What is an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

  • Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences.
  • To become an athletic trainer, candidates must graduate with a degree in Athletic Training from an accredited athletic training program and successfully pass the Board of Certification (BOC) Exam. To practice as an athletic trainer in most states, the individual must also be credentialed within the state. Degrees in physical therapy, exercise science, strength, and conditioning or others DO NOT qualify the candidate to sit for the BOC examination. (Source: caate.net)

Job Outlook for AT's

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow 21% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. As people become more aware of sports-related injuries at a young age, demand for athletic trainers is expected to increase.

Where do Athletic Trainers work?

  • Public and private secondary schools, colleges and universities, professionals and Olympic sports
  • Youth leagues, municipal and independently owned youth sports facilities
  • Physician practices, similar to nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists and other professional clinical personnel
  • Rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers
  • Clinics with specialties in sports medicine, cardiac rehab, medical fitness, wellness and physical therapy
  • Occupational health departments in commercial settings, which include manufacturing, distribution, and offices to assist with ergonomics
  • Police and fire departments and academies, municipal departments, branches of the military
  • Performing arts including professional and collegiate level dance and music (Source: nata.org)