NFL Head Athletic Trainer

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

As an NFL Head Athletic Trainer, you're responsible for the medical care of professional football players. More specifically, you're in charge of overseeing a team of athletic trainers who provide care for players on and off the field. Your duties may include evaluating player injuries, developing treatment plans, and applying therapeutic techniques and modalities. You'll also be responsible for maintaining medical records and coordinating with team physicians to ensure the safety and well-being of each player. To excel in this role, you'll need extensive knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, as well as experience working with athletes. You should also have excellent communication and leadership skills, as you'll be working closely with coaches, players, and medical staff. Overall, as an NFL Head Athletic Trainer, you play a crucial role in the sports industry, ensuring that players receive the best possible medical care to keep them healthy and on the field.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Works with players, coaches, and team physicians to design and implement injury prevention programs
  • Assesses and diagnoses injuries sustained by players during practice and games
  • Manages and provides treatment for injuries using a variety of techniques and modalities 
  • Educates athletes on proper nutrition and injury management 
  • Coordinates with other medical professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for injured players 
  • Maintains accurate and up-to-date medical records for all players 
  • Develops and manages the team's medical budget 
  • Ensures compliance with all league and legal regulations regarding player health and safety 
  • Oversees the training and supervision of assistant athletic trainers and support staff 
  • Collaborates with coaching staff to plan the team's overall health and fitness strategy.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become an NFL Head Athletic Trainer, you need a lot of education and experience. You'll need a Bachelor's degree in athletic training or a related field, and you'll also need a certification from the National Athletic Trainers' Association. You'll need to have at least five years of experience working as an athletic trainer, ideally with a professional sports team. You'll also need good leadership and communication skills, since you'll be leading a team of trainers and working closely with coaches and players. It's a tough job, but if you love sports and enjoy helping people stay healthy and safe, it can be a very satisfying career.

Salary Range

If you're curious about the salary range for an NFL Head Athletic Trainer, it can vary depending on experience and location. In the United States, the average salary for this position is around $90,000 to $120,000 per year, according to Glassdoor. However, some teams may pay more or less than this range.

In other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, the salary range for Head Athletic Trainers in professional sports teams appears to be similar to the U.S. range. For example, according to PayScale, the average salary for an Athletic Trainer in Canada is about C$51,000 to C$84,000 per year. Likewise, in the UK, the average salary for a Senior Athletic Trainer can range from £30,000 to £45,000 per year, based on data from Totaljobs.


  • Glassdoor: NFL Head Athletic Trainer Salaries
  • PayScale: Athletic Trainer Salary (Canada)
  • Totaljobs: Senior Athletic Trainer Average Salary in UK.

Career Outlook

The career outlook for an NFL Head Athletic Trainer seems to be growing steadily over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow by 19 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, the demand for sports medicine professionals, including athletic trainers, is high and is expected to increase due to the rising interest in fitness and sports. As the NFL continues to expand and improve player safety, the roles and responsibilities of athletic trainers are becoming increasingly important. Thus, a career as an NFL Head Athletic Trainer can offer great job security with a promising future ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is an NFL Head Athletic Trainer? 

A: An NFL Head Athletic Trainer is a licensed healthcare professional responsible for monitoring and maintaining the health and safety of NFL players. 

Q: What are some of the duties of an NFL Head Athletic Trainer? 

A: An NFL Head Athletic Trainer is responsible for injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation for players. They also manage the training and medical staff and oversee the medical facilities utilized by the team. 

Q: What kind of education and certification is needed for this job? 

A: An NFL Head Athletic Trainer typically needs a bachelor's degree in athletic training or a related field, as well as a certification from the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification. 

Q: How does an NFL Head Athletic Trainer work with other members of the team? 

A: An NFL Head Athletic Trainer works closely with coaches, doctors, and strength and conditioning specialists to ensure the health and safety of players. They also communicate with players to understand their individual needs and track their progress. 

Q: What are some challenges an NFL Head Athletic Trainer might face on the job? 

A: An NFL Head Athletic Trainer may face challenges such as managing a high volume of injured players, making difficult medical decisions, and working long hours including nights and weekends.

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