Sports medicine trainers work to prevent and assess athletic injuries. They need at least a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions and usually need professional certification as well. They are expected to see faster-than-average job growth between 2014 and 2024.
Sports medicine trainers, more commonly known as athletic trainers, need at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited athletic training program, but most trainers have master's degrees. Most states call for licensing or professional certification, but requirements vary. Athletic trainers can work in many settings, including colleges and secondary schools, medical offices, hospitals or fitness centers.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in athletic training|
|Other Requirements||Most states require licensing or professional certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||21% for athletic trainers*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$44,670 for athletic trainers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Sports Medicine Trainer Requirements
Athletic trainers are typically required to have at least a bachelor's degree as well as state licensure or certification; however, many athletic trainers also have a master's degree. When looking for a degree program, prospective athletic trainers will want to look for programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), since completing an accredited program is often a requirement for state licensure.
Bachelor's degree programs in athletic training typically include coursework in injury/illness prevention and assessment, first aid, human anatomy and nutrition. They also often include clinical experiences for students to receive hands-on training. After completing a CAATE-accredited program, graduates can take the certification exam offered by the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC). Some states may require an additional state-specific exam for licensure.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Kinesiology and Exercise Science
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of athletic trainers was $44,670 in May 2015. The BLS indicated that those trainers employed by performing arts companies, elementary and secondary schools, and spectator sports organizations were among the best paid professionals in the field.
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who focus on preventing, assessing and treating injuries in athletes. They may also provide first aid or emergency care, as well provide therapeutic interventions and create rehabilitation plans. This position is different from personal trainers, who develop exercise plans for clients.
While many athletic trainers find positions in educational institutions, jobs are also available in doctor's offices, hospitals, fitness centers or with professional sports teams. According to the BLS, about 16% of all athletic trainers were employed by colleges, universities and professional schools in 2015. Employment of athletic trainers is projected to increase by 21% between 2014 and 2024. This growth is predicted due to recent advances in injury prevention and treatment options.
Those who want to become sports medicine trainers need to earn a bachelor's degree in athletic training or sports medicine. They must also meet certification requirements in the state that they work. Although a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement, many athletic trainers have a master's degree in their field.