Certified Athletic Trainer: Certification and Career Facts

Athletic trainers work with athletes to treat their injuries and prevent future performance issues. Continue reading to learn about the requirements for gaining certification, working as an athletic trainer and the career outlook for certified athletic trainers. Schools offering Fitness Trainer degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Certified athletic trainers are allied health care professionals who specialize in muscle and bone injuries. As a certified athletic trainer, you work under the supervision of physicians and often collaborate with health care professionals to treat patients.

Responsibilities Prevent, diagnose and treat sports and athletic injuries
Certification Must graduate from an accredited program and pass Board of Certification exam
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 23% increase for athletic trainers, much faster than average

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Career as a Certified Athletic Trainer Entail?

You evaluate and diagnose sports injuries as they occur and work with injured athletes to develop a treatment plan to manage and rehabilitate the injury. Many times, you also educate patients on injury prevention, the proper use of rehabilitative equipment and home exercises.

Employment opportunities are available in a variety of settings, including:

  • High schools
  • Universities
  • Orthopedic clinics
  • Hospitals

You also spend a good amount of time in outdoor environments and often spend long hours standing. If you work for sports teams, you may have long, irregular hours that are determined by the game and practice schedules of the team.

How Do I Become Certified?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), to work as an athletic trainer most states require that you become licensed and registered; this requires certification from the Board of Certification (BOC) (www.bls.gov). To gain certification, you must graduate from an accredited athletic training program and pass the BOC examination.

Typically, you need to earn a master's degree to find employment in the field, but you can earn certification with just a bachelor's degree. Additionally, to be eligible to take the certification examination, you must have an endorsement from the program director of your athletic training program.

What is the Job Outlook?

The BLS predicts that the employment of athletic trainers will increase at a rate of 23% from 2016 and 2026. This rate is much faster than the average rate for all other occupations, and employment opportunities in high schools and in the health care industry should be good. The BLS further expects that employment with sports teams will remain competitive, as athletic trainers compete for a smaller pool of jobs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »