Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and Profiles » Hospitality and Recreation

Athletic Trainer Job Description, Career as an Athletic Trainer, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

income trainers college athletes sports

Education and Training: Bachelor's degree plus training; National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) certification

Salary: Median—$33,940 per year

Employment Outlook: Very good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Athletic trainers prevent, examine, and treat athletes' injuries. They also work with team doctors to provide physical therapy for athletes who are recovering from injuries and to show athletes how to build their strength and avoid further injury. Other duties may include recommending special diets and exercises, ordering equipment and supplies, and keeping records on the athletes with whom they work.

After athletes compete, trainers treat the minor injuries and sore muscles that follow play. For example, they may wrap an ice pack around a player's sore arm or shoulder, apply a moist hot pack to relieve a player's muscle spasms, spray antiseptic on scraped knees and elbows, or wrap bandages around sprained wrists and ankles.

Athletic trainers are employed by schools, colleges, and universities that have athletic programs and sports teams. They also work for professional teams in baseball, football, basketball, ice hockey, and other sports. Some athletic trainers work for health clubs and summer camps.

Education and Training Requirements

Athletic trainers should have a degree from a four-year college and National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) certification. Prospective athletic trainers can gain experience by volunteering to help the trainers and coaches at their high school. They also need to take first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses offered by the local Red Cross, fire department, or rescue squad. Candidates must be certified in first aid and CPR before they can be certified as athletic trainers by NATA.

To become certified, interested individuals must complete an approved college program in athletic training and have two years of experience working under the supervision of NATA-approved trainers. NATA will also certify people who have a college degree in any subject plus 1,800 hours of on-the-job training under a NATA member.

Getting the Job

Certified athletic trainers can apply for jobs in high schools, colleges, and universities that have sports programs. Health clubs and camps also hire trainers. Job leads can be obtained through newspaper want ads, Internet job banks, the NATA Web site, the local board of education office, college personnel offices, and the state employment office. Job openings are also advertised in National College Athletic Association (NCAA) magazines.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Most college and professional sports teams employ more than one trainer. Experienced athletic trainers may transfer from one team to another in order to get a training position with greater responsibilities or a promotion to head trainer. Athletic trainers can also move from a high school to a college or university, where they may enjoy greater opportunities and higher income. Trainers who have experience with a college team may be hired by a professional team. A few trainers who are at the top of their profession open their own recreation centers and training facilities.

The number of job openings for athletic trainers is expected to grow faster than the average through the year 2014. More and more states are requiring high schools to have at least one certified trainer on staff. Many professional sports teams that had only one trainer now have several. Some of these trainers are experts in different areas of athletic training. Competition for openings is expected to remain high, especially in professional sports.

Working Conditions

Athletic trainers work both indoors and outdoors in all types of weather. Part of their job is done in the team clubhouse and training room, but while the team is playing the trainers must be in the dugout or on the sidelines of the field, gymnasium, or arena. Trainers can expect to do extensive traveling with the team and put in many night and weekend hours. Those who specialize in a particular sport work seasonally. Athletic trainers who are employed by schools and colleges usually work only during the school year.

Athletic trainers work with a variety of athletes, so they must be able to get along well with different types of people. Trainers should be able to make decisions using their own judgment and observations, especially when it comes to recognizing injuries that require a doctor's care. They should know how to motivate athletes to stick to a training program—a task that requires a great deal of dedication and a true love of sports. Athletic trainers receive job satisfaction by helping athletes perform better.

Earnings and Benefits

Earnings of athletic trainers vary widely, depending on the geographic location, the employer, and the trainer's experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for athletic trainers in 2004 was $33,940 per year. Trainers working for professional teams earned $75,000 or more per year. Athletic trainers usually receive standard benefits such as paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and retirement benefits. Many employers also pay for continuing education credits.

Where to Go for More Information

National Athletic Trainers Association
2952 Stemmons Fwy.
Dallas, TX 75247
(214) 637-6282
http://www.nata.org/

Bartender Job Description, Career as a Bartender, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job [next] [back] Athletic Coach Job Description, Career as an Athletic Coach, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 7 years ago

Excellent comments, all of which are accurate. Maybe it is more accurate to say athletic trainers perform "rehabilitation" and quickly return athletes to play. They have a complex job description that allows athletes to perform at the highest level possible. This includes taping and bracing, modality usage, rehabilitation exercises, as well as designing nutrition and performance programs. 7 out of 10 athletic trainers have a masters degree. It is difficult to advance to higher levels without one.

