USA Career Guide- Athletic Trainers

Education Required to be Athletic Trainers in the USA

You need atleast bachelor’s degree from accredited college or university though master’s degree is also preferred by many employers. The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredits most programs. All programs have both classroom and clinical components. Courses include science and health-related courses, such as anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and biomechanics.


All the states require certification to become athletic trainers. The independent Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) offers the standard certification examination that most states use for licensure. Athletic trainers must graduate from a CAATE-accredited program before taking the BOC exam.


Athletic trainers must be licensed by most of the states; requirements vary by state. Requirements in most states include graduating from an accredited athletic training program and passing the BOC exam or a separate state exam. In school settings, athletic trainers may take on some teaching responsibilities and may need a teaching certificate or license.

Job Prospects of Athletic Trainers in the USA

Employment of athletic trainers is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 5,500 new jobs over the 10-year period.(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Pay of Athletic Trainers in the USA

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual wage of athletic trainers was $41,600 in May 2010 with the top 10% in the field making about $60,000 a year. Athletic trainers working with schools or health practitioners, athletic trainers typically receive outstanding benefits.

Industrial Overview of Athletic Trainers in the USA

Athletic trainers held about 18,200 jobs in 2010. The following industries employed a majority of athletic trainers in 2010:

Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private 27%
Fitness and recreational sports centers 11
Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private 9
Offices of physicians 6
Spectator sports 4
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