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Become A Sports Athletic Trainer

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Working As A Sports 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

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Sports Athletic Trainer Do

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

Duties

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 A Sports 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.

Education

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.

Advancement

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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Sports Athletic Trainer Typical Career Paths

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Do you work as a Sports Athletic Trainer?

Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$38,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$171,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Trinity Health
Highest Paying City
Provo, UT
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does a Sports Athletic Trainer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Sports Athletic Trainer in the United States is $81,027 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $171,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Sports Athletic Trainer?

Have you worked as a Sports Athletic Trainer? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Sports Athletic Trainer.

Top Skills for A Sports Athletic Trainer

  1. Athletic Injuries
  2. Injury Prevention Programs
  3. Game Coverage
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented the treatment, care, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries.
  • Develop and instruct injury prevention programs to be utilized by clients of Virtua Sports Medicine.
  • Develop evidence based rehabilitation protocols utilized throughout Virtua Outpatient Physical Therapy clinics.
  • Provided periodic coverage for Carle Sports Medicine Injury Evaluation Clinic.
  • Assess performance following athletic competition, identifying strengths and weaknesses and making adjustments to improve future performance.

Sports Athletic Trainer Demographics

Gender

Male

57.9%

Female

28.7%

Unknown

13.4%
Ethnicity

White

63.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Mandarin

20.0%

Chinese

20.0%

Russian

10.0%
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Sports Athletic Trainer Education

Schools

Pennsylvania State University

7.0%

Western Washington University

7.0%

University of Texas at Austin

7.0%

University of Nevada - Reno

4.7%

Illinois State University

4.7%

San Jose State University

4.7%

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

4.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.7%

University of California - Santa Barbara

4.7%

New Mexico State University

4.7%

University of New Haven

4.7%

Western Illinois University

4.7%

Indiana State University

4.7%

Amherst College

4.7%

Florida International University

4.7%

Princeton University

4.7%

University of Iowa

4.7%

University of Utah

4.7%

Santa Monica College

4.7%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

4.7%
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Majors

Kinesiology

23.6%

Business

13.2%

Athletic Training

13.2%

Health Education

7.6%

Physical Therapy

4.9%

Psychology

4.2%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Mathematics

2.8%

Computer Science

2.8%

Interdisciplinary Studies

2.8%

Nursing

2.8%

Communication

2.8%

Management

2.8%

Medicine

2.1%

Biology

2.1%

Marketing

2.1%

Criminal Justice

2.1%

Accounting

2.1%

Sociology

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

53.5%

Other

20.2%

Masters

17.8%

Associate

3.3%

Certificate

2.3%

Doctorate

2.3%

License

0.5%
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