What is athletic training?

Athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions. Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an allied health care profession.

The Master of Athletic Training Program, in the School of Health Sciences, utilizes a proficiency-based medical model to educate students through classroom and clinical experiences.

Who are athletic trainers?

  • Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.
  • Athletic trainers work under the direction of a physician as prescribed by state licensure statutes.
  • The NATA Code of Ethics states the principles of ethical behavior that should be followed in the practice of athletic training.
  • Athletic trainers are sometimes confused with personal trainers. There is, however, a large difference in the education, skillset, job duties, and patients of an athletic trainer and a personal trainer. The athletic training academic curriculum and clinical training follows the medical model. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited baccalaureate or master’s program, and 70% of ATs have a master’s degree.

What is the salary range of typical Athletic Training jobs?

Like any occupation, it varies by employer and geographic location. But the national average salary for an athletic trainer with a master’s degree is $54,660.

Athletic Training Education

Athletic training education uses a competency-based approach in both the classroom and clinical settings. Using a medical-based education model, athletic training students are educated to provide comprehensive patient care in five domains of clinical practice: prevention; clinical evaluation and diagnosis; immediate and emergency care; treatment and rehabilitation; and organization and professional health and well-being. The educational requirements for CAATE-accredited athletic training education programs include acquisition of knowledge, skills, and clinical abilities along with a broad scope of foundational behaviors of professional practice.  Students must receive formal instruction in the following specific subject matter areas:

  • Evidence-based practice
  • Prevention and health promotion
  • Clinical examination and diagnosis
  • Acute care of injury and illness
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Psychosocial strategies and referral
  • Health care administration
  • Professional development and responsibility

The Master of Athletic Training Program prepares students to:

  • Master educational competencies required for certification
  • Develop the ability to communicate with other allied health professionals as evidenced by frequent interaction with certified athletic trainers, coaches, fitness workers, and recreation workers.
  • Model appropriate professional and ethical practices as related to their profession.
  • Gain didactic and clinical knowledge and skills in the prevention, recognition, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries.


The Master of Athletic Training Program is committed to educating highly qualified allied health professionals who make a difference in the world by being productive, responsible, and engaged athletic trainers in a multicultural and rapidly changing world. This will be accomplished by emphasizing a personalized, diverse, and dynamic learning environment that stimulates engagement with technology, ideas, and other health professionals.


To be recognized as one of the premier graduate level athletic training programs in Illinois and throughout the Midwest by providing students with an extensive, dynamic, and individualized education promoting collaboration, leadership and professionalism.


The following goals illustrate how the philosophy upon which the Master of Athletic Training Program guides the education of the Athletic Training Student. Upon completion of the Master of Athletic Training Program the student will be able to:

  • communicate effectively to a variety of populations utilizing various media
  • prevent, evaluate, treat, rehabilitate, and recondition musculoskeletal injuries appropriately as an athletic training professional
  • evaluate and manage medical conditions appropriately as an athletic training professional
  • organize and administer athletic training services in a variety of settings
  • apply evidence-based practices in the rapidly changing healthcare environment
  • foster the caring side of athletic training by incorporating psychosocial aspects into all domains
  • create collaborative environments with healthcare professionals to develop, administer, and utilize effective clinical skill management, communication, scholarship, and professional development
  • demonstrate the importance of professional development through an appreciation of life-long learning, professional membership, and service to the profession and community
  • successfully pass standardized test(s) required in order to practice athletic training at the state or national level
  • practice in an inclusive manner with knowledge of and respect for all individuals regardless of cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, sex, gender identity, religious, educational, and/or political differences or biases.