Athletic Trainer

Becoming an Athletic Trainer
Duties and Responsibilities of an Athletic Trainer
Skills and Qualifications to Become a Successful Athletic Trainer
Average Salary for Athletic Trainers
Some Famous or Influential Athletic Trainers
Professional Athletic Training Organizations
Top Cities for Athletic Training Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How can I become an Athletic Trainer?

A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for an athletic trainer. College courses include human anatomy, physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, and other health and science related classes. Many accredited programs include clinical coursework as well as classroom study.

Most athletic trainers hold either masters or doctoral degrees. Graduate degrees are required of trainers in certain positions and in many college settings. Graduate study is also important for advancement in the field of athletic training in general.

Nearly all states require athletic trainers to be certified by the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC). Completion of an intense examination and ongoing education is necessary to acquire and retain certification.

What does an Athletic Trainer do?

The main goal of an athletic trainer is to prevent injury in athletes and other active people. Instructing on the proper use of athletic equipment such as tape, bandages, and braces is an important part of training. Athletic trainers also advice people on proper technique in a variety of physical activities in order to avoid injury.

Athletic trainers are essential to the physical safety of high school and college athletes, as well as professional athletes, military personnel, performing artists, and even industrial employees and medical care patients. Not to be confused with personal trainers, athletic trainers are highly trained health care providers and specialize in musculoskeletal injury prevention and treatment.

Providing first aid care, athletic trainers are often the first health care professionals on the scene of an injury. Trainers work alongside other health care professionals and under the supervision of a licensed physician. As part of this health care team, athletic trainers provide rehabilitation and reconditioning to injured clients.

Athletic training does have administrative aspects as well, including meetings and budget and policy work. In secondary schools and colleges, athletic trainers work with athletes in various sports programs. An athletic trainer will coach athletes on proper technique and conditioning, as well as correct usage of sports equipment. Trainers attend competitions and provide first aid to injured athletes, as well as ongoing care and rehabilitation. Athletic trainers may spend time with the entire team as well as individual athletes and coaches.

Athletic trainers work with athletes in the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA and more. A trainer's work with professional athletes is often very similar to that of athletic trainers in school sports program. Trainers in the sports field often spend a great deal of time outdoors and traveling. Athletic trainers in sports settings are often required to stand for long periods of time, kneel, run, or perform other physical activities.

Athletic trainers in sports settings often work between 50 and 70 hours per week when teams are in season and between 40 and 50 hours per week during the off-season. 12 hour workdays 7 day workweeks are sometimes necessary as well. Sports athletic trainers often work evening and weekends and must be flexible to frequent schedule changes.

Athletic trainers are well-know for their work in the field of sports, however, they are actually found in a wide variety of settings.

Hospitals, clinics, family physicians, and other health care facilities often employ athletic trainers to improve upon the medical care their patients are receiving. Trainers may perform exams and obtain histories, educate patients, present cases to physicians, and perform therapeutic exercises. Depending on their level of training, an athletic trainer may also be responsible for casting and splinting patients as well.

Athletic trainers work with military and law enforcement agencies as part of the civilian workforce. Trainers work to improve physical training programs, treat and educate trainees, and may provide expertise on the readiness of new recruits.

Industrial employees are trained by athletic trainers to prevent injury on the job. Athletic trainers in these settings utilize their knowledge of the musculoskeletal system to assess the physical hazards of industrial work, and implement prevention programs. They also aid in the rehabilitation and case management of injured employees.

Athletic trainers in non-sports settings generally work between 40 and 50 hours per week and hold more regular, daytime schedules than sports trainers. Athletic trainers in non-sports settings also spend the majority of their time indoors and may travel as guest speakers for community outreach work.

What skills or personal qualities do I need to become an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic trainers must have good communication and stress management skills in order to handle the pressure that comes along with being a health care professional. Trainers must have good social skills because the job requires close interaction with a variety of people. Trainers should have a vested interest in the well-being of their clients and the organizational skills to facilitate their care. Athletic trainers in sports programs must also have the resilience to cope with the long hours and physical demands of the job.

How much does an Athletic Trainer make?

The median annual income of athletic trainers is $36,560. The middle 50 percent earn between $28,920 and $45,690. Education and experience directly impact the income of an athletic trainer and there are many income levels within each branch of athletic training. Trainers with administrative or director titles tend to earn higher pay, as well as certain hospital employees and professional sports trainers.

Who are some influential or famous Athletic Trainers?

The presidents of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) have been influential people in the field of athletic training. Marje Albohm is the current president, with Chuck Kimmel serving as president from 2004 to 2008.

What are some professional organizations in this field

The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) is a professional association for athletic trainers. It boasts 30,000 members and was founded in 1950 to further the athletic training profession.

Where are the best locations for Athletic Training jobs?

Employment of athletic trainers is expected grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016. New job opportunities should be the greatest within health care facilities, where athletic trainers are gaining increasing recognition as assets to the industry. Fitness and sports centers will also be offering many positions. Slowest growth will likely be with professional and college sports teams where turnover is low and competition for available positions is great.

Houston, Texas is the top city for athletic trainer jobs in the United States, with Chicago, Illinois a close second. Miami, Florida is number three for athletic trainer jobs in the United States.

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