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Athletic Training Majors

Find out how a bachelor's degree in athletic training can prepare you to work in a school, for a professional sports team or alongside professional athletes, helping them to prevent injuries or complete rehabilitation. Learn about admissions requirements, employment options and sample coursework.

What Courses Will I Take for a Bachelor's Degree in Athletic Training?

Your coursework will be a combination of lecture-based classroom time and experiential learning. Among the topics you will study in the classroom are human anatomy, exercise physiology, kinesiology and sports nutrition. These courses will provide you with a theoretical understanding of key concepts necessary for helping athletes heal from injuries and stay healthy.

You will also spend significant time getting first-hand experience with a wide variety of athletic training techniques. These include taping and wrapping, therapeutic exercises and strength conditioning.

The extensive hands-on nature of athletic training education prevents it from being offered online; you will only find this field of study in campus-based programs.

Common ClassesKinesiology, human anatomy, sports nutrition, exercise physiology
Hands-on TrainingStrength conditioning, taping and wrapping, therapeutic exercises
Admission RequirementsHigh school diploma, SAT or ACT scores; prerequisite coursework and CPR certification may be required
Possible JobsAthletic trainer at high school or college, with professional sports teams/athletes, in a rehabilitation center, or in a business setting
Graduate Degree OptionsPhysical therapy, nursing, medicine
Median Salary (2020)$49,860* (for athletic trainers)
Job Outlook (2019-29) 16%* (for all athletic trainers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Athletic training programs generally have few admissions requirements beyond the completion of a high school degree and the submission of SAT or ACT scores. However, prior to declaring a major, you may be required to complete specific coursework that will prepare you for the program, such as biology, chemistry and algebra. You may also be required to earn and maintain active cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.

What Careers Can I Pursue With This Degree?

Upon completion of your degree, you will be qualified to work in a multitude of settings. You may decide to work in an athletic department of a high school, college or university. Alternatively, you may work for professional sports figures or sports teams, helping elite athletes with their training and conditioning. Also, you will have the skills necessary for work in a rehabilitation center in a hospital or military facility. These same skills are often sought by industrial businesses that use athletic trainers to keep their staff working productively and to reduce health care expenses.

What Graduate Degrees Can I Pursue?

While a bachelor's degree in athletic training will prepare you for a career, you may further develop your skills through graduate study. Physical therapy is a common graduate field that is a natural extension of the work you will do as an athletic training major. You may also use this program as a platform for entering nursing or medical school.