Certified athletic trainers are highly qualified health professionals who are trained in preventing, recognizing, managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from physical activity. Athletic trainers can help you avoid unnecessary medical treatment and disruption of normal daily life; if you're injured, they are trained to work with your health care provider to get you on the mend and keep you on the move.
The American Medical Association has recognized athletic training as an allied health care profession since 1990. If you become an athletic trainer, your job prospects are good: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is projected to grow "faster than average" through 2012. Typically, athletic trainers earn a salary of $35,000 to $75,000 per year.
In addition, according to a recent survey by the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), athletic trainers' salaries are on the upswing.
Since 2003, salaries have risen in the following settings:
For more information about this health career, see the National Athletic Trainers' Association website.
As part of a complete healthcare team, the certified athletic trainer works under the direction of a physician and in cooperation with other healthcare professionals, athletics administrators, coaches and parents. The certified athletic trainer gets to know each patient/client individually and can treat injuries more effectively.
Athletic trainers work in a variety of different professional settings, including:
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Certified athletic trainers have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree through an accredited athletic training program or meet other requirements set by the Board of Certification (BOC). The typical educational program includes:
In addition to academic studies, students receive clinical training in a variety of practice settings, such as high schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, emergency rooms, physician's offices or healthcare clinics.
To find an accredited athletic training program, search for schools that provide training for this career. Also check out the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
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Last updated: July 30, 2015
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