Athletic Trainers

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Also known as:
Athletic Trainer, Certified Athletic Trainer, Clinical Athletic Instructor, Resident Athletic Trainer

Video transcript

One of the key players on any sports team never takes the field - the athletic trainer. This member of the team keeps players in top shape. The most important part of the job is helping athletes prevent and recover from sports injuries. Working closely with team doctors, trainers wrap injuries and supervise therapy.

Athletic trainers study practice sessions and provide individualized exercise routines for athletes to improve their performance. Trainers spend a lot of time in gyms and locker rooms, as well as in the road, traveling to sporting events. Game times are usually at night, on weekends, or holidays.

A trainer might need to find other employment during the offseason, often in hospitals or clinics. A love of sports is a good starting point, but a college degree in athletic training, sports medicine, physical education, or a related field is usually required for entry-level positions.

Employers look for certification from the National Athletic Trainers association. Many states require a license as well. The most desirable jobs are with pro teams; however, trainers generally need to start out at the high school or college level and work up to more prestigious and higher-paying positions in the professional arena.

But no matter the sport, the greatest reward for an athletic trainer is helping athletes achieve their personal best.

Evaluate and treat musculoskeletal injuries or illnesses. Provide preventive, therapeutic, emergency, and rehabilitative care.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Conduct research or provide instruction on subject matter related to athletic training or sports medicine.

Lead stretching exercises for team members prior to games or practices.

Confer with coaches to select protective equipment.

Accompany injured athletes to hospitals.

Instruct coaches, athletes, parents, medical personnel, or community members in the care and prevention of athletic injuries.

Develop training programs or routines designed to improve athletic performance.

Collaborate with physicians to develop and implement comprehensive rehabilitation programs for athletic injuries.

Recommend special diets to improve athletes' health, increase their stamina, or alter their weight.

Inspect playing fields to locate any items that could injure players.

File athlete insurance claims and communicate with insurance providers.

Travel with athletic teams to be available at sporting events.

Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.