What Classes Should I Take to Become an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic trainer classes include a range of subjects that can provide aspiring trainers with a well-rounded athletic trainer education. Courses like anatomy and physiology are common athletic trainer college courses and may prepare students to treat injuries. Schools offering Fitness Trainer degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Athletic Trainer Classes

Athletic trainer education is available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Aspiring athletic trainers will need to take a variety of athletic trainer college courses to prepare for the career. Most of these courses come from different areas of science to help familiarize students with the human body and how it moves and works. Students may even take multiple courses within the same subject to cover introductory to advanced concepts within the area. Some of the course subjects needed to become an athletic trainer include:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Kinesiology
  • Research methods

At the undergraduate level, students also usually complete other core curriculum courses that are required in general education. Some of these courses may include topics like calculus, algebra, chemistry, writing, and psychology. At the graduate level, coursework tends to focus primarily on athletic training-related subjects, including clinical decision-making, professional standards, and athletic training administration.

While you can find some individual courses, such as an anatomy and physiology course, online, most athletic trainer college courses are a part of an athletic training degree program. Some of these athletic training degree programs are available in online or hybrid formats.

How to Become an Athletic Trainer

Degree RequiredBachelor's degree
Degree FieldAthletic training
Other RequirementsState license or certification
Annual Mean Salary (2018)*$49,280
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)*23%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Athletic trainer educational requirements usually include at least a bachelor's degree. However, there are master's and doctoral programs available in athletic training for advanced education in the field. During these degree programs students usually receive hands-on training through athletic training practicum experiences and/or clinical hours.

After their formal education, the majority of states require athletic trainers to obtain state-issued licenses or certification. Typically, this includes passing a certification exam from the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer (BOC). The BOC also requires athletic trainers to earn continuing education credits to keep their certification.

Athletic Trainer Job Duties

An athletic trainer is responsible for helping athletes and other active people, such as military or performing artists, prevent and treat injuries and illnesses that may occur from participating in physical activity. This may require athletic trainers to attend sporting events in the evenings or on weekends and/or spend some of their time working outside. They may work with patients of all ages and varying skill levels. Most athletic trainers work full-time and may have job duties such as:

  • Assessing injuries
  • Providing first aid
  • Educating athletes on injury prevention
  • Maintaining injury reports
  • Developing rehabilitation programs
  • Providing braces, tape, and other injury-preventative strategies
  • Ensuring that sporting regulations are met
  • Handling purchasing, budget, and other financial issues related to athletic training

Athletic Trainer Salary

As of May 2018, athletic trainers made an average annual salary of $49,280, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS reported that most athletic trainers worked in colleges, universities, and professional schools and made an average salary of $49,450 for the same year. Athletic trainers that worked for promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events made the highest average salary at $74,180.

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:

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