What Are the Basics of a Sports Medicine Degree?

Do you enjoy sports? Are you interested in a health-related career that allows you to work with athletes? If you answered yes, then you might be interested in learning about sports medicine. Read on to learn more about the basics of a sports medicine degree. Schools offering Kinesiology & Sport Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Basics of Sports Medicine

The industry of sports medicine refers to healthcare and similar services in the field of exercise, sports and physical recreational activities. Sports medicine is closely related to kinesiology, which is human kinetics, as well as to exercise physiology. In this field, you'll use scientific and medical knowledge to help others by identifying, assisting, rehabilitating and preventing injuries.

Important Facts About Sports Medicine Degrees

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED equivalent
Degree Fields Sports medicine, sports & health sciences
Concentrations Athletic training, fitness & wellness professional studies, exercise science, coaching studies
Online Availability Yes

Types of Degrees

You'll find all sports medicine degree programs are a combination of fitness and anatomical science. These programs prepare you for careers in athletic training, teaching, massage therapy and medicine. You'll receive extensive hands on experience through a mixture of laboratory assignments and field practice. The courses you'll take will depend upon the level of degree you're pursuing.

Sports Medicine Associate's Degree

Associate's degree programs in sports medicine can be found at many community colleges. You can expect to take courses such as first aid, sports nutrition, strength conditioning, lifetime fitness and sports injury management. If you're interested in a shorter, more condensed program, certificate programs are also available.

Sports Medicine Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree gives you the foundation for your career in sports medicine or to pursue further educational goals. Some of the classes you can expect to take include biology, human anatomy, human physiology, nutrition, exercise physiology and neuroscience.

Sports Medicine Master Degree

At the graduate level, sports medicine programs focus on advanced topics such as biostatistics, clinical biomechanics and muscle physiology. These programs often require a thesis to be completed at the end of the 2-year program. Classes include human movement, advanced exercise physiology, musculoskeletal injuries and advanced conditioning.

Types of Occupations and Careers

There is a variety of career opportunities available to you in sports medicine, based on your degree and experience level. For example, an associate's degree allows you to work in entry-level and aide positions, such as a fitness worker or physical therapist aide. As a fitness worker, you'll work in individual or group settings to provide exercise instructions. As a physical therapy aide, you'd help patients with their rehabilitative exercises. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), physical therapist aids earned an average salary of $26,660 in 2014, and the rate of job growth in this field should be well above average at 41% from 2012 to 2022.

If you possess a bachelor's degree in sports medicine, you may pursue careers such as an athletic trainer. Employment opportunities in this profession are expected to expand by 21% between 2012 and 2022, based on data from the BLS. Athletic trainers assist athletes by helping them prevent serious injuries and developing exercise regiments for them. If you're working as part of a collegiate or high school athletic program, you'll travel with your sports teams to sporting events and help athletes prepare for games, and you'll likely be the first person to respond to a sports injury suffered during play. Figures from the BLS show the average salary for athletic trainers in 2014 was $45,730.

With a master's degree in sports medicine, you could become a physical therapist. You would oversee and help others overcome injuries and disabilities in health care and rehabilitative settings. You may also teach at universities and colleges. The BLS predicts demand for physical therapists will increase by 36% over the 2012-2022 decade, and individuals in this field were paid an average salary of $83,940 in 2014.

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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