How To Become An Athletic Trainer

If you want to be the first on the scene to help athletes who get injured at a sporting event, a career as an athletic trainer may interest you. In this profession, you will have the chance to give first aid or emergency care to athletes and others who are hurt.

Working under the direction of a physician, you treat injured athletes and nurse them back to health. You also be putting together a comprehensive program that will prevent these injuries from happening in the future. You will be applying bandages and braces to protect athletes from further injuries.

Aside from possessing the technical knowledge to treat injuries, you will also need to have compassion since you will be dealing with patients who are suffering from a great deal of pain. You also need to have the ability to make quick and smart decisions inasmuch as what you do will affect not only the health but the livelihood of the athlete under your care.

You must also be able to handle difficult and emotional situations well and be a stickler for detail. As an athletic trainer, you need to ensure that your patient is receiving the correct treatment and following homecare instructions as well.

Why Become An Athletic Trainer

Those who truly care for the welfare of others and want to play a huge role in their recovery from injury will find a career as an athletic trainer truly satisfying. Just like any occupation in healthcare, this job is a vocation that provides a different level of fulfillment to those who want to make others feel better. In addition, it’s a profession that provides decent pay. The employment outlook for athletic trainers also looks good in the next several years.

Athletic Trainer Work Environment

Most of the athletic trainers work in colleges, universities and professional schools, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of them work in the offices of health practitioners while others are hired by hospitals and in fitness and recreational sports centers. They work fulltime but can sometimes be required to work weekends or evenings. Athletic trainers who are working with sports teams may need to travel with the team and work outdoors in any weather, depending on the sport.

Athletic Trainer Salary

The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that athletic trainers received a mean annual wage $45,630. This is a bit lower than exercise physiologists who received a mean annual wage of $48,790.

Average Athletic Trainer Annual Salary


The average annual salary for athletic trainers is $48,630 a year. Salaries start at $30,740 a year and go up to $69,530 a year.

Stats were based out of 25,010 employed athletic trainers in the United States.

Highest Paying States For Athletic Trainers

Top Paying Cities For Athletic Trainers

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Athletic Trainer Career Outlook

The employment rate of athletic trainers is set to grow 21 percent in the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022. At this rate, this is faster than the average for all job types. The demand will come from educational institutions inasmuch as awareness of sports-related injuries among the young has also increased.

Sports programs geared for all people will also spur demand as well as military bases which engage the services of athletic trainers to help their injured members get back on their feet. This is a small profession so that even with the rapid growth, only 4,900 new jobs will be generated from 2012 to 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Athletic Trainer Degree

Athletic trainers typically hold a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. Some also enhance their knowledge and their credentials by getting a master’s degree. Athletic training programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Before they can practice their profession, athletic trainers must also be licensed. While each state has its own requirements, athletic trainers usually need to complete an athletic training program and pass Board of Certification Inc examination or a test administered by the state.

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