Sports Trainer Degree Programs and Schools
With a degree in sports training, you could become an allied healthcare provider for athletes, military personnel or even a performing artist. Learn about how to find a degree program in athletic training, and find out what you'd study as a student. Get info about online learning options.
What You Need to Know
Sports trainers help to prevent and treat athletes' injuries. Education programs in athletic training are generally quite competitive and offer a combination of medical courses and practical experience to effectively prepare you for your career.
|Programs||4-year bachelor's degree programs, combining classroom teaching with clinical experience|
|Schools||Offered at over 300 schools nationwide; students should consider programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education|
|Median Annual Salary (2017)*||$46,630 (athletic trainers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Should I Choose a Sports Trainer Degree Program?
Sports training, more commonly referred to as athletic training, is offered at over 300 schools nationwide. However, you might want to look specifically for programs recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), which ensures that schools meet national standards set by the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA). Graduation from a CAATE-accredited school is also a consideration of the Board of Certification, which issues the certification exam you'll need to take after graduation. Undergraduate programs may be available in Kinesiology and Health Education. A Bachelor of Science in in Athletic Training is also another option you may want to consider.
Also, you might look for schools that offer a variety of clinical experiences and internships. Some programs will offer rotations through the following:
- Medical clinics
- High school sports teams
- Colleges and universities
- Professional sports teams
Do I Need a Graduate Education?
According to NATA, many certified athletic trainers have master's degrees. A master's degree program in athletic training should take you two years to complete and will cover many of the same subject areas listed above.
Entry-level master's degree programs are available. However, because standards for athletic trainers are strict, some master's degree programs won't accept transfer credits from other schools. Instead, they'll require you to take all coursework, including prerequisite undergraduate courses, within their schools. You might be able to find a Master of Science in Athletic Training degree program, as well.
What Schools Offer Sports Trainer Degree Programs?
Sports trainer degree programs are widely available, so you shouldn't have trouble finding one that suits your learning needs. Many programs are offered through four-year universities. You might have the choice of enrolling in a relevant major through some of the following schools:
- California Baptist University (Riverside)
- University of Maine (Orono)
- University of Texas at Austin
- Liberty University (Lynchburg, VA)
- Pennsylvania State University (University Park)
What Topics Might I Study?
Accredited athletic trainer programs combine classroom work with clinical experience. If you're enrolled in a bachelor's degree program, you can expect four years of coursework, some of which will include general requirements in math, arts and sciences. Your major courses might cover the following subjects:
- Human anatomy
- Injury prevention
- Athletic training
- Health and nutrition
- First aid
- Clinical evaluation
What Are My Options for Online Learning?
Since athletic trainer degree programs combine classroom and clinical study, you won't find them available entirely online. However, you may be able to take some didactic prerequisite or core curriculum classes you need online.