Athletic Trainer

What Is Athletic Training?

The title of Athletic Trainer can be confusing because Athletic Trainers don't "train" athletes. Instead, a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) works with physicians and other medical personnel, employers, patients, parents, guardians, and athletic personnel to develop and coordinate efficient and responsive health care to athletes and non-athletes. Athletic trainers are integral members of the health care team in secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports programs, sports medicine clinics, corporate/industrial, and other health care settings. The athletic trainer's professional preparation is based on the development of specified educational competencies and clinical proficiencies. The obtain the ATC credential, athletic trainers are required to earn at least a bachelor's degree from a CAATE accredited program, extensive clinical practice time under the supervision of a credentialed professional, repeated demonstration of proficiency in many clinical skills, and passing a national certification exam. Through a combination of formal classroom and clinical instruction and clinical experience, the athletic trainer is prepared to provide health care within each of the following content areas:

  • Risk management and injury prevention
  • Pathology of injuries and illnesses
  • Clinical examination and diagnosis
  • Acute care of injury and illness
  • Therapeutic modalities
  • Therapeutic and rehabilitative exercise
  • Nutritional aspects of injury and illness
  • Psychosocial intervention and referral
  • Health care administration
  • Professional development and responsibilities

For more information about the Athletic Training profession, please visit the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) website at



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