What Can I Do With This Degree?

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.

What do athletic trainers do?

Athletic trainers help prevent and treat injuries. They are often the first health-care professionals on the scene when injuries occur and are trained to recognize, evaluate and assess injuries, and provide immediate care. Athletic trainers educate people on how to reduce the risk of injury, advise them on the proper use of equipment, and recommend exercise and therapy programs. They also apply protective devices such as tape, bandages and braces.

Athletic trainers are needed in every state of the country to work in:

  • Public and private secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional and Olympic sports
  • Youth leagues, municipal and independently owned youth sports facilities
  • Physician practice, similar to nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists and other professional clinical personnel
  • Rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers
  • Clinics with specialties in sports medicine, cardiac rehab, medical fitness, wellness and physical therapy
  • Occupational health departments in commercial settings, which include manufacturing, distribution and offices to assist with ergonomics
  • Police and fire departments and academies, municipal departments, branches of the military
  • Performing arts including professional and collegiate level dance and music

Emerging Settings for Athletic Trainers (NATA)

Athletic trainers in hospital health care administration and rehabilitation: Efficient patient care

Athletic trainers are routinely employed in hospitals, clinics and orthopedic, family, pediatric, physiatry and sports medicine office practices. ATs working in these settings improve productivity, patient outcomes and satisfaction. They help move patients more effectively and efficiently through the appointment, evaluation and treatment process. By providing quality services to more patients in the same period of time, physicians are able to increase patient throughput and revenue generation.

Athletic trainers for the military: A growing employment opportunity

Over the course of the last several years, certified athletic trainers have been increasingly employed by the various Armed Forces to assist in the health and welfare of both active duty soldiers and their dependents.  Although each particular branch has its own specific employment policies, most ATs being hired today are either independent contractors or part of the Government Civil Service system.

Athletic trainers in occupational health: Caring for industrial athletes

In the occupational health setting, athletic trainers develop and manage programs designed to keep employees working at full capacity, improving company productivity and even help reduce health care and insurance costs. The occupational athletic trainer is knowledgeable in the design, implementation and measurement of injury prevention, injury reduction and return to work programs

Athletic trainers in performing arts: Exciting opportunity for growth

Athletic trainers have been working with performing artists for more than 25 years. Performing arts athletic trainers provide specialized injury prevention and rehabilitative care to dancers, musicians and vocalists. Studies show that the on-site medical care that the certified athletic trainer can provide to performers reduces both the frequency and severity of injuries as well as reducing operating and production costs.

Athletic trainers in physician practice: Adding value

ATs in physician practice improve productivity, patient outcomes and satisfaction. They help move patients more effectively and efficiently through the appointment, evaluation and treatment process. ATs provide value to the practice through skills in triage, taking patient histories, performing evaluations, providing instruction on exercise prescriptions, rehabilitation and general patient education.

Athletic trainers in public safety: Growing field for sports medicine

ATs working with public safety officials – police, fire department or academies –  provide injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and reconditioning.