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Athletic Trainer

Who is an Athletic Trainer?

An athletic trainer is the healthcare professional who excels in various physical fitness techniques like:

  • First aid for injured athletes

  • Rehabilitation

  • Injury prevention

As an athletic trainer, you would have to collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals. And, you may need to work with patients of any age. Most typically, the athletic trainer will be the first healthcare provider that can be seen in the sight of injuries.

Work Settings:

Most of the athletic trainers would get an employment in educational settings and other places such as:

  • Colleges

  • Universities

  • Elementary schools

  • Secondary schools

  • Hospitals

  • Fitness centers

  • Physicians’ offices

  • Professional sports teams

Most of the athletic trainers are found to be working full-time while the athletic trainers working with sports teams are often found to be working in the evenings and weekends.

Job Description:

The roles and duties of an athletic trainer would include the following:

  • Applying protective (injury-preventing) devices like:

    • Tapes

    • Bandages

    • Braces

  • Recognizing and evaluating injuries

  • Providing first aid and emergency care

  • Developing and implementing rehabilitation programs for athletes who faced an injury

  • Planning and implementing comprehensive programs for preventing injuries and illnesses among athletes

  • Carrying out the following administrative tasks:

    • Keeping records

    • Writing reports on injuries and/or treatment programs


How to become an Athletic Trainer?

Educational Requirements:

In order to pursue your career as an athletic trainer, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree. However, most of the athletic trainers are found to have a master’s degree. The majors of the degree programs you choose must be any of the following:

  • Biology

  • Anatomy

  • Physiology

  • Nutrition

It is recommended that the degree program you choose is an accredited one. In the United States, the athletic trainer programs are accredited by the ‘Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education’.

If you are a high school student who aspires to pursue your career as an athletic trainer, you must take courses in the subjects like:

  • Anatomy

  • Physiology

  • Physics

Licensing and Certification:

Almost all states in the U.S. require athletic trainers to hold a license or certificate. However, the requirements for each state would vary. In general, it is the ‘Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer’, which is conducting the certification exam that is used by most of the U.S. states. The requirements for this certification are:

  • CAATE-accredited program

  • BOC examination

Job Outlook and Opportunities:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for athletic trainers has been estimated to increase by 21% from the year 2014 to 2024. The rate is expected to increase as a result of increasing awareness about the sports-related injuries.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for athletic trainers was found to be $43,370 (as of May 2014) per year.


Average Annual Pay:  $43,370

Education:  Bachelor’s degree

Employment Growth from 2014 to 2024: 21%

On-the-job training: None

Work Experience: None