Athletic Trainer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General FAQs

I'm nationally certified, do I need a Washington license in order to work?

Yes, a license is required to practice in Washington effective July 1, 2008.

How do I apply for a license?

Application forms are on the Applications and Forms webpage.

How much does it cost to get a license?

Information about the fee schedule is posted on the Fees webpage.

How long does the application process take? 

See the most current application processing times on our Application Status webpage. The quickest way to check the status of your application at any time is to view the Provider Credential Search site.

What is the renewal process?

Six to eight weeks prior to your birthday a courtesy reminder will be mailed to your address on record. Renewal payment must be received by the department or postmarked on or before your birth date. The renewal notice isn't required to renew. Contact the Customer Service Center at 360-236-4700 if you have questions regarding your renewal process.

I travel out of state with my team. Is my license valid in other states?

It depends on the state to which you're traveling, and whether a license is required. Check that state's specific laws regarding practicing athletic training in that state.

Is there an exam I need to take?

Yes, The Board of Certification for Athletic Trainers (BOC) examination is the required examination to qualify a license.

I'm currently licensed as an athletic trainer in another state, may I practice in Washington?

RCW 18.250.050 indicates an athletic trainer from another state for purposes of continuing education, consulting or performing athletic training services while accompanying his or her group, individual or representatives into Washington State on a temporary basis for no more than 90 days in a calendar year isn't required to hold a license in Washington.

May I purchase, store, or administer medications?

Substitute House Bill 1275 passed in 2023 and established training and education requirements for athletic trainers who would like to purchase, store and administer medications, and also clarified that athletic trainers may purchase, store, and administer over-the-counter medications. The statute also clarifies that the term medications does not include controlled substances. The department has completed rulemaking that will be effective July 21, 2024 to clarify what training will be required for athletic trainers to purchase, store, and administer medications.

This means that after July 21st, athletic trainers can purchase, store and administer over-the-counter medications, and may purchase, store and administer prescription medications after completing training programs as outlined in the new rule. Note that all requirements under RCW 18.250.110 must be followed, and the rule also clarifies that for the purpose of this chapter, prescription medications does not include controlled substances.

Do I need to notify or register with the Department of Health before I purchase, store, or administer medications?

You do not need an endorsement or any kind of registration once you have completed the training and education to purchase, store or administer medications. You must ensure that before you purchase, store, or administer any particular medication that you have completed the required training under WAC 246-916-070. 

Continuing Education FAQs

How many hours of continuing education do I need?

Athletic trainers must take 50 hours of continuing education every two years.

Where do I find information on continuing education requirements for athletic trainers?

WAC 246-916-060 outlines continuing education requirements for athletic trainers. WAC 246-12 Part 7 outlines general requirements that apply to all professions.

How do I know when my continuing education hours are due?

You'll receive a notice on your renewal card when you're required to report continuing education hours. In addition, your due date is listed on Provider Credential Search. You must attest to meeting the requirements of WAC 246-916-060 every two years when you renew your credential.

Athletic trainers don't have to report continuing education until the first full two-year period after July 1, 2016. For example, if your annual renewal date is February 5, you'll attest to completing continuing education hours when you renew in 2019. If your annual renewal date is July 29, you'll attest to completing continuing education hours when you renew in 2018.

How do I attest to completing my continuing education hours?

You must attest to meeting the requirements of WAC 246-916-060 every two years when you renew your credential. You may attest online if renewing online or by signature if renewing by mail.

How do I know what courses are acceptable?

Acceptable courses must be from the categories listed in WAC 246-916-060. Documentation requirements are listed for each category.

What happens if I'm audited?

If you're audited, you'll receive a letter from the Department of Health. You must send documentation of all courses for the two-year continuing education cycle.

How long do I have to keep proof of my continuing education courses?

Per WAC 246-12 Part 7, you must keep documentation for four years.

Do I have to complete health equity training as part of my continuing education?

Effective January 1, 2024, you are required to complete one hour of health equity CE every two years. The goal of health equity continuing education is to equip health care workers with the skills to recognize and address health inequities in their daily work. This hour may be counted towards your CE requirements. Free training options and other information is on our Health Equity Continuing Education webpage