Athletic Trainer Job Description

Athletic Trainer performing one on one coaching.  Athletic trainers help prevent and treat injuries by designing custom work outs for people of all ages. These allied health professionals work with disorders of the muscles, joints, and bones. 

Athletic Trainer Job Description: Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians. Athletic trainers help in creating custom work outs for athletes. Athletic trainers help prevent and treat injuries for people of all ages. Their clients include everyone from professional athletes to industrial workers. The services provided by ATs comprise prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Recognized by the American Medical Association as allied health professionals, athletic trainers specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries.

Athletic trainers are often one of the first heath care providers on the scene when injuries occur, and therefore must be able to recognize, evaluate, and assess injuries and provide immediate care when needed. They also are heavily involved in the rehabilitation and reconditioning of injuries.

Typical Working conditions for Athletic trainers

Working conditions and hours are variable. The athletic trainer job description includes being able to interact frequently with doctors, athletes and other professionals. They work in a variety of settings including for professional sports teams.

The job also might require standing for long periods, working with medical equipment or machinery, and being able to walk, run, kneel, crouch, stoop, or crawl. Some travel may be required. Hours of work include some evenings, week-ends and may include working up to 12 hours a day. A typical work week may be from 40 to 60 hours. 

The industries that employed the most athletic trainers in 2012 were as follows:

Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private 25%

Offices of other health practitioners 15%

Hospitals; state, local, and private 13%

Fitness and recreational sports centers 13%

Training and Qualifications

Formal education and training requirements for athletic trainers includes a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. A major in athletic training is required for those desiring to be board certified. More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree.

Licensing and Regulations

To become certified athletic trainers, students must graduate with bachelors or master’s degree from an accredited professional athletic training education program and pass a comprehensive test administered by the Board of Certification. Once certified, they must meet ongoing continuing education requirements in order to remain certified.

In 43 states athletic trainers are regulated. The usual method to be a credentialed and licensed athletic trainer is:
1) Possess the amount of training and/or a degree from an accredited school.
2) Pass a national exam
3) Become board certified 
4) Apply for licensure in the state you wish to practice in.

Significant Points for the Athletic Trainer Job Description

To be licensed must be board certified and possess a Bachelor's degree in athletic training.

Employment is expected to increase faster than average as aging boomers and rapidly expanding healthcare needs drive up the demand for healthcare overall. Athletic trainers who want to include sports teams in their job description may experience more challenges in finding employment.

This job description may require you to be athletic and in very good physical condition.

Career Progression

Turnover among athletic trainers is limited. When dealing with sports teams, there is a tendency to want to continue to work with the same coaches, administrators, and players when a good working relationship already exists.

Because of relatively low worker turnover, the settings with the best job prospects will be the ones that are expected to grow most quickly, primarily positions in health care settings. There will also be opportunities in elementary and secondary schools as more positions are created.

Some of these positions also will require teaching responsibilities. There will be more competition for positions within colleges, universities, and professional schools as well as professional sports clubs.

The occupation is expected to continue to change over the next decade including more administrative responsibilities, adapting to new technology, and working with larger populations, and job seekers must be able to adapt to these changes.

Resources for Athletic Trainer Job Description

Athletic Trainers Job Description Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

National Athletic Trainers' Association


› Athletic Trainer