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What Classes Do Athletic Trainers Take In College

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How Much Money Can An Athletic Trainer Earn

Become an Athletic Trainer (Wilmington College)

According to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for athletic trainers is $49,860 per year. This amount is approximately $8,000 more per year than the total average for all other salaries tracked by the BLS. The lowest 10% of athletic trainers earn $32,980. The top 10% earn $75,810.

When looking at industries, we see a fairly equitable distribution of median salaries.

  • Educational services state, local, and private: $54,140
  • Hospitals state, local, and private: $49,030
  • Fitness and recreational sports centers: $46,970
  • Offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists and audiologists: $46,410

Regional and local data reveal more specific details for those interested in an athletic training career. The top two states that employ the most athletic trainers are Texas and Florida. Both states value athletics and spectator sports, which drives industry demand. The top-paying states include the District of Columbia and Hawaii, which is a reflection of the high cost of living in these areas. When looking at the rate of employment for metro areas, the top three are:

  • New York-Newark
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs

Get A Bachelor’s Degree In A Related Field

Some athletic trainers have bachelor’s degrees in exercise science, kinesiology, biology or any other related field. What matters most is their knowledge of human anatomy, movement and biomechanics. Plus, a love of the game, whichever sport they choose, also helps. Why? Well, a football player moves differently than a baseball player, so each needs a different type of workout and rehabilitation after injury. An athletic trainer needs to know and understand these differences in order to get their players into the best possible shape.

Associate Of Applied Science In Massage Therapy

The Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapy is a two-year, career-oriented degree at vocational schools and junior colleges. Picking this Associate of Applied Science degree leads to sports medicine jobs treating athletic injuries manually. Massage therapists are trained to utilize body manipulation techniques for healing muscles and soft tissues. Finishing the Associate of Applied Science degree takes 60-70 credits of applied coursework. As sophomores, massage therapy students must complete one to two clinical practicum placements. Graduates are qualified for the National Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork exam. Common Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapy degree courses include:

  • Eastern Massage Therapy Practices
  • Legal Aspects of Therapeutic Massage

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Who Are Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician, in accordance with their education, training and the state’s statutes, rules and regulations. As a part of the health care team, services provided by athletic trainers include primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Athletic Training Education:

Where ATs Work

Athletic trainers treat a range of patients and can work in a variety of settings. Regardless of their practice setting, athletic trainers practice according to their education, scope of practice and state practice act.

What Education Must A Certified/licensed Athletic Trainer Complete

Physical Education

All certified or licensed athletic trainers must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college or university in order to practice athletic training in Iowa. Athletic trainers are health care professionals similar to physical, occupational, speech language, and other therapists. Athletic training academic programs are accredited through an independent process by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education . Additionally, nearly 70 percent of ATC credential holders have a master’s degree or higher advanced degree. Reflective of the broad base of skills valued by the athletic training profession, these master’s degrees may be in athletic training , education, exercise physiology, counseling, health care administration, or health promotion. The great majority of athletic training practitioners who hold advanced degrees are comparable to other allied health care professionals.

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How Much Education Does An Athletic Trainer Need


The minimum education level for entering the field of athletic training is a bachelor’s degree, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. However, many athletic trainers continue their college education and earn master’s degrees. An advanced degree can help you secure jobs in certain settings, such as for a university athletic program, large tennis academy or professional sports team.

It also can help an athletic trainer progress to a position of leadership, or help you attract more clients if you want to start your own business or consultancy to get athletic trainer jobs. Reviewing some of the education requirements for athletic trainers will help you decide if this career is right for you.

Should I Become An Athletic Trainer

As with many occupations, becoming an athletic trainer requires formal education and certification complemented by natural skills and characteristics.

Some of the most celebrated athletic trainers fit the same general profile. They are typically social and confident individuals who possess notable communication and decision-making skills. They demonstrate the ability to manage difficult situations and related stress. They are empathetic and have a genuine desire to help others. They are by nature inquisitive.

All of these qualities are clearly needed by accomplished trainers in their primary role of liaison between athletes, coaches, and doctors. Flexibility and adaptability are also hallmarks of prototypical athletic trainers, who may often be required to change their schedules on short notice and work evenings and weekends.

Deserving of particular mention is the need for athletic trainers to be detail-oriented. From attentive conversation to note-taking, being aware of details is an asset for anyone engaged in healthcare. For trainers, it is vital.

