer is no, the only obvious reason is that your state has stricter licensing rules than Georgia. You must submit proof of your graduation along with your license by reciprocity application.
Continuing Education Requirements
All athletic trainer’s licenses expire in Georgia on June 30th of each even numbered year, and as a condition of the license renewal process, all athletic trainers must complete board-approved continuing education courses. Georgia requires that all athletic trainers earn at least 40 continuing education hours to renew a license. You must complete those hours by June 30th of the upcoming license renewal year (the next license renewal date is June 30, 2016). However, if you receive your Georgia athletic trainer’s license within 12 months of the next renewal period, you do not have to complete the entire 40 continuing education hours by the next renewal date. This is applicable only for your first license renewal. All subsequent license renewals must comply with the continuing education requirements set for by the Georgia Board of Athletic Trainers.