Athletic trainer careers are expected to grow faster than the average career through 2018. Trainers work in a variety of settings including:
Certified trainers prevent, manage and rehabilitate injuries that result from physical activities incurred on or off the field of competition. Currently the American Medical Association recognizes certified athletic trainers as an allied health career.
An athletic trainer typically works under the authority of a doctor or physician. They are a vital medical team member and work alongside athletic administrators, other health care professionals, and coaches.
Certified athletic trainers have to achieve at least a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. Some of the typical courses include:
Pathology of injury
Acute injury care
Athletic trainers work varying hours. Their hours change depending on if the athletes they work with are in-season or participating in off-season activities. Trainers in high school work with a variety of teams while trainers at the collegiate and professional levels work with athletes in one sport.
Trainer’s hours are non-traditional especially during the season as they typically travel with the team. That means they work weekends and evenings. Trainers that work in non-sport settings such as hospitals and clinics typically have traditional 40-hour work weeks.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to grow by an astounding rate of 37%. This rate is much faster than the average occupation. The average job growth rate is approximately 11% during this same time period. The increase in demand is being fueled by athletic trainers’ ability to save money on increasing health care costs. By this savings make them attractive to employers looking to save their organizations money.
The best job prospects will be in health care and high schools due to increased demand that creates new positions. The job turnover rate is low in the industry. Athletic trainers looking for positions at the collegiate and professional levels will face steep competition. There are relatively few positions within the collegiate and professional ranks because coaches like to work with the same individuals making it difficult to break into the industry.
The average salary for an athletic trainer in 2008 was $40,000 per year. The top 10% earned $61,000 while the bottom 10% earned $24,000 per year. Salaries vary greatly by region, employer, and experience. Most employers require trainers participate in ongoing education.