Athletic Trainer - How to Become an Athletic Trainer

Athletic Trainer

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Athletic Trainer Job Description

 

Athletic trainers are health professionals that can help patients avoid unnecessary medical treatment and the disruption it can cause in normal daily life. A certified athletic trainer is a highly qualified health care provider that is trained in recognizing, preventing, managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from various forms of physical activity.

If you are injured, an athletic trainer is qualified to work with you and your primary health care provider to get you back on your feet and return you to the activities of your normal daily life.

Prospects for employment can be found in the following areas:

  • Professional sports

  • Youth sports programs

  • High schools, public and private

  • Hospitals

  • Performing arts companies

  • Government 

Athletic trainers have been recognized as allied health care professionals by the American Medical Association since 1990.

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Responsibilities

 

Athletic trainers diagnose and treat bone and muscle injuries under the supervision of healthcare professionals. Their patients typically consist of anyone who participates in athletic activities, and those of all ages. They're responsible for preventing further injuries by fixing their patients with devices like braces, tape, and compression apparel.

Athletic trainers are responsible for rehabilitating athletes from injuries and creating programs or regimes to follow in order to prevent any further difficulties. Other responsibilities include record-keeping, coordinating with professional care teams, and minor budgeting.

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Skills

 

While Athletic Trainers must obviously maintain physical fitness, there are a litany of other skills that go into a successful candidate.  ATs must be able to asses and understand the daily tasks that a patient must overcome and be able to create short and long-term goals to help them continue their daily lives. This involves high levels of communication skills as patients they see come from all walks of life.

Equally important are the technical skills necessary to understanding exactly how to approach each unique situation. Different patients with different ailments require different care plans for any health professional, and Athletic Trainers are no different. ATs must apply their knowledge regarding applying and removing extremity casts, following the proper sterilization procedures, and collecting and maintaining an updates patient history.

They must also be able to apply their skills and knowledge in collaboration with a team of professionals, meaning working as an integral part of a team is key to success.

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Working Conditions

 

A certified athletic trainer works as a member of a complete health care team and works under the direction of a physician. As a part of the health care team, the athletic trainer works closely with other health care professionals as well as athletics administrators, coaches and parents. A certified athletic trainer has the opportunity to become well acquainted with each of his or her patients/clients individually. This makes it possible to more effectively treat their injuries.

Professional settings where athletic trainers are in demand include:

  • Sports medicine clinics

  • Collegiate and professional sports

  • Secondary and intermediate schools

  • Rehabilitation clinics

  • Emergency rooms in hospitals

  • Occupational settings

  • Performing arts centers

  • Law enforcement and military training centers

  • Physicians’ offices

 

Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private

25%

Offices of other health practitioners 15%
Hospitals; state, local, and private

13%

Fitness and recreational sports centers

3%

 


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How to Become an Athletic Trainer:

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

At a minimum, certified athletic trainers hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited athletic training program. If not, they must meet other requirements set by the Board of Certification. These educational programs focus on five general areas:

  • Prevention
  • Clinical Evaluation & Diagnosis
  • Immediate & Emergency Care
  • Treatment & Rehabilitation
  • Organization & Professional Health & Well-Being

Students must receive formal education in:

  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Injury prevention & management
  • Pathology of injuries and illnesses
  • Acute care of injuries and illnesses
  • Pharmacology
  • Therapeutic exercises and modalities
  • Common medical conditions and frequently occurring disabilities
  • Nutritional components related to injury and illness
  • Psychosocial intervention and referral
  • Professional development and responsibilities

 

The preparation timeline below outlines the suggested courses:

 

Grade Courses
Freshman Year
  • General Chemistry I & Lab
  • General Chemistry II & Lab
  • College Algebra & Statistics
  • Introduction to Kinesiology
  • English 101
  • English 102
  • Humanities Requirement
  • Social Science Requirement
Sophomore Year
  • Statistics 
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Applied Kinesiology
  • Athletic Care & Prevention
  • Social Science Requirement

Junior Year

  • Nutrition for Athetes
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Lower Body Injury Evaluation
  • Athletic Training Clinical I & II
  • Exercise Testing
  • Upper Body Injury Evaluation
  • Therapeutic Exercise Foundations
Senior Year
  • Therapeutic Exercise Techniques
  • Pharmacology
  • Biomechanics
  • Foundations of Physical Conditioning
  • Athletic Training Clinical III & IV
  • Remaining Electives

 

Not only do students receive academic studies, students also participate in a variety of clinical training practice settings, such as high schools, colleges, universities, emergency rooms, hospitals, health care clinics and physicians’ offices.

Schools that provide training for this career should be accredited to provide this type of training. Accreditation can be verified through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

 

2. Obtain Certification & Licensure

 

In order to become a Certified Athletic Trainer, you must complete the certification exam administered by the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer. Depending on whether you're a member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), the certification fee varies. Members pay only $34, while non-members pay $50.

 

The exam is administered five times per year, each having a window of nearly two weeks. Check out the table below for details:

 

  January/February
2016
March/April
2016
May/June
2016
July/August
2016
October
2016
Create Profile in BOC Central™ Must be enrolled in an athletic training education program accredited by the CAATE
Apply Must be enrolled/registered in final semester/quarter prior to obtaining degree;
steps 1 & 2 must be completed for application to be processed
Application Deadline 1/4 2/29 5/2 6/27 9/12
Register 1/1 - 1/11 2/26 - 3/7 4/29 - 5/9 6/24 - 7/5 9/9 - 9/19
Schedule 1/21 - 2/8 3/16 - 4/4 5/18 - 6/6 7/13 - 8/1 9/28 - 10/17
Exam 1/30 - 2/13 3/26 - 4/9 5/28 - 6/11 7/23 - 8/6 10/8 - 10/22
Scores Exam results are posted in BOC Central™ and mailed 2-4 weeks from the last day of the exam window

via bocatc.org

You can find more information, registration, practice exams, and the candidate handbook here.

 

3. Consider a Master's Degree (2 Years) 

 

Although it is not necessary for entry into the field, your prospects will be much better with a master's degree than a bachelor's. If you intend to continue and complete and master's program, you should aim to maintain a high GPA during your undergraduate career since most graduate schools require a minimum of a 3.0 for consideration. A GPA of 3.4-3.8 is ideal.

 

4. Maintain Certifications & Continuing Education

 

Athletic Trainers are required to maintain a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) during their certification maintenance period.

