Sports Trainer Degrees by Degree Program Level

Students who wish to pursue a career as a sports trainer can pursue degrees at the associate's or bachelor's level. Find out what kind of courses are common to these programs, along with career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Sports trainer degrees are available at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels. A two year Associate of Arts in Health Fitness degree in health fitness can lead to an entry-level career as a coach or personal trainer, and it includes the study of anatomy and physiology, nutrition, sports psychology, exercise science theory, and kinesiology. Students also participate in lab experiences to see how theories can be applied firsthand.

A four year Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training degree in athletic training may include a concentration in kinesiology or sports management, and graduates may pursue careers as personal trainers, wellness coaches, managers or consultants. This program includes both coursework and clinical components in topics that include individual and team sports, gymnastics, underwater athletics, therapeutic exercise and dance. Both an associate's and bachelor's degree require a high school-level education to enroll, as well as SAT or ACT scores.

Associate of Arts in Health Fitness

The Associate of Arts in Health Fitness introduces core concepts in the area of exercise science. The goal of the associate's program is to introduce scientific principles of health and nutrition. Students enrolled in the program learn human anatomy and physiology, healthy lifestyle options and how to execute training methods. Students who complete the associate's degree are eligible for entry-level jobs in the sports training industry, such as coaches, community recreation leaders or personal trainers.

Coursework for an associate's degree in health fitness introduces core concepts in exercise science, training regimes and nutrition. Topics include:

  • Exercise science theory
  • Kinesiology
  • Resistance training
  • Sports psychology

Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training

The Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training prepares graduates for careers with health care facilities and athletic sports organizations. Before enrolling in a bachelor degree program in sports training, prospective students should ensure that the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The bachelor's degree program introduces an in-depth approach to the science of athletic training. Minor areas of study in sports management or kinesiology may be available.

Coursework for the bachelor's degree program introduces a wide range of topics within the field of athletic training. Many classes also require that students complete a corresponding laboratory course. Programs may feature:

  • Clinical skills
  • Athletic injuries care and prevention
  • Principles of fitness and wellness
  • Underwater athletic activities
  • Individual sports
  • Team sports

Popular Career Options

Those who have completed the degree requirements can apply for training positions with a wide variety of athletic institutions and facilities. Graduates may become:

  • Personal trainers
  • Fitness consultants
  • Health club managers
  • Wellness coaches

Continuing Education

A master's degree program in sports training or health fitness provides the opportunity to conduct exercise research in a clinical setting. Those who do not wish to pursue an advanced degree, and want only to become personal or athletic trainers, can apply for licensure in their state. Requirements for the athletic training license vary; interested candidates should consult their academic sports training department for more information on the process.

An associate's or bachelor's degree in a sports training field teach students about the human body and how to condition it for different kinds of sports activities. Several jobs are available for graduates in this field, who will need licensure, and can also continue on to a master's degree program.

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