The minimum education requirements for athletic trainers include a bachelors degree and a license or certification depending on your state.
Athletic training programs, which are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, feature classroom and clinical training.
Your courses will include studies in anatomy and physiology, nutrition, biomechanics and kinesiology. You will also have credit hours dedicated to general electives, which will provide you with a well-rounded education.
Your studies will provide you critical thinking and problem solving skills, along with the ability to apply your education on the sidelines. This will be developed and honed during clinical training.
After graduation, you will have to obtain a license or certification, which varies by state, before you can practice.
Some states only require the Board of Certification exam, which is a independent standard test to illustrate your competency as an athletic trainer.
To become certified, you will need to graduate from a CAATE-accredited program, pass the BOC examination, adhere to the standards of practice and disciplinary process of the BOC, and continue your education.
Other states will require this exam but may have their own state-specific exam. It is best to approach your local state regulatory agency and find out the details.
Colleges with athletic training majors
In 2013, there are 336 schools offering bachelors degrees in athletic training. An additional 28 schools offer masters degrees, with one school graduating doctorate students.
Rather than list all 336 schools here, you can find the list at Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.
Skills needed for athletic trainer
Your education will provide you with foundational skills, which will improve as your time on the job increases.
Important athletic trainer skills include applying knowledge. You will need to retain a massive body of medical information. This information will need to be recalled when evaluating a patient and making a diagnosis. This includes many soft skills such as thinking critically, listening closely, communicating effectively, monitoring yourself and others and making corrective action.
Part of an athletic trainers job description usually involves being the first person at the scene of a sporting accident, he or she must make a quick, accurate decision. Your decision-making skills need to excellent because your patients health or clients career could be affected.
An athletic trainer needs to have an attention to detail when planning and recording treatments but also has to have top-notch interpersonal skills.
The interpersonal skills will help an athletic trainer manage stressful situations such as handling a coach who wants an injured football player to play ball.
Although business courses are not necessary and represent excellent skills to have, you be able to use that skill-set in a managerial position, where budgets, marketing, and return on investments may consume your time.
For those who desire a management job, your bachelors degree may not be sufficient. A masters degree may be the answer.
Athletic trainer masters programs
There are only 28 schools offering masters degrees in athletic training in 2013. Those include the following:
- University Of Arkansas, AR
- California Baptist University, CA
- Florida International University, FL
- University Of Hawaii, Manoa, HI
- Manchester University, IN
- Bridgewater State University, MA
- The College Of St. Scholastica, MN
- Saint Louis University, MO
- Montana State University Billings, MT
- Lenoir-Rhyne University, NC
- University Of North Carolina Greensboro, NC
- North Dakota State University, ND
- University Of Nebraska Omaha, NE
- Plymouth State University, NH
- Seton Hall University, NJ
- Daemen College, NY
- Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, NY
- University Of Findlay, OH
- University Of Central Oklahoma, OK
- Bloomsburg University, PA
- South Dakota State University, SD
- University Of Tennessee At Chattanooga, TN
- Sample College, TX
- Stephen F. Austin State University, TX
- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, TX
- Weber State University, UT
- Shenandoah University, VA
- Norwich University, VT
The only school that offers a doctorates degree in athletic training in 2013 is Indiana University.
I hope the list of education requirements for athletic trainers and skills needed for this position have been of benefit to you.