Athletic trainers essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $42,090
- 2011, number of jobs: 20,780
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 30 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Athletic trainers; what they do:
An athletic trainer can be an injured athlete’s best friend. Athletic trainers, not to be mistaken as personal trainers, work to prevent, diagnose, and treat muscle and bone injuries and illnesses; they strive to keep active people healthy and functioning at their best. Athletic trainers work under physicians and other healthcare providers.
Athletic trainers work with everyone from children and elderly to professional athletes and soldiers. When an injury occurs, they’re often the first person to help the injured individual.
Certified athletic trainers identify the problem, properly bandage, brace, or tape the injury up, and develop an appropriate rehabilitation program for the individual. An athletic trainer career includes working in injury prevention, developing programs and exercises for athletes to do on a regular basis to prevent injuries.
An athletic trainer career also includes performing administrative work, such as record keeping and report writing on injuries and treatment programs. Athletic trainers also meet with directors to deal with budgeting, purchasing, and policies.
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Athletic trainers job titles:
- Athletic Instructor
- Clinical Education Coordinator
- Clinical Instructor
- Physical Extender
- Resident Athletic Trainer
- Sports Medicine Coordinator
- Certified Athletic Trainer
- College Athletic Trainer
- Sports Trainer
Athletic Trainers Education, Certification and License Requirements
People seeking an athletic trainer career typically need at least a Bachelor of Athletic Training degree; many athletic trainers also have a master’s degree such as a Master of Athletic training degree. Typically, people seeking a college athletic trainer career need a master’s degree.
Most athletic training programs are accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Some schools offer a five-year joint bachelor’s and master’s program.
Athletic trainers programs cover subjects such as:
- Injury prevention
Most states require certification of athletic trainers, usually through The Independent Board of Certification, Inc. Athletic trainer certification includes passing an exam and taking continuing education courses. Athletic trainers can obtain certification after completing a CAATE-accredited program.
Most states also require licensure of athletic trainers, requirements for athletic trainer licensure varies by state. Certification is usually required prior to licensure.
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Career Advancement Opportunities
Assistant athletic trainers may advance in their career to a head athletic trainer position, an athletic director job, or a management role as a physician, hospital, or clinic practice administrator.
Athletic trainer career advancement may include advancing into a marketing or sales position, selling medical and athletic equipment.
Athletic Trainers Job Outlook
Forecast: 30 percent employment growth for athletic trainers from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. The fast growth is for a relatively small occupation.
Athletic trainers have gained more work due to individuals becoming more involved in sports, through school and little league, and from people aware of sports related injuries at a younger age. On the other end, active elderly individuals involved in sports also adds to the increased demand for athletic trainers.
More businesses and even the government hire athletic trainers to train their employees how to properly lift, turn, and move in their jobs in order to prevent some of the most common work-related injuries.
Athletic Trainers Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $42,090
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $51,870
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $25,960
Athletic Trainers Major Employers
- Colleges, universities, and professional school; state, local, and private
- Fitness and recreational sports centers
- Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private
- Offices of physicians
- Spectator sports