Athletic Trainer

Last Updated:
September 12, 2023

Job Description Overview

An Athletic Trainer is a healthcare professional who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating injuries and illnesses related to physical activity. They work with athletes and other physically active individuals to help them perform at their best while reducing the risk of injury. Athletic Trainers have a deep understanding of exercise physiology, biomechanics, and nutrition, and they work closely with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care to their patients. Their job description may include evaluating injuries, developing treatment plans, providing rehabilitation exercises, and educating patients about injury prevention. They may also perform physical exams and medical screenings, and work with coaches and other professionals to create training programs that optimize performance. Athletic Trainers work in a variety of settings, including schools, sports teams, hospitals, and fitness centers. To become an Athletic Trainer, one must have a bachelor's degree and certification from the Board of Certification, Inc.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide immediate first aid and medical assistance to injured athletes on the field or court.
  • Monitor and assess the physical condition and progress of athletes during practices and games.
  • Develop and implement injury prevention programs and rehabilitation plans for athletes.
  • Collaborate with team physicians, coaches, and parents to ensure the optimal health and safety of athletes.
  • Administer therapeutic modalities to manage pain, swelling, and inflammation.
  • Educate athletes and coaches on injury prevention strategies, nutrition, and physical conditioning.
  • Maintain accurate medical records and documentation of athlete injuries, treatments, and progress.
  • Evaluate and manage potential concussion injuries using established protocols.
  • Develop and implement emergency action plans for athletic events to ensure prompt and effective medical care.

Experience and Education Requirements

If you want to become an Athletic Trainer in the healthcare industry, you need to have a combination of education and experience. Firstly, you need a bachelor's degree in athletic training, sports medicine, or a related field. This degree should be from a program that's accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Along with the degree, you also need to be certified by the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification.

Next, you need practical experience working with athletes. This may involve internships, fieldwork, or shadowing an experienced Athletic Trainer. Some states may also require you to have a license or certification to practice as an Athletic Trainer.

Overall, a combination of education and hands-on experience is crucial to be a successful Athletic Trainer in the healthcare industry.

Salary Range

As an Athletic Trainer in the Healthcare industry, you can expect an average salary range of $39,360 to $58,540 per year in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Athletic Trainers was $49,860 as of May 2020. The highest paying states for this profession are New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, Texas, and California. The average salary for Athletic Trainers in New Jersey is $67,620 per year.

Outside of the United States, the Athletic Trainer salary range varies. In Canada, the average salary for Athletic Trainers is CAD $52,000 to CAD $72,000 per year. In the United Kingdom, the average salary for a Sports Therapist, which is a similar profession, ranges from £20,000 to £45,000 per year.


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Career Outlook

The career outlook for Athletic Trainers in the Healthcare industry over the next 5 years is growing! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Athletic Trainers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. With the emphasis on injury prevention and the increasing popularity of sports, the demand for Athletic Trainers is expected to rise. Additionally, the growing elderly population and the need for preventive treatment will increase the need for Athletic Trainers in settings beyond traditional sports programs. The future looks bright for those pursuing a career as an Athletic Trainer!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does an athletic trainer do in the healthcare industry?

A: An athletic trainer works with athletes and physically active individuals to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries related to sports and physical activity. They also provide rehabilitation for these injuries.

Q: What qualifications do I need to become an athletic trainer?

A: To become an athletic trainer, you typically need a bachelor's degree in athletic training or a related field, as well as certification from the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer (BOC).

Q: What types of settings do athletic trainers work in?

A: Athletic trainers can work in a variety of settings, including high schools, colleges and universities, professional sports teams, hospitals and clinics, and rehabilitation centers.

Q: Are athletic trainers the same as personal trainers?

A: No, athletic trainers and personal trainers have different roles. Athletic trainers focus on injury prevention, assessment, and rehabilitation, while personal trainers focus on fitness and exercise programming.

Q: Can athletic trainers prescribe medication?

A: No, athletic trainers are not licensed to prescribe medication. However, they may work with healthcare professionals such as physicians to develop treatment plans for injuries.

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