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What Do Athletic Trainers Do

Athletic trainers work in high school and collegiate athletics, in hospitals, for professional sports teams, in rehabilitation centers, and as self-employed trainers. Day-to-day responsibilities vary based on place of employment, but typical duties include:

  • Evaluating athletic injuries
  • Applying tape, braces, of bandages to help prevent or treat injuries
  • Providing emergency care during sports events
  • Writing rehabilitation plans for injured athletes
  • Implementing rehabilitation plans
  • Collaborating with physicians and surgeons to provide comprehensive care
  • Maintaining careful client records

Are Athletic Trainers Recognized Nationally As Health Care Providers

Day in the Life: Athletic Trainer USF Football

Yes. Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled allied health care professionals and have been part of the American Medical Association’s Health Care Professions Career and Education Directory for more than a decade. Athletic trainers are assigned National Provider Idedentifier numbers like all other health are professionals. The taxonomy code for athletic trainers is 2255A2300X. Additionally, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine – among others – are all strong clinical and academic supporters of athletic trainers.

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Consider A Master’s Degree

Many athletic trainers choose to earn a master’s degree to distinguish themselves from other candidates. Research graduate programs that align with your career interests and goals. During a graduate program, you typically complete a combination of advanced coursework and clinical experience to help you improve your skills and gain an in-depth understanding of the athletic training field.


Bachelor Of Science In Therapeutic Recreation

The Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation is a 120-credit, eight-semester sports medicine degree at the undergraduate level. This Bachelor of Science degree focuses on using recreational sports to heal injuries or cope with chronic conditions and disabilities. Therapeutic recreation majors learn to devise treatment plans for boosting physical function. Finishing this four-year Bachelor of Science qualifies graduates for becoming recreational therapists. Students must complete prerequisite courses and fieldwork while engaging in Rho Phi Lambda. Top programs are accredited by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association . Common Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation degree courses include:

  • Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation
  • Health Promotion in Leisure Education

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Career Salary And Education Information

What They Do: Athletic trainers specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses.

Work Environment: Many athletic trainers work in educational settings, such as colleges, universities, elementary schools, and secondary schools. Others work in hospitals, fitness centers, or physicians’ offices, or for professional sports teams.

How to Become One: Athletic trainers need at least a bachelor’s degree. Nearly all states require athletic trainers to have a license or certification requirements vary by state.

Salary: The median annual wage for athletic trainers is $48,420.

Job Outlook: Employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow 17 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of athletic trainers with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as an athletic trainer with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Licenses Certifications And Registrations

Careers in Sport, Exercise and Health Science

Nearly all states require athletic trainers to be licensed or certified requirements vary by state. For specific requirements, contact the particular states licensing board.

The Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer offers the standard certification examination that most states use for licensing athletic trainers. Certification requires graduating from a CAATE-accredited program and passing the BOC exam. To maintain certification, athletic trainers must adhere to the BOC Standards of Professional Practice and take continuing education courses.

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Athletic Trainer Job Description

Athletic trainers are not personal trainers. Instead, they are certified health professionals who work with doctors and other medically trained individuals to diagnose and treat bone and muscle injuries. Athletic trainers also work to prevent injuries in their clients by instructing them in proper procedures for exercise and practicing their sports.

Many athletic trainers work in schools or at universities and help students learn proper methods for exercise. Still others work in a medical practice such as a physicians office, an outpatient facility for rehabilitation, or a hospital. Some athletic trainers are self-employed and work for professional or semi-professional athletes or offer their services for hire to the general public.

Athletic trainers have a deep awareness of the body and how it works. They understand bone and muscle movement and how best to prevent injury by using proper kinesiology techniques. They can treat injuries and help clients to move forward as athletes. Trainers may work with physical therapists or other rehabilitation-oriented medical professionals as part of a holistic training and therapy program.

High School Course Recommendation For An Athletic Trainer

Athletic training is a challenging career that involves preventing, identifying, and treating a wide range of sports/performance-related injuries. In addition to having a thorough knowledge of the frailties and strengths of the human body, athletic trainers also develop and maintain close working relationships with athletes, coaches, team physicians, and other professionals. Acceptance into college athletic training programs is often competitive, so high school students interested in this career should prepare early to gain an advantage.

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Admissions Requirements For Athletic Trainer Programs

Admissions to athletic training programs can be competitive based on the popularity of the programs. For bachelors programs, students often need to complete prerequisite coursework and be in the second or third year of their degree to be considered for admission. Additional requirements can include submitting an application, writing a statement of purpose, providing letters of recommendation, completing clinical observations, and meeting physical requirements.