Click here for more information regarding Athletic Trainer CEUs

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
02.17.2017
The Athletic Trainer will provide all athletic training services at area high schools to ensure the delivery of medical and rehabilitative care to student athletes. The trainer will function as a Rehabilitative Aide when working in the...
02.17.2017
The Athletic Trainer will provide all athletic training services at area high schools to ensure the delivery of medical and rehabilitative care to student athletes. The trainer will function as a Rehabilitative Aide when working in the...
09.22.2016
The team member's number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
02.10.2017
Dearborn County Hospital is currently seeking an Athletic Trainer for a part time position in our Physical Therapy department providing support at local schools. This position ** INCLUDES HEALTH BENEFITS** Dearborn County Hospital offers...
02.17.2017
- Bachelors degree is required VCU Health System's ORTHO VCU Sports Medicine is seeking a full time Athletic Trainer to provide day-to-day athletic training services for a local sports team. Assesses, treats and develops rehabilitation and...
08.08.2016
Bachelor/Master Degree in Athletic Training from accredited Current licenses, as applicable, in Ohio Ohio license required The Athletic Trainer is directly responsible and accountable to the department Manager for planning, administering,...
01.16.2017
Bachelors Degree Current State license or certificate Are you available to work flexible hours? Must have a Bachelor's Degree or a Master's Degree in Athletic Training. Master's Degree preferred. Certification as an athletic trainer by the...
02.17.2017
The Athletic Trainer will prevent athletic injury and enhance performance using knowledge of nutrition, hygiene, psychology, conditioning and protective equipment. Develop training programs to prevent injuries and examine athletes' injuries...
02.12.2017
Evaluates, plans, directs, and administers programs of athletic training to restore function, prevent disability, and help athletes reach their maximum level of independence. Performs supervisory duties and participates in continuing education....
01.12.2017
***This Position is Pool Flexible Schedule Plays an essential role in the pediatric Rehab Sports Medicine team by assisting with injury prevention and return to sport programs. The position reports to the manager Rehab Sports Medicine...
02.04.2017
Provides support and leadership of asssistant athletic trainers. Position will be based at Johnson C. Smith University. Essential Functions Provides support and leadership to athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, medical team, and community....
02.04.2017
Evaluates, plans, directs, and administers programs of athletic training. Plans and conducts athletic training programs to restore function, prevent disability, and help athletes reach their maximum level of independence. Performs supervisory...
02.19.2017
Department: Sports Medicine CenterA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: Looking for casual workers to provide athletic training services in the local communities at various sports events, which would include working some weekends, and evening...
02.19.2017
Department: Sports MedicineA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: Primarily will provide casual athletic training services when available in the twin cities region as needed for outreach athletic training services to local and regional youth,...
01.16.2017
To coordinate and provide sports medicine services in the community, schools and therapy clinics. Performs a wide variety of athletic training evaluation and procedures in the care and treatment athletes. Coordinates and works closely with school...
  1. Athletic Trainer Melrose, MA Hallmark Health System
    The Athletic Trainer will provide all athletic training services at area high schools to ensure the delivery of medical and rehabilitative care to student athletes. The trainer will function as a Rehabilitative Aide when working in the...
  2. Athletic Trainer Melrose, MA Hallmark Health System
    The Athletic Trainer will provide all athletic training services at area high schools to ensure the delivery of medical and rehabilitative care to student athletes. The trainer will function as a Rehabilitative Aide when working in the...
  3. Athletic Trainer Winston-Salem, NC Novant Health
    The team member's number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
  4. Athletic Trainer Lawrenceburg, IN Dearborn County Hospital
    Dearborn County Hospital is currently seeking an Athletic Trainer for a part time position in our Physical Therapy department providing support at local schools. This position ** INCLUDES HEALTH BENEFITS** Dearborn County Hospital offers...
  5. Athletic Trainer Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Bachelors degree is required VCU Health System's ORTHO VCU Sports Medicine is seeking a full time Athletic Trainer to provide day-to-day athletic training services for a local sports team. Assesses, treats and develops rehabilitation and...
  6. Athletic Trainer (Ambulatory) Gallipolis, OH Holzer
    Bachelor/Master Degree in Athletic Training from accredited Current licenses, as applicable, in Ohio Ohio license required The Athletic Trainer is directly responsible and accountable to the department Manager for planning, administering,...
  7. Athletic Trainer Certified Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    Bachelors Degree Current State license or certificate Are you available to work flexible hours? Must have a Bachelor's Degree or a Master's Degree in Athletic Training. Master's Degree preferred. Certification as an athletic trainer by the...
  8. ATHLETIC TRAINER - CONTRACT Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    The Athletic Trainer will prevent athletic injury and enhance performance using knowledge of nutrition, hygiene, psychology, conditioning and protective equipment. Develop training programs to prevent injuries and examine athletes' injuries...
  9. Athletic Trainer - FT Charlotte, NC Carolinas HealthCare System
    Evaluates, plans, directs, and administers programs of athletic training to restore function, prevent disability, and help athletes reach their maximum level of independence. Performs supervisory duties and participates in continuing education....
  10. Licensed Athletic Trainer Miami, FL Miami Children's Hospital
    ***This Position is Pool Flexible Schedule Plays an essential role in the pediatric Rehab Sports Medicine team by assisting with injury prevention and return to sport programs. The position reports to the manager Rehab Sports Medicine...
  11. Coordinator/Head Athletic Trainer - FT Charlotte, NC Carolinas HealthCare System
    Provides support and leadership of asssistant athletic trainers. Position will be based at Johnson C. Smith University. Essential Functions Provides support and leadership to athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, medical team, and community....
  12. Athletic Trainer/PRN/Flat Rate Charlotte, NC Carolinas HealthCare System
    Evaluates, plans, directs, and administers programs of athletic training. Plans and conducts athletic training programs to restore function, prevent disability, and help athletes reach their maximum level of independence. Performs supervisory...
  13. ATHLETIC TRAINER (NE) - SUPPLEMENTAL Job Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic - Rochester
    Department: Sports Medicine CenterA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: Looking for casual workers to provide athletic training services in the local communities at various sports events, which would include working some weekends, and evening...
  14. ATHLETIC TRAINER - SUPPLEMENTAL/PRN - MCS Job Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic - Rochester
    Department: Sports MedicineA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: Primarily will provide casual athletic training services when available in the twin cities region as needed for outreach athletic training services to local and regional youth,...
  15. Athletic Trainer Gastonia, NC CaroMont Health
    To coordinate and provide sports medicine services in the community, schools and therapy clinics. Performs a wide variety of athletic training evaluation and procedures in the care and treatment athletes. Coordinates and works closely with school...