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Athletic Training
Athletic Training Careers
Bath with the ducksTo become an athletic trainer you will need to go to a school that offers a Board of Certification (BOC) approved athletic training program.  For a current listing of approved programs in athletic training go to:

What does an athletic trainer do on a daily basis?
What path does an athletic trainer follow?
What particular skills are needed to succeed in the profession?
How does one advance in the profession?
Where can I go for more information about athletic training?

What does an athletic trainer do on a daily basis?

Duties will vary depending on the setting you are in.  In a traditional school setting some of the duties include:
  • Injury care, treatment, and rehabilitation
  • Injury prevention, taping, padding
  • Emergent & Non-Emergent first aid and evaluation of injuries
  • Communication to doctors, coach, and parents
  • Game preparation; first aid supplies, ice, water, etc.
  • Treatment and injury record keeping
  • Counseling athletes on various topics
In a physical therapy office you may work with the physical therapists in caring for patients. 
If they are connected with a local high school you may be sent to the school in the afternoon
to take care of their sports teams. 

In a high school you may teach in the morning and help with the sports teams in the afternoon. 

In an orthopedic doctors office you may be assisting the doctor with evaluations and seeing patients for ongoing care which might include assisting in surgery.

In an industrial setting you may be in charge of ergonomic analysis and education of employees directing exercises or workplace wellness programs.

Other non-traditional settings include (but are not limited to):
  • Professional rodeo, ballet
  • “X” games
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
  • Movie/Film industry
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What path does an athletic trainer follow?

The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) was founded in 1950 for athletic trainers across the country to share ideas and provide continuing education for the profession. 

Standards were developed in 1969 for athletic trainers to become “certified.”  Over the years these standards have evolved to include:
  • A bachelor's degree to include courses in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, exercise physiology, nutrition, emergency care/first aid, injury/illness prevention and evaluation, psychology, pathology, pharmacology, administration.
  • Practical clinical experience under supervision
  • Pass the Board of Certification examination consisting of a written test, a practical test, and a written simulation test.   “ATC” is the designation used for athletic trainers who have met these standards.
  • Currently 43 states have their own requirements/regulations.
  • ATC status must be maintained by 75 hours of continuing education every 3 years.
Most athletic trainers have master's degrees; a few have Ph.D.  A degree plus other certifications; i.e. EMT, CSCS, RPT, PTA, PA, teaching credential, et al, will increase your employability.

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What particular skills are needed to succeed in the profession?
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Get along with everybody
  • Flexibility
  • Reliability
  • Good Healh
How does one advance in the profession
  • Increase education level.
  • Be in right place at right time.
  • Don’t burn your bridges.
Where can I go for more information about athletic training?

Athletic Trainer’s Board of
The mission of the Board of Certification is to certify athletic trainers and to identify for the public, quality health care professionals through a system of certification, adjudication, standards of practice and continuing competency programs.

National Athletic Trainer’s
Mission Statement:  The mission of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association is to enhance the quality of health care for athletes and those engaged in physical activity, and to advance the profession of athletic training through education and research in the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of injuries. 

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