Athletic trainers work with individuals to prevent, treat and diagnose illnesses and injuries of the muscle and bone. Their patients include adults, athletes and soldiers. The expertise of athletic trainers is required in a variety of settings, including universities, hospitals, sports teams and fitness centers. Professionals in this field should not be confused with personal trainers, as they do not focus on fitness, but rather, help to improve and sustain health.
Those who work as athletic trainers may be responsible for a number of tasks that promote muscle and bone health and recovery. These might include immediate care needs such as applying protective and injury preventive devices, providing first aid or evaluating injuries. They might also include longer-term responsibilities like developing rehabilitation programs, planning and implementing regimens to prevent athletic injury and performing administrative tasks. Additionally, athletic trainers work with other health professionals like athletic directors and physicians.
The majority of athletic trainers are employed by educational institutions. However, they are also commonly employed by physical therapy offices and hospitals. Occasionally they will be self-employed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), athletic trainers earn a median annual wage of $47,510. Professionals in the top 10% of earners may earn more than $70,750. Fortunately for those who want to enter this field, the job outlook is incredibly strong. BLS projects that this field will grow 23% by 2026, a rate much faster than average.
Although athletic trainers require at least a bachelor’s degree, earning a master’s degree is common and sometimes preferred. Additionally, athletic trainers must often be certified or licensed in their state of employment. The Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer (BOC) is the standard certification exam used by most states. For athletic trainers to be competitive in their field, also helps to take courses in leadership, facility management and related aspects of sports.
Perform Better in Your Career
At East Central University Online, the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology program readies you for a career as an athletic trainer. Through the program, you will explore the mechanics of body movement so that you can help athletes prevent and treat injuries. If you are currently involved in an administrative position in athletics, our Master of Education in Sports Administration program successfully prepares you to further your career as a sports specialist within the education field. Because coursework is offered online, you’ll have the ultimate flexibility when it comes to attending class on a schedule that works for you. The program can be completed in one year.