One of the key players on any sports team never takes the field. Athletic trainers work in the background to keep players in top shape. The most important part of the athletic trainer’s job is helping athletes prevent and recover from sports injuries. Working closely with team doctors, trainers wrap injuries and supervise physical therapy. Trainers spend a lot of time in gyms and locker rooms, as well as on the road traveling to sporting events. They study practice sessions and provide individualized exercise routines for athletes to improve their performance. Game times are usually at night, on weekends or holidays. A trainer might need to find other employment during the off-season. Athletic trainers work with athletes in a wide variety of settings: colleges and universities, high schools, clinics, hospitals, the military and law enforcement, as well as the performing arts. The highest-profile jobs are with professional teams. A love of sports is a good starting point, but a master’s degree in athletic training, sports medicine, physical education or a related field is usually required to enter the field. Many states require a professional license. No matter the setting or the sport, the greatest reward for an athletic trainer is helping athletes achieve their personal best.
What they do:
Evaluate and advise individuals to assist recovery from or avoid athletic-related injuries or illnesses, or maintain peak physical fitness. May provide first aid or emergency care.
On the job, you would:
Evaluate athletes' readiness to play and provide participation clearances when necessary and warranted.
Care for athletic injuries, using physical therapy equipment, techniques, or medication.
Conduct an initial assessment of an athlete's injury or illness to provide emergency or continued care and to determine whether they should be referred to physicians for definitive diagnosis and treatment.
medicine and dentistry
therapy and counseling
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Arts and Humanities
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
looking for ways to help people
understanding people's reactions
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
put together small parts with your fingers
do two or more things at the same time
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Digital Coach AthleticTrainer
Injury tracking software
BioEx Systems Exercise Pro
master's degree or bachelor's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.