With nearly 100 collegiate athletic programs, countless high school athletic programs, 15 military bases, and more than 100 hospitals, opportunities are ripe and growing for athletic Trainers in Texas. The average athletic trainer salary in The Lone Star State is $52,580, and here’s how you can get your piece of the pie.
In order to become an athletic trainer in Texas, you must earn an undergraduate degree. Now you don’t necessarily need to earn a degree in athletic training, but you must complete at least 24 credit hours within the following courses and subjects:
- Human anatomy
- Health, disease, nutrition, fitness, wellness, emergency care, first aid, or alcohol and drug education
- Biomechanics or kinesiology
- Physiology of exercise
- Care and prevention of injuries, sports medicine, or athletic training
- Advanced athletic training, assessment of injuries, or advanced sports medicine
- Therapeutic modalities, rehabilitation, or therapeutic exercise
Athletic Trainer Internships and Apprenticeships
Perspective athletic trainers must also complete an internship/apprenticeship prior to becoming licensed in Texas. You must obtain at least 1,800 hours of experience during your internship/apprenticeship, and 1,500 hours of that total must be earned while you’re still enrolled in your undergraduate program.
Your hours must be earned under the direct guidance of a doctor, athletic trainer or physical therapist who is licensed. Instruction must cover how to prevent injuries, how to provide emergency care, rehabilitation, and modality usage in a variety of sports.
Transferring Athletic Training Licensure From Another State
If you’re an athletic trainer who intends to relocate to Texas, you must hold a current license or certification as an athletic trainer from another state, or if you come from a state that has no licensure or regulation requirements, you must hold a national certification issued by the Board of Certification, Inc.
As far as training, you must hold an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree or a state-issued certificate in physical therapy or you must have an undergraduate or graduate degree in corrective therapy with a minor in health or physical education. You must also complete at least three semester hours of a basic athletic training course from an accredited institution.
If you are transferring your athletic training credentials from another state, you must also complete an athletic training apprenticeship. Transferring athletic trainers must complete a minimum of 720 apprentice hours under the supervision of a licensed athletic trainer at a Texas college or university or an out-of-state licensed athletic trainer at an out-of-state college.
Prior to obtaining your athletic trainer license, you must hold certain certifications to demonstrate your ability to handle medical emergencies. Texas requires that all athletic trainer applicants undergo training and obtain certifications showing their competence in adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use an automated external defibrillator. Athletic trainer applicants must also have a current emergency medical services (EMS) certification with their local emergency department.
If you’re applying for an athletic trainer’s license in Texas, boy do you have some examinations ahead of you. However, the good news is that there is a way to get around some of them.
Texas requires that all prospective athletic trainer licensees take a jurisprudence exam. The exam is designed to establish that new licensees have competent knowledge of the athletic training field and the rules related to the profession. Other medical professionals in the state are required to take a jurisprudence exam that is tailored to their specific line of work, so it’s just something that all medical professionals have to go through in the state of Texas to become licensed.
Texas has their own athletic training state examination, which is a two part test that gauges an applicant’s competence and knowledge of the athletic training field. The first part is an 150 multiple-choice written exam, which tests applicants on injury prevention, clinical evaluation and diagnosis, immediate care, treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning, organization and administration, and professional development and responsibility.
The second part of the test is a hands-on practical examination that tests the applicants ability to prevent injuries, provide immediate care, treat, rehab, and recondition injuries, and provide a clinical evaluation and diagnosis. The practical takes place in an examination room with two skilled examiners and a model, all of which are licensed athletic trainers. You will be asked to demonstrate certain requests, and you must carry out those requests under careful observation. Verbal responses will not work here; you have to show and prove that you have what it takes to thoroughly do the job of a licensed athletic trainer.
Now if you’ve taken the national Board of Certification (BOC) exam, which is the national body that sets the standards for the athletic training field, you don’t have to take the Texas state examination. Texas considers applicants who pass the BOC exam competent enough to pass the state board’s examination. The BOC exam is required to gain the credential of national certification as an athletic trainer. All states don’t require the BOC, such as Texas, but there are reasons you still may want to take the BOC exam. Click here for more on the BOC examination.
Continuing Education Credits
As with most medical professions, athletic trainers must further their professional development via continuing education (CE) courses. Continuing education courses are also required to renew your athletic trainer’s license. Texas requires all licensed athletic trainers to earn at least 20 CE hours every two years, as well as renewing their CPR and AED certifications as needed.
You can earn CE hours as an athletic trainer a variety of ways. From attending conferences and workshops to speaking engagements and postgrad work, so you should have no trouble finding ways to meet your continuing education hours. If the method for obtaining hours is approved by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Board of Certification (NATA-BOC), then the state of Texas accepts the hours you earn as valid for renewing your athletic trainer’s license. This includes online courses that are BOC-approved.
It’s important to continually earn CE hours and not wait to the last minute. If you fail to complete the required CE hours, your license may not be renewed, and you’ll have to start the licensed process all over again, and if the rules have changed since the time you were first licensed, you’ll have to comply with those new rules.