What does an Athletic Trainer do?

Athletic trainers work with athletes and help them rehabilitate through injury or to increase their performance. They assess injuries, work with individuals during their training sessions, and create at-home treatment plans for improvement or healing and recovery. They sometimes rely on various types of equipment to assist athletes when strengthening or recovering.

Athletic trainers concentrate on preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injury or illness; they apply protective or preventive devices including tape, bandages, or a brace, and recognize and evaluate injuries. They provide injured athletes with first aid or emergency care and develop and carry out rehabilitation programs for the injured athlete. They plan and implement comprehensive programs for injury prevention and illness among athletes and perform administrative tasks including keeping records or writing reports on injuries and treatment plans and programs. They work under the direction of a licensed physician, and with other healthcare providers, they often discuss specific injuries and provide treatment options. Athletic trainers need a minimum bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a concentration in science and health-related courses including biology, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition and certification from the commission on accreditation of athletic training education.

What responsibilities are common for Athletic Trainer jobs?
  • Act as point of contact for prospective student athletes.
  • Minimize risk of injury through awareness, education and prevention strategies.
  • Supervise activities on the field and at the gym.
  • Respond to inquiries and concerns from participants, parents and the public.
  • Perform other duties as related to the delivery of a quality sports program.
  • Coach team members individually and in groups, and demonstrated game techniques.
  • Direct coverage of all practices and games including travel where applicable.
  • Work with coaching staff to cover all duties as assigned.
  • Instruct, direct and oversee athletes for preseason, in-season, and offseason conditioning and skill development.
  • Communicate with physicians, and coaching staff regarding the injury status of athletes.
  • Enable clients to perform to their physical potential in their sports through the development and management of individual and group weight, strength, and fitness training programs.
  • Participate in special events and activities related to their sport.
What are the typical qualifications for Athletic Trainer jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in business, exercise science, kinesiology or science.
  • Comfortable leading clients through their programs using professionalism and critical thinking.
  • A multitasker and decision maker with an eye for continuous improvement.
  • Demonstrated sound time management and problem solving skills.
  • Can confidently arrange appointments and strengthen clients.
  • A professional at all times with the ability to measure improvement and adjust as needed.
  • Demonstrated strong work ethic.
  • Trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience0-1 year

How much does an Athletic Trainer make near United States?

$69,101 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Athletic Trainer Career Path

Learn how to become an Athletic Trainer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Athletic Trainer
Athletic Trainer IV
Athletic Trainer

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Athletic Trainer Insights

Read what Athletic Trainer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Chuze FitnessChuze Fitness
Group Fitness Instructor
Aug 13, 2023

“It was a great environment to explore my own style and to practice teaching in a group setting.”

Retail Sports Specialist (CNC, Part Time)
Feb 10, 2023

“good pay for starting (used to be $8/hr when i first joined but it’s $10/hr now)”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg SchoolsCharlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Basketball Coach
Aug 17, 2021

“Flexible and great to get your coaching career started!”

Dec 19, 2022

“It was really fun and the benefits were cool”

University of South CarolinaUniversity of South Carolina
Dec 15, 2022

“Great athletes and fun job”

ATI Physical TherapyATI Physical Therapy
Industrial Athletic Trainer
Aug 24, 2022

“I look forward to going to work every day and having opportunities to grow as a professional.”

My Trivia LiveMy Trivia Live
Trivia Jockey
Oct 3, 2022

“Meeting AWESOME people and having people of ALL age groups singing and dancing enjoying your musical playlists while playing trivia.”

Chelsea PiersChelsea Piers
Gymnastics Instructor
Aug 7, 2022

“I was employed as a full time staff member during these months and did not receive any benefits.”

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Athletic Trainer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of athletic trainers

The typical day of an athletic trainer includes educating, monitoring, diagnosing, and treating athletes. Their daily duties might include observing athletic events and practices, providing first aid and immediate care for athletes' injuries, maintaining medical records, and communicating with physicians, medical assistants, and other health care professionals.

Athletic training is a great career for individuals who enjoy helping others and observing sporting events. One advantage of becoming an athletic trainer is that the job includes attending games and interacting closely with athletes. Athletic trainers can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that they're essential to the team.

The average salary for athletic trainers is $69,101 a year. Trainers working in spectator sports enjoy the highest salaries, and those who work with professional sports may even have six-figure salaries. Elementary and secondary schools are the second-highest paying industry for athletic trainers, followed by junior colleges.

Working as an athletic trainer involves handling stressful, high-pressure situations when an athlete is injured. One challenge of being an athletic trainer is offering critical care in the moments following the injury. Errors in judgment could result in permanent damage for an athlete, which may put an end to their careers.

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