Athletic Trainer Certificate and Certification Programs

Aspiring athletic trainers can pursue bachelor's degrees in athletic training. These programs provide students with a strong knowledge of athletic training practices and procedures and can prepare graduates for professional certification.

Essential Information

A bachelor's degree program in athletic training allows students to develop skills and gain knowledge in areas including therapeutic procedures as well as client assessment and evaluation.

Programs are often very competitive and admission is selective. Most schools expect applicants to complete some foundation courses with a minimum grade point average before being allowed to apply for entrance to a program. Schools may also require applicants to provide proof of their interest in the field and intended career plans through a personal essay.

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 Board of Certification (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 most 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.

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in athletic training are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to first gain certification and then to pursue careers as athletic trainers in a variety of settings, from sports teams to hospitals.

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