Athletic Trainer Education – Starting Your Career in Sports Medicine
Have you made the decision to enter Sports Medicine as an Athletic Trainer? It is not uncommon for individuals to consider this an easy field to enter.
It looks easy when you see an Athletic trainer sprint onto the field to help out a player with a sprained ankle. The reality is much different.
An Athletic Trainer Education is demanding. Based on the latest sports medicine salary survey, this career is highly rewarding both personally and financially, but requires intensive preparation.
Let us take a look at some of the requirement you will be facing.
Athletic Trainer Programs – What Will You Do
Educational Options for Your Athletic Trainer Degree
You have two basic options for your Athletic Trainer major.
- Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training
- Masters Degree in Athletic Training
The bachelor degree programs required for Athletic Trainer certification are currently offered by 342 different colleges and universities around the USA. The Masters programs are more limited with only 24 programs currently being accredited by the (CAATE).
Usually the Athletic Trainer College offering a Masters Degree program allows students with unrelated Bachelors degree to enter the program. If you have an existing degree and are wishing to change to a sports medicine career and become an Athletic Trainer this will be the fastest path. The athletic training graduate programs will include a combination of classroom education and hands-on clinical experience.
Athletic trainer schools are available in almost every state in the nation making it very easy to start.
Meeting All the Athletic Trainer Certification Requirements
The Athletic Trainer Education Requirements are based on two critical factors. The first factor is the rules set forth by the CAATE. All Athletic Trainer programs must meet these standards. The second factor is matching state licensing or certification requirements. Many states accept the national certification while other states have local guidelines which must be met.
There is one other important factor for you to be prepared for. Even after you have graduated with your Athletic Training major and completed your Athletic Trainer certification you will have an ongoing educational requirement. The National Athletics Training Association (NATA) requires recertification and ongoing training. This includes a module on Emergency Cardiac Care.
This is one career choice which requires you keep your skills sharp, focused, and ready for quick action.
Understanding The Future With Your Athletic Trainer Education
Sports Medicine Colleges will have slight variation in their curriculum for athletic trainer education, but you can be certain to be taking many of the following classes:
- Foundations of Athletic Training
- Responding to Emergencies
- Basic Human Physiology
- Human Anatomy
- Therapeutic Rehabilitation
- Sports Psychology
- Administrative Aspects of Athletic Training
- Clinical Athletic Training Labs
- Orthopedic Assessment
These courses should be both exciting and challenging for most students.
After completing your education in Athletic Training you will have an understanding of the human body exceeding almost every educational avenue except medicine.
It is important to note you will have a variety of other required courses in Sociology, History, English, Mathematics, and other required general education courses. An Athletic Trainer is a professional and requires a well rounded education.
Hands-On Experience during Your Athletic Trainer Education
Every Athletic Trainer degree program will require hands-on clinical experience. Your hands-on work will not happen in only a lab or classroom environment but in live clinical situations. Expect to be assigned to work in one of these areas:
- College Sports Teams
- High School Sports
- Sports Medicine Clinics
- Professional Sports Teams (Where available)
During your years of athletic trainer education you will likely rotate through a variety of clinical settings to give you a well rounded education and career preparation. Once you begin your career you will need to react instantly to injuries and only be hands-on clinical experience is this possible.
The Rewards of Completing Your Education
The reward for enduring through a Bachelor or Master Degree in Athletic Training comes in several forms.
- Personal Pride
- Community Recognition
- Exciting Career
- Excellent Pay
The Athletic Trainers salary ranges dramatically throughout the country.
The lowest 10% earn approximately $25,000 per year while the upper 10% earn over $65,000 per year.
The median is $44,000 per year. Keep in mind many of the professionals in the lowest tier are working in high school education and may be receiving additional pay as a school teacher, coach, or other function.
Undertaking an Athletic Trainer education is a choice filled with rewards where you will have the excitement of live clinical experience during your college years followed with one of the most rewarding careers possible.