What Do Athletic Trainers Do?
An athletic trainer is expected to evaluate and advise individuals on how to recover from or avoid athletic-related injuries. They also help those individuals remain in the best physical shape. An athletic trainer might be able to provide emergency care and first aid.Across the nation, this type of healthcare job is expected to grow by about 21%. That translates into 1,110 new jobs each year in the athletic trainer world.
Athletic Trainers Skills and Abilities
As an athletic trainer, you have to have an intricate knowledge of medicine, therapy, the human body and the English language. You have to be able to communicate with athletes who may not want to hear that they are injured. You have to be able to teach individuals what to do to recover from and avoid physical injuries. In order to do all of this, you have to be able to listen, communicate and observe.
Athletic Trainers Duties
Athletic trainers are expected to:
- Evaluate athletes and provide participation clearances as appropriate.
- Treat athletic injuries through physical therapy, medication or other techniques.
- Assess injuries to determine the best route of care.
- Assess and report the recovery to coaches, physicians and individuals.
- Keep records and reports regarding individuals.
- Have knowledge of protective and preventative devices, such as, tape, bandages and braces.
- Plan as well as implement athletic injury education and prevention programs.
- Advise athletes on proper use of equipment.
- Inspect playing fields for safety.
- Develop training programs to improve athletic capabilities.
- Recommend special diets to help improve the health, stamina and weight of athlete.
- Confer with coaches about protective equipment and health of athletes.
- Teach sports medicine courses to athletic training student.
- Support the team by running errands, maintaining equipment and stocking supplies.
These are general duties of an athletic trainer, but your duties may vary depending on if you are contracted to a specific team.
Athletic Trainers Tools and Technology
You have to be able to use protective gear such as braces, mouth guards, face shields, splints and compresses in order to help the health of athletes. You have to know how to use first aid tools as well. You also have to know how to use scheduling technology, email software and medical software in order to keep your schedule and patient reports orderly.
Education and Training for Athletic Trainers
In order to be an athletic trainer, you have to have at least a Bachelor’s degree. Some people in this professional continue on in education and get a Master’s, but rarely anything higher than that. Helpful courses include, but are not limited to:
- Athletic Training
- Physical Fitness Technician
- Structural Kinesiology
- Therapeutic Rehabilitation
- Administration in Athletic Training
These courses will help you build up the knowledge necessary to succeed as an athletic trainer.
Athletic Trainers Salary
On average, an athletic trainer in the United States makes about $43,400. Of course, there are extremes to the salary as well. The lower 10% make about $27,600 and the higher 10% make about $67,100. Your salary will depend greatly on where you live, what kind of institution you work for and how long you have been in the profession.
Athletic Trainers Jobs by Geography
As you start looking for an athletic trainer job, you want to find states that have a high populace of athletic trainers. By population, Illinois, Florida and Texas have the most athletic trainer positions. However, Kentucky, Utah and Arizona are expected to see the greatest increase in athletic trainer openings. You also have to consider where you are likely to get paid more. New Jersey, Texas and the District of Columbia have the three highest median wages for this type of healthcare position. As you start on the path to become an athletic trainer, you have to consider where you would like to live and the likelihood of getting a job in that area.