Certified Athletic Trainer

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by JillianGalindo
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Certified Athletic Trainer

Certified Athletic Trainer Chris O’Sullivan and Jillian GalindoDr. Bush: HES 172: Fall 2014


Health care providers who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active. Athletic Trainers can help you avoid unnecessary medical treatment and disruption of normal daily life [1].


Much faster than average job growth (projected to be 30% from 2010 to 2020). More insurance companies now reimburse for sports trainers’ services. Most employers offer benefits like healthcare, dental, or vacation time, and some employers give reimbursement for continuing education [5].

Career Setting:Clinic, hospital, industrial or occupational setting, corporate setting, a college or university, a two-year institution, a secondary school, professional sports programs, recreation and youth programs, performing arts programs, military, law enforcement, government, or an independent contractor [1].

ChallengesYou have to deal with a lot of stress (especially if you are working with competitive sports athletes), competition is expected for positions with professional sports teams, you might have to work outdoors for various weather conditions, and you will have variable and long work hours depending on the employer [3].

Career Advancement Athletic Trainers can move up in the ranks if they have a good education and work experience. They need to be diligent workers who can adapt quickly to situations. If you can do that, you may become a head athletic trainer for an organization, managing a team of athletic trainers. They can also advance by switching teams or sports. If you don’t take that path, you could move into sales or sports marketing [8].

Education: A bachelors in athletic training or sports medicine is the minimum requirement, but a masters or higher is usually needed, especially if you want to work at a college or university. If you want to work at a high school where you’ll also have teaching duties, you’ll need a teaching certificate as well [4]. Continuing Education: Continuing education is required for an athletic trainer. They must obtain current professional development information, explore new knowledge in specific content areas, master new athletic training-related skills and techniques, expand approaches to effective athletic training, further develop professional judgment, and conduct professional practice in an ethical and appropriate manner. Certified Athletic Trainers must attend the ATEC (Athletic Training Educators’ Conference) every other year when it is held [4]. .

CertificationTo become an athletic trainer, you need to graduate with a bachelors or master’s degree program accredited to the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) via the Joint Review Committee-Athletic Training (JRC-AT). You must then pass the certification exam conducted by the Board of Certification [4].

Salary Dependent on the industry, company size, location, years of experience, and level of education. The bottom 10% of athletic trainers make around $33,100 annually, andthe top 10% make around $50,700 annually, with the median salary being $40,404 [7].

ConclusionAthletic Training is a good job because it involves directly helping people, specifically athletes. They meet lots of different people throughout the span of their career and they allow athletes to avoid unnecessary and costly medical treatment. I think it’s great that athletic trainers need to have continued education; I would feel safe with an athletic trainer considering they must do constant research on their own profession. Unfortunately athletic trainers don’t make a comfortable amount of money, but as long as you love your job, money is not the top priority [6].

Job Placement The projected employment growth rate for athletic trainers is 37%. Athletic trainers looking to work for sports team may find it more challenging since many professional sports clubs and colleges have staffs with positions that are already filled. Many states are trying to have an athletic trainer in every high school to work with student-athletes which may mean more available jobs for athletic trainers. Athletic trainers who specialize with how to deal with repetitive stress injuries will also have more jobs available to them {2].


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