Explore a Career in Athletic Training
What is an Athletic Trainer?
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.
The US Department of Labor is estimating a 23% growth in athletic training positions through 2030. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from a CAATE accredited athletic training program. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences.
Pro Tip: Visit ATCAS Central to apply to multiple programs with just one application.
Types of Employment in Athletic Training
Students graduating from professional athletic training programs should consider their many placement and employment opportunities. These students are eligible to attend a CAATE accredited Residency Program or a Post-Professional Degree Program. Both of these types of programs provide advanced didactic and clinical practice education and training.
Students graduating from a post-professional degree program are still eligible to attend residency programs, and residents are still eligible to attend post-professional degree programs.
Prospective students can search for CAATE accredited programs using our search accredited programs tool. Students interested in residency programs or post-professional degree programs should thoroughly review potential programs, as there are many programs that identify as residency, fellowship, internship, or other educational programs that are not accredited, and that have not gone through CAATE’s quality assurance process.
Prospective students should review the ATeachmoment.com website for detailed information on career paths.
Searching for Employment
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) provides a career center for all of its members. Members who use this tool can filter jobs by state, setting and/or type. Graduate Assistant and Internship positions may also be posted on this page.
The NATA conducts a salary survey every 2 years to better provide its members with information necessary to negotiate salary with prospective employers. The survey results provide a snapshot of the profession as a whole from an earnings standpoint but are also searchable and show how specific variables affect the average salary.
Prospective employees are further encouraged to investigate the lower quartile salary ranges for all settings/job types for athletic trainers. All job postings should meet or exceed the 25th percentile for the appropriate job setting. Any postings that do not meet this expectation are subject to review, and prospective employees would be strongly encouraged to negotiate salary points to minimally above this range.