Athletic Trainer Certificate and Certification Programs

For an individual who wishes to become an athletic trainer, a relevant education option is a bachelor's degree in athletic training. Athletic training programs focus on providing students with a strong knowledge of the general practices and procedures used in athletic training.

Essential Information

A bachelor's degree program in athletic training allows students to develop skills and gain knowledge in the area of athletic training. Specific skills and knowledge gained through a program can include risk management, injury prevention, therapeutic procedures, client assessment and evaluation, athletic nutrition and exercise procedures.

  • Prerequisites: High School diploma. Minimum GPA requirement.
  • Program Length: 4 years.
  • Other Requirements: Proven interest in the field through a personal essay.
  • Experiential Learning: Clinical Work.

Bachelor's Degree in Athletic Training

Athletic training degree programs teach students about body functions and movement as a basis for the knowledge needed as an athletic trainer. Courses can prepare students to work with people of all fitness levels who are training in a variety of sports. Programs usually contain multiple clinical courses that allow students to learn through hands-on practice. Topics covered in the curriculum may include:

  • Kinesiology
  • Sports nutrition
  • Sports injury evaluation
  • Anatomy
  • Risk evaluation
  • Exercise techniques

Popular Career Options

Most bachelor's degree programs in athletic training prepare students to become athletic trainers upon graduation. Programs also prepare graduates for professional certification through the BOC. Graduates may work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Medical facilities
  • Colleges and universities
  • Professional sports programs

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Certification as a Certified Athletic Trainer (CAT) is available through the BOC. To become certified, according to the BOC, a person must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education bachelor's degree program and pass the BOC examination ( According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), licensing is required in 47 states ( Licensing typically requires being BOC certified.

Graduates of undergraduate athletic training program may consider continuing on to the master's degree level, where a degree in kinesiology could offer a concentration in athletic training, or a degree in athletic training could offer degree options in subjects like sports medicine or education. These programs could lead to work in universities, corporations or professionals sports.

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