A career in Sports Medicine may be perfect for individuals who have a passion for sports, medicine and health.
Sports Medicine Technicians work alongside other professionals such as athletic trainers and physicians to design and implement a game plan revolving treatment and rehabilitation for their patients.
Sports Medicine Technicians are also called Assistant Athletic Trainers and report to an experienced Athletic Trainer.
The majority of people may believe that a Sports Medicine Technician would solely work with professional athletes and associations.
But in reality there are plenty of opportunities outside of the professional sports sector.
The following is a list of possible employers that seek professional Sports Medicine Technicians:
- School athletic programs, mainly universities and colleges
- Professional sports teams: National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL) and several other organizations
- Dance or Gymnastics programs
- Business fitness programs
- Military Academies
Competition is fierce for positions in the lucrative professional sports leagues that include organizations such as the NFL, NBA and NHL.
A candidate may have to build their reputation in the field or build connections in order to get a job in any of these leagues.
However, those who want to become a Sports Medicine Technician can expect to fulfill similar duties and roles no matter what kind of organization they work for.
Education Requirements to Become a Sports Medicine Technician
A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is required in order for someone to become a Sports Medicine Technician.
This is perfect for people who want to be involved in sports and medicine but who do not necessarily want to complete all the education and residency requirements a physician or therapist have to complete.
A typical Bachelor’s program can provide candidates with a variety of knowledge regarding health and medicine.
Some typical coursework can join include classes in exercise science, physical education, kinesiology, athletic training or similar majors that focus on the human body and health.
Students will need to learn a foundation that will help them become a Sports Medicine Technician.
Some basic foundational courses they are required to take include anatomy, physical science, kinetics and nutrition courses.
In addition to acquiring a Bachelor’s degree, candidates may also be required to secure certification depending on the state they work in.
Certification is important in order to stand out among candidates who don’t have the necessary background to work in the field.
Sports Medicine Technician Job Description
A Sports Medicine Technician can report to the Sports Medicine Physician or Athletic Trainer and provide care under their supervision.
A Sports Medicine Technician will work as a team in order to determine a treatment or preventative plan for their patient.
A Sports Medicine Technician may work with athletes of all ages but it really depends on the organization they work for.
A Sports Medicine Technician will help their team provide medical treatment to their patients.
They will evaluate a patient’s health before and after sports performances, review and treat any injuries, perform psychological evaluations and look for possible substance abuse issues.
For injured patients, they are responsible for applying splints and braces in order to prevent further injury and begin the healing process.
They may also be responsible for making sure athletic equipment is put on properly and teach their patients ways to prevent injuries.
Sports Medicine Technician Salary and Career Path
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide salary information for Sports Medicine Technicians.
However, they do provide salary and wages for similar careers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the national median wage for Emergency Medical Technicians is approximately $14 per hour up to a maximum of $18.
However, these professionals aren’t required to hold a Bachelor’s degree.
Another similar career is Athletic Trainer whose median wage was estimated to be $39,600 in 2008.
All careers in the healthcare industry are expected to continue to grow through the year 2018.
This type of career is expected to grow at a fast rate of 37% for Athletic Trainers who work closely with Sports Medicine Technicians.
However, competition will be stiffer for professionals who wish to work with professional sports teams because of the lucrative aspects.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a sports medicine technician do?
A sports medicine technician is someone who, in most cases, assists athletic trainers in the care and therapy of injured athletes.
Sports medicine technicians can also be called ‘assistant athletic trainers’.
These specialists can work with professional sports teams and athletes, in ballet or dance companies, school athletic programs, military academies, hospitals, corporate office fitness programs, etc.
The typical duties of a sports medicine technician usually include emergency injury assessment and treatment; educating athletes in preventative measures that they can take in order to avoid injuries; the application of splints and braces; ensuring the proper fit of sports equipment, and so on.
Sometimes sports medicine technicians are also responsible for designing and coordinating treatment with a physical therapist or a sports masseuse.
How much do sports medicine technicians make?
On average, a sports medicine technician can make a little less than $40.000 per year in the United States.
In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $30.000 and $50.000 annually.
The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the employer, the location, the sport, and so on.
Sports medicine technicians that work in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Texas, for example, have the highest average salaries.
An entry-level sports medicine technician can earn around $13.00 per hour, while a top-level professional with plenty of experience can make $30.00 and more per hour.
How much does it cost to become a sports medicine technician?
You would have to earn a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, exercise science, physical education, or a related field, in case you want to become a sports medicine technician.
A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).
Aspiring sports medicine technicians have to pass the Board of Certification Exam in all but 4 states (over $25).
To improve job perspectives, you should consider going for a master’s degree in athletic training (around $30.000 per year).
What is the demand for sports medicine technicians?
Between 2016 and 2026, the athletic trainer (sports medicine technicians included) job market is expected to grow by 22.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That is a lot faster than the national average for all occupations in the United States.
Bear in mind that the competition in professional sports is extremely high.
The industry is mainly concentrated in New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
How long does it take to become a sports medicine technician?
It will take you 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree and 2 years to acquire a master’s degree (in case you decide to go for one).
If you manage to gain experience while still at school, you will become more competitive in the job market (seek summer internships, for example).
After you have graduated with a degree in athletic training (or a related field), you would have to pass the Board of Certification Exam (you can apply for the BOC exam during your final semester).