What Are Some Popular Sports Medicine Careers?

Sports medicine careers are ideal for those who want to help people overcome sports injuries. As a graduate of a sports medicine degree program, you can pursue a variety of jobs, including personal trainer and physical therapist. Read on for details regarding some popular careers in sports medicine. Schools offering Kinesiology & Sport Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

A Career in Sports Medicine

A career in sports medicine requires an understanding of medical science as well as human motion and exercise. There are a number of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in sports medicine that are designed to prepare you for a sports medicine career, but many related careers require additional education and licensure. Some potential sports medicine careers are outlined below.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Personal Trainer Athletic Trainer Physical Therapist
Mean Salary (2014) $39,410 $45,730 $83,940
Key Skills Problem-solving, customer-service, listening, and motivational skills Compassion, decision-making, and interpersonal skills Resourcefulness, compassion, and interpersonal skills
Similar Occupations Recreation worker, exercise physiologist Chiropractor, massage therapist, physician assistant Audiologist, recreational therapist, occupational therapist
On-the-Job Training Typically takes place alongside a senior trainer, additional training may apply for specialized positions Internships are available Internships are available

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Personal Trainer

Personal trainers assist people with the development and execution of personalized exercise programs. In this career, you will work one-on-one with your clients to create exercise routines that meet their fitness needs. Many personal trainers work in fitness centers or health clubs where exercise facilities are readily available. Although a college degree is not necessarily required to become a personal trainer, most fitness facilities require trainers to at least hold certifications. A bachelor's degree in sports medicine can boost a personal trainer's credibility and chances for advancement.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs available for fitness workers, including personal trainers, is expected to increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS states that this is due to more people and businesses investing in health and fitness.

Athletic Trainer

As an athletic trainer, you will work with coaches, team physicians and physical therapists to treat and prevent sports-related injuries in high school, college, or professional athletes. An accredited undergraduate degree is required to sit for the certification examination, which is administered by the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA). Most states require licensure to become an athletic trainer. The BLS reported that employment for athletic trainers was expected to grow 21% between 2014 and 2024.

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists are responsible for restoring and maintaining patients' overall fitness and health. In this career, you often work with patients who experience physical disability as a result of injury or disease. After reviewing a patient's medical history, you will assess the status of their physical health and then develop a treatment plan that best suits the needs of the patient. As a physical therapist, you may work in a hospital, clinic, or private office. To become a physical therapist, you'll need to complete a master's-level or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program and become licensed.

The number of jobs for physical therapists was expected to grow by 34% over 2014-2024, reported the BLS. Aging baby boomers and their need for physical therapy services was expected to drive this expected growth.

Sports Physician

A sports physician is a medical doctor who specializes in the prevention and treatment of injuries and conditions related to sports activities. As an aspiring sports physician, you'll pursue education in a traditional medical school and then complete specialized sports medicine training. Some schools offer Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in sports science combined with another concentration, such as rehabilitation and movement or orthopedics.

Sports physicians are often employed by professional sports teams and can be the team's primary medical resource. Your position with a sports team would be to evaluate the physical well-being of the athletes. You might also help to select and fit athletes with protective equipment so as to help prevent injuries. The BLS stated that employment for physicians and surgeons was expected to grow 14% between 2014 and 2024 overall.

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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