Jun 14, 2021
Steps to Become an Athletic Trainer

Are you thinking about becoming an athletic trainer? According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), there are more than 44,000 U.S. members and approximately 50,000 athletic trainers practicing nationally.

Additionally, the organization represents students in 325 accredited collegiate academic programs.

athletic trainerDespite those large numbers, the need for athletic trainers — particularly on the high school level — is still high. A 2015 NATA co-authored study found that 37 percent of public high schools had a full-time ATC while 28 percent of private high schools had a full-time ATC.

Athletic trainers require licensure or some sore of regulation in 49 states and the District of Columbia, with ongoing efforts to secure regulation in California.

Below are some steps to take if you are considering a career in athletic training, via the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

  • Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid, and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences.

    » ALSO SEE: Data Shows NBA Injuries Are Up

  • To become an athletic trainer, candidates must graduate with a degree in Athletic Training from an accredited athletic training program and successfully pass the Board of Certification (BOC) Exam.  To practice as an athletic trainer in most states, the individual must also be credentialed within the state.  Degrees in physical therapy, exercise science, strength, and conditioning, or others DO NOT qualify the candidate to sit for the BOC examination. Visit our BOC exam and pass rate page for more information on the exam. You can also view our accredited programs’ graduates’ performance on the exam on our Program Outcomes page.
  • Soon all Professional Athletic Training Programs will only result in a Master’s Degree.  More information about the degree can be found below.

To find out more information about CAATE and a career in athletic training, click here

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