NFL Athletic Trainer

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

An NFL Athletic Trainer is an essential member of any football team. They work to keep players healthy and prevent injuries during training and games. The primary role of an NFL Athletic Trainer is to diagnose and treat injuries, design and implement rehabilitation programs, and provide preventative care. They work in conjunction with team physicians to develop effective treatment plans, monitor progress and work with coaching staff to ensure the safe return of players to the field. Athletic Trainers must have excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work under pressure. They must also stay up-to-date with advancements in injury prevention and treatment knowledge. To become an NFL Athletic Trainer, applicants must obtain a bachelor's or master's degree in athletic training and pass a certification exam. Working as an NFL Athletic Trainer is a demanding career, but it can be incredibly rewarding to help athletes achieve their full potential.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assess and manage injuries of NFL players during games and practices
  • Develop and implement injury prevention programs 
  • Collaborate with team physicians and other medical professionals 
  • Attend to players' immediate medical needs 
  • Maintain detailed medical records and communicate with team management 
  • Educate players on injury prevention and proper nutrition 
  • Oversee rehabilitation programs for injured players 
  • Coordinate medical services for team travel 
  • Ensure compliance with league-wide health and safety policies

Experience and Education Requirements

To be an NFL Athletic Trainer, you need to have an education in Sports Medicine, which is like a really fancy way of saying you need to know all about the human body and how it works during physical activity.  This usually means you have to have a Bachelor's or Master's degree in Exercise Science, Biology, or a similar field, and be certified by the National Athletic Trainers' Association. But it's not just about the education - you also need experience working with athletes. This could be through internships or working with a team or in a clinic. Good communication skills and the ability to work under pressure are also important since taking care of players' health is a big responsibility.

Salary Range

When it comes to the NFL Athletic Trainer salary range in the United States, according to ZipRecruiter, it ranges from $25,000 to $140,000 annually. The median salary is around $62,500. The salary can vary depending on factors such as experience, geographic location, education level, and professional background.

In other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, Sports Medicine Clinicians including athletic therapists and physiotherapists earn an average salary of $60,000 and $50,000, respectively. In Australia, a similar role known as a Sports Trainer earns an average salary of $65,000.

It's worth noting that salaries can differ for Athletic Trainers in different sports industries, such as collegiate or professional sports. The demand for Athletic Trainers is expected to increase by 19% in the next decade.


  1. ZipRecruiter -
  2. Glassdoor -,6IN3_KO7,23.htm
  3. Indeed -

Career Outlook

Being an NFL Athletic Trainer is a rewarding job for anyone who is passionate about sports and health. The career outlook for this profession is quite positive over the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to the increasing awareness of the importance of preventing and treating sports-related injuries, especially in high school and college settings. The high demand for sports trainers in the sports industry guarantees job availability for NFL athletic trainers over the next five years. In conclusion, the career of NFL Athletic Trainer is expected to grow positively in the sports industry in the next five years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does an NFL Athletic Trainer do?

A: An NFL Athletic Trainer is responsible for the overall health and well-being of athletes on the team. They work to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries, as well as provide rehabilitation and physical therapy to help players recover quickly.

Q: How does someone become an NFL Athletic Trainer?

A: Typically, a person would need to have a bachelor's or master's degree in athletic training and pass the Board of Certification exam. They would also need to gain experience by working with sports teams and athletes.

Q: What are the main skills required for this job?

A: Good communication skills, attention to detail, the ability to work quickly under pressure, and knowledge of exercise and rehabilitation techniques are all essential skills for an NFL Athletic Trainer.

Q: What are some common injuries that an NFL Athletic Trainer may treat?

A: Sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, and concussions are common injuries that an NFL Athletic Trainer may treat. They are also responsible for monitoring athletes for heat stroke, dehydration, and other heat-related injuries during practices and games.

Q: What is the work environment like for an NFL Athletic Trainer?

A: NFL Athletic Trainers work long hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays. They work closely with coaches, team doctors, and other medical personnel to ensure the health and safety of their athletes. They may travel with the team and work in a variety of weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold.

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