With one Air Force Base, over 30 hospitals, and 8 college sports teams, there are several places for aspiring athletic trainers to work and expand their careers in Idaho. On average, athletic trainers in Idaho earn about $35,270 dollars, which is exactly $9,450 less than the national mean annual salary for athletic trainers. However, don’t let the lower salary deter you from your dreams of becoming an athletic trainer in the state of Idaho, as the salary is on par with a lower cost of living in comparison to other states.
In addition to the traditional clinical, college and high school job settings, there are also corporate, industrial, and professional job opportunities for athletic trainers in Idaho, according to the Idaho Athletic Trainers’ Association. Here’s how you can make your athletic training career a reality in The Gem State.
The first step in to becoming a licensed athletic trainer in Idaho is earning your athletic training degree. Idaho requires that all aspiring athletic trainers earn a bachelor’s or a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. The degree you earn must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). There are only two CAATE-accredited universities in the state, but you don’t necessarily have to graduate from those schools to work as licensed athletic trainer in Idaho. You can attend and graduate from an athletic training program in any state across America and still work as a licensed athletic trainer in idaho, as long as the schools’ program is approved by the CAATE.
Licensing by Certification Exam
After you complete your athletic training coursework, the next step in the licensing process is completing the certification exam chosen by the Idaho Board of Athletic Trainers. The certification exam of choice is the national athletic training certifying exam administered by the Board of Certification, Inc (BOC). Passing the BOC pretty much means you have the necessary skills and knowledge to work as an athletic trainer in any state.
To sit for this exam, you must have already graduated or be in your final semester/trimester of a CAATE-accredited athletic training program. If you fail the BOC exam at any time, you must notify Idaho’s athletic training board within 30 days of receiving your exam results. If you fail to pass the exam after two or more attempts, you will become ineligible to apply for a license to practice athletic training in the state of Idaho. However, you can appeal your case to the state board, which may recommend that you complete additional coursework or clinical hours, to re-instate your eligibility to apply for an athletic training license.
Letters of Recommendation
Idaho is one of the few states, perhaps the only state, that requires athletic training license applicants to submit letters or recommendation with their license application. Your two letters of recommendation must be from individuals who:
- Are non-family members
- Have never lived with you
- Have known you for at least two years
- Can vouch for your character and ability to work as an athletic trainer
Possible candidates who could recommend you are professors, classmates, supervisors, or anyone who has direct and first-hand experience with your work ethic and skills as an athletic trainer.
Provisional Athletic Trainer’s License
If you’ve met all the athletic trainer application requirements except for taking the BOC exam, you can still work in Idaho as an athletic trainer, but only on provisional terms. Idaho’s Board of Athletic Trainers grants provisional licenses to athletic trainers who have a job lined up but have yet to pass the BOC exam. You must complete a traditional application to obtain a provisional license, but you must also submit an affidavit from your supervisor attesting to his or her commitment to ensure that you only work under his or her direct supervision at all times. Your supervisor must be an Idaho licensed athletic trainer.
Provisional licenses are good for one calendar year, and they may be renewed a maximum of two times for a total of three calendar years. If you wish to renew your provisional license, you must receive the board’s approval. After you’ve maxed out your two renewal opportunities, you must take and pass the BOC exam and complete the traditional licensing process to continue working as an athletic trainer in Idaho.
Transferring An Out of State Athletic Training License to Idaho
Unlike some states that allow athletic trainers who are licensed in another state to transfer their license by reciprocity or endorsement, Idaho does not have a formal procedure for granting licenses to athletic trainers who are already licensed in another state. If you’re already a licensed athletic trainer in another state and wish to move and work in Idaho, you have to complete the full licensing process, just as a first time applicant would. Why Idaho would make licensed athletic trainers go through this inconvenient process is unclear, but one could assume that so few out of state athletic trainers are moving to the state that there simply isn’t a need to adopt a formal license transfer process.
Once you’ve earned your athletic trainer’s license in Idaho, you have to keep it current. Athletic trainers are medical professionals and they have to perform certain tasks or complete certain courses to stay abreast of changes in the field and ensure that they always administer advanced and effective care. This process is known as continuing education (CEU), and Idaho requires that all athletic trainers earn 80 hours of continuing education every three years. You can earn your continuing education hours by enrolling in courses, or attending workshops, seminars, and conferences at the state, regional or national level.
Of the 80 continuing education hours you earn, Idaho requires that at least one of those hours include a medical screening course. This is only required for athletic trainers who will renew their license for the first time after 2006. You must include a summary of when and where you earned your continuing education hours and how many hours you earned per course or event with your renewal application.
Although small, the Idaho Athletic Trainer’s Association is very involved when it comes to continuing education, and the organization holds a summer symposium each year where athletic trainers can earn continuing education hours/units. The IATA Summer Symposium is held in Boise, Idaho, and usually features about 10 speakers who present speeches and research findings on topics and issues in the athletic training field. This is a perfect opportunity to earn CE hours as either an attendant or as a presenter.