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

I am a high school student and im looking for which classes i will need to take during high school so that i could have a hed start on my career. please and thank you

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

i like men

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

IM GAY!!!!;) HEY BOYS

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

hi

Vote down Vote up

almost 5 years ago

text me 270-804-6050 im horny and want the D

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

this article is a failure

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

If became a sports trainer, how much a year would you get (Average?) in Colorado. Also, To become one, what should you take in High School, and go into 1st after high school? I.E Massage Therapy, etc.
Get back to me, I may have more questions!
-Brynn Hickey
11352@psdschools.org

Vote down Vote up

almost 8 years ago

I would like to point out that the majority of state law prohibits physcial therapists to make any return to play decisions regarding an injured athlete, that responsibility falls on a physician or certified athletic trainer. Certified Athletic Trainers are specialists in physical rehabiliation that work with all physically active persons.

Vote down Vote up

almost 5 years ago

hi i love to make girls you know what ;)

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

HI

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

this aritcle sucks my daughter can do better than this and she is in the 9th grade grow up and get the facts right. i hate false information!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

how much will you make each year when you retier as a sports trainer

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

Your information on Athletic Training is very outdated and inaccurate, especially the education and training requirements. Please visit www.nata.org, www.bocatc.org, www.caate.net to obtain the accurate information needed for your site.

Vote down Vote up

about 5 years ago

eveyone i love u

Vote down Vote up

about 5 years ago

hi

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

hey what up what is the retirment age of an athletic trainer

Vote down Vote up

almost 8 years ago

In the paragraph about athletic trainers you state the following "They also work with team doctors to provide physical therapy for athletes who are recovering from injuries and to show athletes how to build their strength and avoid further injury"



I would like to point out that the majority of state laws prohibit anyone to perform of hold thermselves out to perform physical therapy unless licensed as a physical therapist. Therefore it is not legal for athletic trainers to say they do physical therapy. They are performing athletic training.

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

this aritcle sucks my daughter can do better than this and she is in the 9th grade grow up and get the facts right. i hate false information!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vote down Vote up

about 5 years ago

IM GAY!!!!;) HEY BOYS

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

Im not understanding.. can I find a college that i can go to to play softball and become a sports massage therapist????

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

herrro please

Vote down Vote up

almost 8 years ago

This article is incorrect in many areas. First the word "trainer" should never be used as it can be confusing to those who read it. They may confuse Personal Trainer with Athletic Trainer. Secondly, Athletic Trainers are highly skilled and educated professionals recognized by the AMA who do more than treat minor injuries, scrapes, and tape ankles. Certified Athletic Trainers are individuals who are experts in the prevention, management, assesment, and rehabilitation of athletic-related injuries. And while a previous commentor stated that we can not perform "physical therapy" we can "rehabilitate" an athlete from surgery through return to play. We also often make the return to play decision. The skills of an Athletic Trainer extend far beyond first responder and rehab. Thirdly the education requirements posted are incorrect. You must currently posses a B.S. or entry level masters degree from an accredited Athletic Training program in order to be eligible to even sit for the BOC exam. There is currently no other method to certification. There are also different state regulations in place that are necessary to practice as an Athletic Trainer in each state. These regulations vary from state to state. See www.bocatc.org for regulations by state. Finally, Athletic Trainers do not only work for sports teams and in athletics. Many Athletic Trainers are employed in the clinic and hospital settings as well as in the idustrial settings where they treat all kinds of people.



The author of this article needs to do further research and rewrite this article as there is a lot of misinformation present.

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

this aritcle sucks my daughter can do better than this and she is in the 9th grade grow up and get the facts right. i hate false information!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

This was exciting info. i really learned alot about the career field. This made me a better person.

Vote down Vote up

over 3 years ago

Everyone who typed they like boys/girls I just want to say Hi:) and whats your numbers.

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

Swaq Swaq

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

Your blogs and every other content is so entertaining and useful It makes me come back again.

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

thanks!

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

I simply want to say I am all new to weblog and absolutely savored this blog site.Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your website .You definitely have beneficial well written articles.

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

Its Brilliant writing. I got a lot from it and now i have no problem about this topic. Its useful for my business and i hope i will improve my business. Thanks..

Vote down Vote up

almost 5 years ago

great site for getting info off of for projects