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Athletic Training/Trainer

Program Description

Just the Facts

Athletic Training/Trainer. A program that prepares individuals to work in consultation with, and under the supervision of physicians to prevent and treat sports injuries and associated conditions. Includes instruction in the identification, evaluation, and treatment of athletic injuries and illnesses; first aid and emergency care; therapeutic exercise; anatomy and physiology; exercise physiology; kinesiology and biomechanics; nutrition; sports psychology; personal and community health; knowledge of various sports and their biomechanical and physiological demands; and applicable professional standards and regulations.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

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Related Programs

Often similar programs have different names. Be sure to explore all your options.

Additional Information

Athletic therapy programs train students to quickly assess injuries and decide on appropriate action.

Students commonly work towards a bachelor of science degree with a major in kinesiology or athletic training.

Standards for enrollment can be quite high. "Students require core athletic training, kinesiology courses and must demonstrate a commitment to athletic training through directed observation," says professor Gerald Bell.

"Any advanced physical education or kinesiology courses which introduce topics such as exercise physiology are very important," says Jayne Kalmar, a lecturer and doctoral student in a kinesiology and health sciences department. "In our program, students complete an arts or science degree, majoring in kinesiology. Therefore, students must complete courses which are mandatory for entrance into these faculties."

Classes in chemistry, physics, English, math and biology, with particular focus on anatomy and physiology, are recommended for high school students who are interested in becoming an athletic therapist or trainer.

"Volunteer work in local hospitals and clinics is definitely an asset," adds Kalmar. Participation in sports is also good, since athletic therapy students work with athletes.

So what kinds of things can you expect to study? "Core kinesiology courses include such things as biomechanics, human physiology, exercise physiology, nutrition, fitness assessment [and] human anatomy," says Kalmar. There are also courses in sports therapy, regional anatomy, athletic injuries and emergency care.

You'll have to pay for tuition and books. You may also have to buy things like clinical shirts, name tags and tape supplies.

Make sure you take a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If the program is not accredited, graduates cannot apply for professional certification.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Athletes, Coaches, Umpires and Related Workers

The Institute for Athletic Medicine
This site has info on a wide range of therapies

Human Kinetics
A good source of information about physical activity and health


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