Masters degree program admission requirements for athletic training programs typically include prerequisite coursework, a completed bachelors degree, letters of recommendation, GRE test scores, and official transcripts. International students whose first language is not English will need to submit proof of English proficiency through either a TOEFL or IELTS exam.

Occupational Employment And Wage Statistics

What is an Athletic Trainer? How Athletic Trainers at Arkansas Children’s Help Student Athletes

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

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What Degree Do You Need To Be An Athletic Trainer

When considering a career in athletic training, there is more than one athletic trainer college major to choose from. As trained healthcare providers, athletic trainers must have extensive training and knowledge in science and medicine. Prospective athletic trainers should have extensive coursework in:

  • anatomy and physiology
  • Exercise Science

This is not an exhaustive list. You should research related athletic college major programs that may be listed under different names at various institutions. You can check any athletic degree requirements against those listed by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education to ensure that courses meet certification standards.

The current educational entry-point for an athletic training career is a bachelors degree. However, note that in 2015, leaders of the top four associations announced a plan to require a masters degree in the field, beginning in the fall of 2022. This means that athletic training bachelors degree programs may not admit, enroll, or matriculate students after the start of the fall 2022 term.

Students currently enrolled in a bachelors degree program at the time of transition are still eligible to sit for the BOC exam. No specific date has been set for requiring students to earn a masters degree. However, the BOC and CAATE will make sure students know how to select which athletic trainer school to attend to ensure they meet the new requirement.

What Education Do I Need To Become An Athletic Trainer

Before you can become an athletic trainer, youll need to go through some training of your own. A bachelors degree is required to begin work in the field, but most ATs go on to acquire more advanced degrees. A bachelors program will teach you how to care for athletes from both scientific and psychosocial perspectives. Youll learn about the fundamentals of athletic training, which includes the types of injuries that can be sustained from playing sports, how they occur, and how you should treat them.

Youll also need to become well versed in kinesiology, human anatomy, and physiology as well as the proper medical terminology so you can communicate accurately and clearly with the physicians and nurses you may work with. And you will need a good understanding of the healthcare delivery system as a whole to understand how to conduct yourself both professionally and ethically. You can also expect to take a few psychology courses, which can help you better understand the tenets of disease prevention, safety, and lifestyle behaviors.

Be certain any program you choose is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, which means that the curriculum meets industry standards.

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What Coursework And Content Is Required For Athletic Training Accredited Educational Programs

Athletic training students must receive formal instruction in the following specific subject matter areas:

Basic and Applied Sciences: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Statistics and Research Design, Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology/Biomechanics.

Professional Content: Risk Management and Injury Prevention, Pathology of Injuries and Illnesses, Orthopedic Clinical Examination and Diagnosis, Medical Conditions and Disabilities, Acute Care of Injuries and Illnesses, Therapeutic Modalities, Conditioning & Rehabilitative Exercise and Referral, Pharmacology, Psychosocial Intervention and Referral, Nutritional Aspects of Injuries and Illnesses, Health Care Administration

How Competitive Is The Athletic Training Major At Penn State

Careers in Sport, Exercise and Health Science

The AT Major at Penn State has an established national reputation. In fact, around half of the campus visits by prospective AT students have been from out-of-state students who are looking for the best programs nationally. The end result is that admission to our program is very competitive. As is the case with many in-demand AT programs, students at Penn State do not directly enter the major from high school. Instead, new freshmen enter as pre-major students who then must meet specific criteria before being considered for selection into the AT Major itself. Over the past five admission cycles, we have averaged 50 applicants for roughly 25-30 program openings each year. We narrow the applicant pool based on selection criteria . GPA is important, but it is not the only factor we consider as our program is not the right fit for everyone. Generally speaking, highly motivated and talented students who visibly demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment are most likely to be admitted. Some high ability students who have a more reserved personality have had difficulty being selected in the past.

While meeting the following does not guarantee admission, competitive applicants typically…

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Do I Need Certification To Be An Athletic Trainer

In addition to a degree from an accredited program, you will need to earn a certificate or license, depending on the rules of your state. You will need to pass an exam administered by Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer to become certified and also meeting ongoing continuing education requirements. Each state sets its own criteria. For example, in South Carolina, you must submit a verified transcript from your school and pass the Board of Certification exam. The exam costs $330 and contains 175 scored and unscored questions on:

  • Injury and illness prevention

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