Athletic Trainer

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

An Athletic Trainer is an essential member of a sports team's staff, responsible for the injury prevention, assessment, and treatment of athletes. They also work closely with coaches and physicians to develop rehabilitation programs for injured players. Athletic Trainers are trained professionals who have a degree in athletic training and are certified by the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that athletes are in optimal shape physically and emotionally to compete at their best.

In addition to injury prevention and treatment, Athletic Trainers also provide education to athletes, coaches, parents, and staff about sports medicine, injury prevention techniques, and injury rehabilitation protocols. They work in a variety of settings, including high schools, colleges and universities, professional sports teams, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. Athletic Trainer job description often includes working a mix of evening and weekend schedules, in addition to regular working hours.

Overall, Athletic Trainers play a significant role in the sports industry, ensuring that athletes receive quality care, allowing them to continue their athletic pursuits safely and successfully.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Help prevent injuries by teaching athletes proper warm-up and conditioning techniques
  • Evaluate and assess injuries and determine proper treatment plans
  • Administer first aid and emergency care when necessary
  • Develop and implement rehabilitation plans to aid in the recovery and return to sport of injured athletes
  • Communicate with coaches, physicians, and other healthcare professionals regarding athlete injuries and treatment plans
  • Ensure all equipment and facilities are safe and meet necessary standards
  • Keep accurate and up-to-date medical reports and records
  • Educate athletes, coaches, and parents on injury prevention, treatment, and recovery
  • Stay current on developments and updates in sports medicine and related fields.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become an Athletic Trainer in the Sports industry, you will need a mix of education and experience. In general, you will need a bachelor's degree in Athletic Training, Sports Medicine, or a related field. You will also need to gain experience working with athletes and treating sports-related injuries, which can be obtained through internships, volunteer work, or entry-level positions. Certified Athletic Trainer credentials are often required as well, which typically involves passing a certification exam from the Board of Certification, Inc. Overall, it's important to have a passion for sports, a strong knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and excellent communication skills to excel in this career.

Salary Range

The salary range for Athletic Trainers in the United States varies based on location, experience, and industry. The median annual salary for an Athletic Trainer is $48,440, with the top earners making over $73,000 per year. In the sports industry, Athletic Trainers may work for professional sports teams, collegiate athletic departments, or sports medicine clinics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paying industries for Athletic Trainers in the United States are spectator sports and professional, scientific, and technical services. Outside of the US, Athletic Trainers in Canada and Australia earn similar salaries with median annual incomes of CAD$50,003 and AU$66,080, respectively.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook - Athletic Trainers
  2. PayScale: Athletic Trainer Salary
  3. SalaryExpert: Athletic Trainer Salaries in Canada and Australia

Career Outlook

The outlook for Athletic Trainers in the sports industry over the next 5 years is promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow 16% from 2019-2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to an increase in sports participation, growing awareness of sports-related injuries, and the importance of preventative care. 

As the demand for Athletic Trainers grows, so does the need for specialized training and education. Many employers require Athletic Trainers to have a master's degree or higher, which can enhance career opportunities and earnings potential. Additionally, Athletic Trainers may find opportunities in new settings, such as corporate wellness programs and the military. 

Overall, the future looks bright for Athletic Trainers in the sports industry, with a strong demand and expanding opportunities in various settings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is an Athletic Trainer?

A: An Athletic Trainer is a healthcare professional who specializes in preventing or treating injuries related to physical exercise, sports, and other physical activities.

Q: What are the responsibilities of an Athletic Trainer?

A: An Athletic Trainer is responsible for assessing and treating injuries, developing rehabilitation plans, educating athletes on injury prevention and proper techniques, and coordinating with other healthcare professionals.

Q: Where do Athletic Trainers work?

A: Athletic Trainers can work in a variety of settings such as high schools, colleges, professional sports teams, hospitals, clinics, and fitness centers.

Q: What educational requirements are needed to become an Athletic Trainer?

A: To become an Athletic Trainer, one needs to complete a bachelor's or master's degree in Athletic Training from an accredited program, and pass the Board of Certification exam.

Q: What is the job outlook for Athletic Trainers?

A: The job outlook for Athletic Trainers is good. 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.

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