Athletic Trainer

Pros


  • This work entails helping people prevent as well as treat sports injuries.
  • This is a great job for those who have interests in health, fitness and sporting activities.
  • Job prospects are good for this field even though competition for some positions will be strong.

Cons

  • This work can be stressful, as clients may be in pain. The pressure to win in sports can also be an influence in this career
  • Athletic trainers often are required to work long days, sometimes up to sixty hours a week.
  • Many jobs in this career require at least a master’s degree in order to be considered.

Overview

Athletic trainers work with people to treat and prevent sports injuries. They work with people of all ages and occupations from athletes to those who have regular jobs. While they are healthcare workers, they usually work with other medial professionals such as doctors and nurses to help treat patients. Often athletic trainers will be the first health professionals to care for someone with an injury and as such they will attempt to evaluate or diagnose an injury and begin to provide immediate medical treatment when they are able to.

A majority of time is spent by athletic trainers in promoting methods for injury prevention. They do this in a variety of ways, by instructing people on how to properly use fitness equipment, teaching clients ways to improve balance and working to improve strength with exercise. During sporting events, they can be found applying bandages, taping ankles, fitting joint braces and devising other ways to use equipment that is available to protect athletes from injuries.

Quite often athletic trainers must spend time doing administrative work for their employer. This can include keeping records and attending meetings. They must consult with doctors often to give opinions as well as receive advice. Athletic trainers can be found working in many different environments. While some can be found working for professional sports teams, there are plenty of jobs in other industries. They may work for a school sports team, often teaching classes as well. They can also be found working in a corporate setting teaching employees proper safety techniques while working on the job.

Education

Athletic trainers need to obtain at least bachelor’s degree in order to find a job. Education for this degree usually requires a class load that is heavy on science studies. Jobs in this field face strong competition and because of this a large majority of athletic trainers today have a master’s degree. A minimum requirement to work in a university is a master’s degree, and sometimes due to competition a doctoral degree is needed. Athletic trainers who plan on working in schools need to also obtain a teaching certificate as their jobs usually require classroom instruction. Almost every state requires athletic trainers to be certified, which requires them to pass a certification exam.

Job Prospects

The prospects for work are quite good, as most organizations offer interscholastic or intramural sports, especially in educational settings. While there are many jobs available, the most desired positions will require at least a master’s degree. Those wishing to work for professional sports organizations need to be aware that jobs in this field are highly competitive, as there are many applicants for job in this area. Many who are interested in this path start with gaining experience in amateur or semi-professional sports organizations.

Advancement Opportunities

Athletic trainers can move up the ranks if they have good education and work experience. They also must be diligent workers that are able to adapt quickly to situations. Those who are capable may become a head athletic trainer for an organization, managing a team of trainers. Others take their experience and move into sales or sports marketing, which can both be lucrative professions.