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If you’ve wondered what it would be like to help athletes stay in peak shape, or help patients prevent and treat injuries, then you’ve probably played around with the thought of becoming an athletic trainer. The only problem was, you didn’t find every piece of info you needed about this job, and you’re still uncertain about starting this career journey. If you’re interested in athletic trainer jobs, this article will give you the information you need, from the basic job description to expected job growth, salary, advancement options, and more.
About Athletic Trainer Jobs
What Do Athletic Trainers Do?If we want a precise athletic trainer job description, we should formulate it along these lines: these healthcare professionals are responsible for carrying out rehabilitation and prevention programs for injured patients and athletes. More specifically, they’re responsible for diagnosing, preventing, and treating bone and muscle injuries and similar health issues.
Athletic Trainer Job DutiesAll careers come with a set of responsibilities and tasks. That being said, athletic trainers will usually perform the following tasks and duties:
- Recognize injuries
- Evaluate injuries
- Provide emergency care/first aid
- Come up with different rehabilitation programs for injured patients and athletes, and help them in carrying out those programs
- Create and implement different preventive programs to stop injuries and illnesses from happening among patients/athletes, sometimes even among military personnel
- Apply tapes, braces, and bandages (protective devices that serve to prevent injuries)
- Performing protocol administrative duties, like record-keeping and report-writing.
TypesIf we’re taking into consideration professional settings, athletic trainer jobs include working in:
- Emergency departments in hospitals
- Military and law enforcement
- Occupational and different industrial settings
- Performing arts
- Professional sports
- Intercollegiate athletics
- Physician offices
- Secondary schools
- Sports medicine clinics.
Work EnvironmentPeople working in this profession held approximately 32,000 jobs in the US in 2019. The most prominent employers were educational service providers (on private, local, and state levels) with 36%. Another 19% of athletic trainer jobs were held in state, local, and private hospitals, and 14% in different therapists offices (occupational, physical, audiologists, and speech therapists). Also, 6% of athletic trainers worked in different recreational sports and fitness centers, while around 4% were self-employed professionals. The nature of their work may demand that they work outdoors, at sports fields, in various conditions and almost all types of weather.
Injuries and IllnessesWhen it comes to athletic trainer jobs, an appropriate description will surely mention the most common illnesses and injuries these professionals have to handle. As such, they will treat, prevent, or diagnose strains, sprains, muscle problems, rotator cuff and knee injuries, dislocations, and shin splints. Apart from acute injuries, trainers will also diagnose and treat chronic problems that come with more subtle symptoms signaling overuse. These problems may worsen over time and lead to more serious complications. On the other hand, athletic trainer job responsibilities also include addressing problems like handling stiffness, improving mobility, improving weakened body parts, and muscle groups.
Work SchedulesThe vast majority of these professionals work full-time jobs. In case they’re also working with sports teams, they may also have to work during weekends and evenings. Traveling athletic trainer jobs also fit in this context because trainers assisting sports teams are often required to accompany the team regardless of the destination.
How to Become an Athletic TrainerPeople who wish to work as athletic trainers first need to meet certain requirements.
- Compassion: Most of the time, the patients whom athletic trainers work with are in a great deal of pain. As such, trainers should be sympathetic during treatment sessions.
- Detail-orientedness: The job description of an athletic trainer involves responsibilities like meticulously recording and examining every patient’s progress. The purpose of this is to ensure their recovery is at optimal pace, and the treatment and fitness regimen doesn’t cause additional complications.
- Decision-making: As the outcome of specific injuries or conditions and the success of recovery may affect not just the livelihood, but often the overall health and mobility of patients, trainers must make smart decisions to ensure the best outcome.
- Interpersonal skills: All certified athletic trainer jobs demand excellent interpersonal skills because these professionals often have to handle difficult situations. They must know how to communicate efficiently and clearly—not just with physicians, but also with patients, athletes, parents, coaches, etc.