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Career Profile: Athletic Trainers

Evaluate and treat musculoskeletal injuries or illnesses. Provide preventive, therapeutic, emergency, and rehabilitative care.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 30,000 people employed as athletic trainers in the United States. The median annual salary is $49,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $32,980 per year and senior employees earn approximately $75,810 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Conduct research or provide instruction on subject matter related to athletic training or sports medicine.
  • Recommend special diets to improve athletes' health, increase their stamina, or alter their weight.
  • File athlete insurance claims and communicate with insurance providers.
  • 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.
  • Assess and report the progress of recovering athletes to coaches or physicians.
  • Care for athletic injuries, using physical therapy equipment, techniques, or medication.
  • Evaluate athletes' readiness to play and provide participation clearances when necessary and warranted.
  • Perform general administrative tasks, such as keeping records or writing reports.
  • Perform team support duties, such as running errands, maintaining equipment, or stocking supplies.
  • Teach sports medicine courses to athletic training students.
  • Plan or implement comprehensive athletic injury or illness prevention programs.
  • Inspect playing fields to locate any items that could injure players.
  • Advise athletes on the proper use of equipment.
  • Confer with coaches to select protective equipment.
  • Clean and sanitize athletic training rooms.
  • Instruct coaches, athletes, parents, medical personnel, or community members in the care and prevention of athletic injuries.
  • Apply protective or injury preventive devices, such as tape, bandages, or braces, to body parts, such as ankles, fingers, or wrists.
  • Collaborate with physicians to develop and implement comprehensive rehabilitation programs for athletic injuries.
  • Travel with athletic teams to be available at sporting events.
  • Develop training programs or routines designed to improve athletic performance.
  • Massage body parts to relieve soreness, strains, or bruises.
  • Accompany injured athletes to hospitals.
  • Lead stretching exercises for team members prior to games or practices.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
30,000
Annual Openings:
3,100
Increase in Openings by 2030:
23%
Annual Salary Range:
$32,980 - $75,810
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree