An athletic trainer is a certified and licensed health care professional who practices in the field of sports medicine. They prevent, examine, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions. They work as part of a collaborative interprofessional health care team. Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an allied health care profession.
Athletic trainers work in a variety of different professional settings, including:
- Hospital emergency departments
- Intercollegiate athletics
- Law enforcement and military
- Occupational and industrial settings
- Performing arts
- Physician offices
- Professional sports
- Secondary schools
- Sports medicine clinics
The job growth is expected to rise 21% by the year 2022, faster than average for all professions, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. The rise in demand for these professionals is due to more people becoming aware of the long-term effects of sports or exercise-related injuries and medical conditions.
Currently, the minimum professional degree level is baccalaureate however, it was recently decided by the AT Strategic Alliance that the minimum professional degree level will be a master’s. This change is expected to be implemented within the next several years. More than 70% of athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree.
Physical activity and/or sports is a major part of everyone’s lives. Working as an athletic trainer is a great choice for those interested in exercise and sports and want to help a wide range of people stay healthy, prevent injuries, and get the most out of physical activity.