Masters Degree in Athletic Training: Program Summaries

A master's degree in athletic training is ideal for any individuals who are interested in becoming athletic trainers for professional athletes, gyms, or personal clients. Program requirements, as well as professional licensure and certification info, are profiled below.

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Essential Information

The goal of most 2-year graduate degree programs in athletic training is to prepare students to sit for a state Board of Certification (BOC) examination and gain a certification credential. For this reason, students interested in studying athletic training at the graduate level should enroll in a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Students are taught how to evaluate and treat musculoskeletal injuries and medical conditions related to sports injury, as well as provide prevention education and rehabilitation services. Most master's degree programs in athletic training combine didactic lectures with hands-on, clinical rotations at rehabilitation centers, physicians' offices, and sports medicine clinics. A bachelor's degree is nearly always required to gain entrance into a master's degree program in athletic training, along with standard admission requirements like transcripts and GRE scores.

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Master's Degree in Athletic Training

The courses found within a master's degree program in athletic training cover methods of research in the field, scientific principles of the human body, and clinical practices of trainers. Some examples of course topics include:

  • Foundations of athletic training
  • Athletic training and general medicine
  • Sports nutrition
  • Illness and injury
  • Therapeutic exercise and rehabilitation
  • Orthopedic assessment

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Athletic trainers held down 23,450 jobs across the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ( The employment of athletic trainers was predicted to grow by 21% between 2014-2024, which was much higher than the average predicted job growth rate. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for athletic trainers was $44,670.

Continuing Education

The BLS reports that a bachelor's degree is required to be an athletic trainer. Although some trainers also hold master's degrees, graduate education in the field is not strictly required. However, 47 out of 50 U.S. states do require that athletic trainers gain licensure from the Board of Certification (BOC). To earn certification, athletic trainers must gain a post-secondary degree and pass an examination.

Students interested in pursuing a career as an athletic trainer should look into athletic training master's degree programs. These two-year programs teach students about essential aspects of human health and fitness in accordance with the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education standards.

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