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Become An Athletic Trainer

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Working As An Athletic Trainer

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $38,568

    Average Salary

What Does An Athletic Trainer Do

Athletic trainers specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses.


Athletic trainers typically do the following:

  • Apply protective or injury-preventive devices, such as tape, bandages, and braces
  • Recognize and evaluate injuries
  • Provide first aid or emergency care
  • Develop and carry out rehabilitation programs for injured athletes
  • Plan and implement comprehensive programs to prevent injury and illness among athletes
  • Perform administrative tasks, such as keeping records and writing reports on injuries and treatment programs

Athletic trainers work with people of all ages and all skill levels, from young children to soldiers and professional athletes. Athletic trainers are usually one of the first healthcare providers on the scene when injuries occur. They work under the direction of a licensed physician and with other healthcare providers, often discussing specific injuries and treatment options or evaluating and treating patients, as directed by a physician. Some athletic trainers meet with a team physician or consulting physician regularly.

An athletic trainer’s administrative responsibilities may include regular meetings with an athletic director or another administrative officer to deal with budgets, purchasing, policy implementation, and other business-related issues. Athletic trainers plan athletic programs that are compliant with federal and state regulations, such as laws related to athlete concussions.

Athletic trainers should not be confused with fitness trainers and instructors, including personal trainers.

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How To Become An Athletic Trainer

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.


Athletic trainers need at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Master’s degree programs are also common. Degree programs have classroom and clinical components, including science and health-related courses, such as biology, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition.

The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredits athletic trainer programs, including postprofessional and residency athletic trainer programs.

High school students interested in postsecondary athletic training programs should take courses in anatomy, physiology, and physics.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Athletic trainers work with athletes and patients who may be in considerable pain or discomfort. The trainers must be sympathetic while providing treatments.

Decisionmaking skills. Athletic trainers must be able to make informed clinical decisions that could affect the health or livelihood of patients.

Detail oriented. Athletic trainers must record patients’ progress accurately and ensure that they are receiving the appropriate treatments or practicing the correct fitness regimen.

Interpersonal skills. Athletic trainers must have strong interpersonal skills in order to manage difficult situations. They must communicate well with others, including physicians, patients, athletes, coaches, and parents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

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

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


Assistant athletic trainers may become head athletic trainers, athletic directors, or physician, hospital, or clinic practice administrators. In any of these positions, they will assume a management role. Athletic trainers working in colleges and universities may pursue an advanced degree to increase their advancement opportunities.

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13,231 Athletic Trainer jobs

Allina Health
Cambridge, MN
Athletic Trainer *Temporary Position*

$30,113 Estimated

Mayo Clinic
Red Wing, MN
Athletic Trainer

$37,705 Estimated

Decatur Memorial Hospital
Decatur, IL
Athletic Trainer

$39,012 Estimated

Allina Health Systems
Cambridge, MN
Athletic Trainer *Temporary Position*

$30,113 Estimated

Proactive Works
Queensbury, NY
Trainer - Athletic Trainer Certified / ATC

$40,133 Estimated

Proactive Works
Albany, NY
Trainer - Athletic Trainer Certified / ATC

$40,133 Estimated

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
Associate Athletic Trainer

$31,180 Estimated

Springfield, MO
*Athletic Trainer II

$37,230 Estimated

Mayo Clinic
Minneapolis, MN
Athletic Trainer - Clinical

$30,113 Estimated

Atlanta, GA
Athletic Trainer

$31,460 Estimated

Booz Allen Hamilton
Fort Carson, CO
Athletic Trainer

$35,159 Estimated

Emory University
Atlanta, GA
Athletic Trainer

$31,460 Estimated

Coe College
Cedar Rapids, IA
Athletic Trainer

$33,402 Estimated

Franciscan Health
Crown Point, IN
Athletic Trainer

$36,364 Estimated

Novant Health System
Salisbury, NC
Athletic Trainer

$27,576 Estimated

Novant Health System
Charlotte, NC
Athletic Trainer

$27,576 Estimated

Frontline National
Las Vegas, NV
Athletic Trainer

$38,567 Estimated

Lynchburg College
Lynchburg, VA
Athletic Trainer

$36,754 Estimated

Millersville University
Millersville, PA
Athletic Trainer

$35,091 Estimated

Performance Rehab, Inc.
Nashua, NH
Athletic Trainer

$38,775 Estimated

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Real Athletic Trainer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Athletic Trainers Skillman Tennis Associates LLC Islandia, NY Sep 14, 2016 $110,611
Senior Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer Milwaukee Bucks, LLC Milwaukee, WI Sep 21, 2015 $105,000
Athletic Trainer ATP Tour, Inc. FL Jan 01, 2015 $99,410
Athletic Trainer Proform Tennis LLC Rye Brook, NY Aug 07, 2013 $90,000
Athletic Trainer Proform Tennis Academy LLC Rye Brook, NY Aug 07, 2013 $90,000
Athletic Trainer S-10 Training LLC New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $80,000 -
Athletic Trainer WTA Tour, Inc. Saint Petersburg, FL Sep 09, 2016 $80,000
Athletic Trainer Playground Gym LLC Fort Lauderdale, FL Sep 17, 2013 $72,000
Athletic Trainers Proform Tennis LLC Rye Brook, NY Aug 28, 2013 $68,000
Athletic Trainers NEO World Health Club, Inc. NY May 20, 2013 $67,460
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Top Skills for An Athletic Trainer


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Top Athletic Trainer Skills

  1. Athletic Injuries
  2. Game Coverage
  3. Physical Therapy Clinic
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work to prevent and treat athletic injuries, which may happen during practice or competition.
  • Provided game coverage for numerous Varsity Club Hockey teams.
  • Developed strategic plan for revenue growth for Sports Medicine/Physical Therapy clinics.
  • Sport assignments included: Women's Soccer, Football, Women's Basketball, Track and Field, Men's Tennis.
  • Assisted in formulating appropriate treatment plans and rehabilitative goals for patient population.

Top Athletic Trainer Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire an Athletic Trainer

  1. ATI
  2. Athletico
  3. Temple University
  4. Novacare Rehabilitation
  5. Drayer Physical Therapy Institute
  6. Saint Cloud State University
  7. Sentara Healthcare
  8. Select Physical Therapy
  9. USA Today
  10. Kansas State University
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