With an Army, Navy, and Air Force base, over 150 hospitals, and 45 college athletic programs, there are surprisingly plenty of job prospects for athletic trainers in Indiana. On average, athletic trainers earn a mean annual salary of $42, 540 in Indiana. Keep reading to find out the eligibility requirements to work as a licensed athletic trainer in the The Hoosier State.
Indiana requires that all athletic training applicants hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. The accrediting body that the Indiana Athletic Trainers Board prefers is the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The CAATE is responsible for establishing the academic standards for all athletic training programs in the nation. Graduating from a CAATE accredited athletic training program indicates that you meet the national standards to competently rehabilitate and prevent sports-related injuries. Graduating from a CAATE-accredited program also makes you eligible to take the national licensing exam for athletic trainers.
There are 13 CAATE-accredited athletic training programs in Indiana. Ten of these programs provide bachelor’s degrees, and three of these programs provide master’s degrees in athletic training. The athletic training program you choose must include the following courses:
- Human anatomy
- Human physiology
- Exercise physiology
- Basic athletic training
- Personal health
- Advanced athletic training
- Therapeutic methods and procedures
- Clinical experience
Clinical Education Requirements
Indiana sets extensive clinical education standards for prospective athletic trainers. The board of athletic training requires that all prospective athletic trainers who obtain clinical experience as a part of an CAATE-accredited program earn at least 800 hours to receive a license. All 800 clinical hours must be obtained in a setting that is directly associated with your college or university.
Aspiring athletic trainers who earn their clinical experience via an internship or an apprenticeship must earn at least 1,500 hours to obtain a license. Of the total 1,500 clinical hours you earn, 1,000 of those hours must be obtained in traditional athletic training settings. Five-hundred of the 1,500 total hours you obtain can be earned from an affiliated clinical setting, such as a secondary school game or a professional sports organization. You must earn all of your clinical hours in a span of at least 2 years, but you have a five year limit to earn all 1,500 clinical education hours.
Whether you earn your clinical hours via an internship/apprenticeship or via your educational curriculum, all clinical hours must be earned under the direct supervision of a licensed athletic trainer who has the authority to plan, advise, and evaluate your performance. At least 25 percent of your clinical experience must be obtained from covering practice or actual on the field play from one or more of the following high-contact/risk sports:
Emergency Care Certification
Perhaps the most important part of an athletic trainer’s job is the ability to provide immediate and life saving emergency care. While Indiana’s athletic training licensing rules doesn’t explicitly state that athletic trainers must hold specific emergency care certifications, it’s safe to assume that you must hold one. The American Red Cross or the American Heart Association certifications are perhaps the safest medical emergency certifications to hold because they’re the most widely accepted. If you intend to become BOC certified, which Indiana’s Athletic Trainers Board requires of all licensees, you must maintain ongoing emergency medical certification to remain a BOC-certified athletic trainer.
Athletic Training Licensing Examination
To obtain an athletic trainer’s license in Indiana, aspiring athletic trainers must be certified by the Board of Certification, Inc., more commonly referred to as the BOC. To become a BOC-certified athletic trainer, you must take and pass the BOC exam, which is the national certification exam for athletic trainers. You must complete or be within the final semester/trimester of completing a CAATE-accredited program before you can sit for the BOC exam. For more information about the BOC exam, read here.
Temporary Licenses and Permits
For aspiring athletic trainers who fail to meet the traditional licensing requirements, there are alternative licensing routes you can take to work as an athletic trainer in Indiana. The only caveat is that these alternative licensing methods are temporary in nature. If you fall under any of the following criteria, you may be eligible for a temporary license or permit:
- Have yet to take the BOC exam or have yet to earn a passing score on the BOC exam
- Are in the process of transferring your license from another state
- Are BOC-certified but come from a state that does not regulate athletic trainers or only requires that athletic trainers register to practice
Should you be granted a temporary license, it is only good for 90 days. Temporary permits are valid until:
- Your application is approved and you receive your traditional athletic trainer’s license
- Your application is denied
- 90 days have passed
Athletic trainers applying for a temporary license or permit must complete a separate application.
Transferring an Out of State Athletic Trainer’s License to Indiana
If you already have an athletic trainer’s license from another state, lucky for you, you don’t have to go through the entire application process. You can easily transfer your license and work as an athletic trainer in Indiana provided the state you’re currently licensed in has licensing standards that are equal to Indiana’s. All you have to do is complete a license verification form and give it to the athletic trainer licensing board in your current state, and they’ll handle it from there. As mentioned above, while you wait for your license to officially transfer, you can apply for a temporary license to work as an athletic trainer in Indiana. However, if your application for a traditional Indiana athletic training license is denied, you must forfeit your temporary license and cease your athletic training work.
To maintain your Indiana athletic trainer’s license, you must complete at least 50 hours of continuing education by December 31st of every even-numbered year. If you will only hold your license for one year by the time the next renewal date rolls around, you only have to complete half, or 25, of the required continuing education hours. If you will only be licensed for six months by the date of the next renewal period, you don’t have to complete any of the required continuing education hours.
You can obtain continuing education hours a variety of ways, but whatever method you choose to earn your hours it must be BOC-approved. You are responsible for maintaining your own continuing education records, and must maintain thorough records of your continuing education hours at all times. Indiana’s Board of Athletic Trainers recommends keeping records as far back as four years from any current period of time in case you are subject to a random audit. For Indiana’s continuing education worksheet, click here.