How to Become an Athletic Trainer

Athletic Trainers are experienced professionals who work in preventing, treating and diagnosing a variety of bone or muscle injuries or illnesses.

They specialize working for athletes and may work on or off the field or court.

Although the most successful Athletic Trainers work for a professional sports team, many Athletic Trainers can also find a variety of opportunities in different industries such as medical offices or schools.

Individuals who want to become an Athletic Trainer not only have a passion for sports, but may also have the ability and passion for treating sports related injuries.

Education Requirements to Become an Athletic Trainer

Individuals who want to become an Athletic Trainer need a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.

However, many Athletic Trainers take the steps to acquire a graduate degree at the Master’s level.

In addition, Athletic Trainers will also need to seek licensing in the state they choose to work in.

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Individuals who want to become an Athletic Trainer can choose a school that provides this degree at the Bachelor’s level.

For individuals who do not join a specific program, they can choose to focus on a health related major such as Kinesiology, Nutrition, Exercise Physiology or Biomechanics then apply for an Athletic Training program at the Master’s level.

Undergraduate Athletic Training programs will have a heavy emphasis on hands on learning in addition to traditional classroom instruction.

In addition to a Bachelor’s degree in a health related focus, individuals can seek training opportunities from internships or entry level positions in clinics.

Individuals pursuing a Master’s degree in Athletic Training can expect to take a variety of health related classes to prepare them for this field.

Typical classes include Pharmacology, Pathology and acute care.

In addition, depending on the college or university, a 5 year joint Bachelor’s and Master’s program may be available.

Lastly, individuals will need to take the steps to seek licensure in Athletic Training.

Although Licensing depends on the state an individual resides in, professional associations such as the National Athletic Trainer’s Association recommend licensing for these individuals.

Visit their website at NATA to learn more information regarding this profession as well as potential job opportunities.

Athletic Trainer Job Description

An Athletic Trainer is considered a health professional who works with individuals with sports related injuries.

Through their education, Athletic Trainers are trained to recognize, prevent and rehabilitate sports related injuries.

Some Athletic Trainers work under the supervision of a medical doctor or health care team and work in conjunction with these health care professionals to diagnose sports related injuries and provide treatment and rehabilitation.

They may also act as a liaison between a patient and their physician.

In addition, some Athletic Trainers may work with individual athletes or an entire sports organization and assist with the prevention of athletic injuries.

In addition, these professionals may also work medical centers and for a variety of schools including at the elementary, high school or collegiate level.

Athletic Trainers are experienced at diagnosing and treating a variety of injuries including muscle or bone injuries.

Athletic trainers working for a sports team will observe their patient’s on the field to identify any potential injuries.

They will perform evaluations for athletic trainings and provide first aid on any minor injuries.

Athletic Trainer Salary and Career Path

The annual median income for Athletic Trainers was $42,690 in 2012.

Exact wages will depend heavily on experience and the industry an Athletic Trainer works in.

Some industries, such as professional or amateur sports teams also require Athletic Trainers to work during evenings or weekends to accommodate for sporting events held during those times.

The job prospects for the Athletic Training profession look strong through the year 2022.

The projected growth rate for jobs is expected to be 21 percent which is considered faster than average when compared to other professions.

This projection comes from the recent demand for this type of service due to the awareness and the education of sports related injuries.

Individuals who are keenly aware of how the body works and have a fascination with sports would benefit from considering this profession as a career.

In addition, not only do the job prospects look strong through the end of the decade, some experienced Athletic Trainers may end up working on the sidelines for a professional sports team.

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