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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

  • $226,859

    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 Demographics

Gender

Male

61.2%

Female

34.7%

Unknown

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

8.7%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.1%

Mandarin

14.3%

Russian

14.3%

Chinese

14.3%
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Sports Athletic Trainer Education

Schools

Western Washington University

9.1%

University of Nevada - Reno

6.1%

San Jose State University

6.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

6.1%

New Mexico State University

6.1%

University of New Haven

6.1%

Western Illinois University

6.1%

Illinois State University

6.1%

Amherst College

6.1%

Princeton University

6.1%

University of Utah

6.1%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

6.1%

University of Southern Maine

3.0%

Syracuse University

3.0%

Eastern Michigan University

3.0%

Albany State University

3.0%

University of North Georgia

3.0%

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

3.0%

High Point University

3.0%

Occidental College

3.0%
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Majors

Kinesiology

23.9%

Athletic Training

12.7%

Business

11.3%

Health Education

9.9%

Physical Therapy

7.0%

Psychology

4.2%

Medicine

2.8%

Mathematics

2.8%

Computer Science

2.8%

Public Health Education

2.8%

Nursing

2.8%

Exercise Physiology

2.8%

Rehabilitation Science

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.8%

Ethnic, Gender And Minority Studies

1.4%

Management

1.4%

School Counseling

1.4%

Public Health

1.4%

English

1.4%

Mental Health Counseling

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.0%

Masters

20.8%

Other

19.8%

Doctorate

3.8%

Certificate

2.8%

Associate

2.8%
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Real Sports Athletic Trainer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Athletic Trainer/Sr. Manager Sport Sciences-Medicine OPS WTA Tour, Inc. Saint Petersburg, FL Jan 03, 2016 $70,783
Athletic Trainer and Sport Physiology Specialist Overspeed, Inc. West Lake Hills, TX Sep 18, 2013 $43,827
Athletic Trainer/Sports Instructor Tennis Players Fitness Institute, LLC Bradenton, FL Oct 01, 2011 $31,305
Athletic Trainers/Sports Instructor Tennis Players Fitness Institute, LLC Bradenton, FL Oct 01, 2011 $31,305
Sports Instructor/Athletic Trainer Tennis Players Fitness Institute, LLC. Bradenton, FL Oct 01, 2011 $31,305

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Top Skills for A Sports Athletic Trainer

  1. Student Athletes
  2. Physical Therapy
  3. Medical Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Travel with various USA Rugby teams and assist with all pre/post-game medical care, on/off field injuries and subsequent rehabilitation.
  • Maintained personal health information pertinent to required records for rehabilitation, fitness/wellness, and injury prevention programming.
  • Organized and produced athletic camps and training sessions to improve physical condition and athletic ability.
  • Facilitated OHSA counseling with medical department, job site consultations and ergonomic training.

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