Athletic Trainer Job Description
Athletic trainers work with athletes of all ages to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries to muscles or bones. They work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals when advanced medical care such as surgery or MRIs are required for diagnosis or treatment.
Since athletic trainers aren’t doctors, they can provide only basic medical care. They often work for sports teams, and are able to provide first prompt first aid or emergency care when a physician isn’t present. They also apply braces, bandages, and tape to help athletes prevent or recover from injuries.
In many instances, trainers also have input as to when an injured athlete is ready to return to the field. Normally, they work with a physician to ensure that an injury is fully healed before giving an athlete permission to resume play.
Work Environment and Schedule
Most athletic trainers work for high schools and colleges, where they are responsible for preventing and treating injuries in athletes. Others work for professional sports teams, rehabilitation centers, and doctor’s offices.
For trainers who work with sports teams, the hours can be demanding. Since many games take place at night and often require travel, athletic trainers sacrifice a lot of their time for their profession.
Athletic trainers who work in doctor’s offices or rehabilitation centers normally enjoy more regular schedules and time away from work.
How to Become an Athletic Trainer
A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in athletic training is required to become an athletic trainer, though you will need at least a master’s if you want to work for a university or professional athletic organization.
Before you enroll in an athletic training program, make sure that it’s accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. If your program is not accredited, your degree will not help you find employment after graduation.
In addition to a college degree, most states require that athletic trainers are certified and licensed. Most of the time, taking a certification offered by the Board of Certification for Athletic Trainers after graduation is enough to satisfy the licensing requirements.
There are currently 18,200 athletic trainers in the United States, with 1,190 new athletic trainer job openings created each year.
Athletic Trainer jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Athletic Trainer Salaries
Athletic Trainer salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most athletic trainers make between $34,100 – $52,500 per year, or Not Available per hour.