Career Detail

Athletic Trainer
“The Injury Preventer”
Athletic trainers help prevent and treat injuries for people of all ages. Their clients include everyone from professional athletes to industrial workers.
The Job
Athletic trainers specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of muscle and bone injuries. Athletic trainers should not be confused with fitness trainers or personal trainers, who are not health care workers, but rather train people to become physically fit. The work of athletic trainers requires frequent interaction with others including consulting with physicians as well as frequent contact with athletes and patients to discuss and administer treatments, rehabilitation programs, injury-preventive practices, and other health-related issues. athletic trainers in sports settings may regularly work 6 or 7 days per week, including late hours.
Work Environment
Many athletic trainers work indoors most of the time; others, especially those in some sports-related jobs, spend much of their time working outdoors.
College Majors
human anatomy, physiology, nutrition,biomechanics, physical education
Minimum Qualifications
A bachelor's degree is usually the minimum requirement to work as an athletic trainer, but many athletic trainers hold a master's or doctoral degree. In 2006, 46 States required athletic trainers to be certified.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Communication Skills, physically fit
Quick Facts
  • 68 percent of athletic trainers have a master's or doctoral degree.
  • Job prospects should be good in the health care industry, but competition is expected for positions with sports teams.
  • Long hours, sometimes including nights and weekends, are common.
  • The salary of an athletic trainer depends on experience and job responsibilities, and varies by job setting.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages for athletic trainers were $39,640 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $32,070 and $49,250. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,450, while the top 10 percent earned more than $60,960.
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