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Career Opportunities in Athletic Training

Athletic trainers carry out a field evaluation on a football player


The Certified Athletic Trainer is a highly educated and skilled professional specializing in the care of the physically active individual. In cooperation with physicians and other allied health personnel, the athletic trainer functions as an integral member of the health care team in secondary schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, sports medicine clinics, industrial sites, professional sports programs, and other health care settings.

Many students attain a bachelor's degree in athletic training prior to pursuing advanced degrees in the fields of medicine or allied health professions such as physical therapy and physician assistant.

Employment Settings

Certified Athletic Trainers find employment in the following settings:

  • Colleges and Universities
  • Hospitals
  • Industry
  • Military
  • Performing Arts
  • Physician Offices (Primary Care and Orthopedics)
  • Professional Athletics
  • Rehabilitation Clinics
  • Secondary Schools

Although these are typical settings, athletic trainers are also employed in a variety of other locations.

Job Demand

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the demand for athletic trainers will be extremely high between 2008-2018. The estimated employment growth is expected to be approximately 37% for the profession of athletic training by 2018. According to this study, employment growth for athletic training is higher than other comparable health care fields such as nursing (22%), occupational therapy (26%), physical therapy (30%) and speech language pathology (19%). It is estimated that more than 12,000 new and replacement positions will open in the field by 2018.


According to the National Athletic Trainers' Association in November of 2011, the average starting salary for athletic trainers varies widely based on practice setting and geographic location. Typical entry-level salaries range from $30,000 to $45,000. Approximately 70% of all athletic trainers pursue an advanced degree in athletic training or a related field. The average salary of an ATC nationally with a Bachelor's Degree is approximately 46,000 and 51, 100 with a Master's Degree. Salaries for athletic trainers with advanced degrees typically range from $30,000 to $80,000.

For more information on career opportunities, contact the program director.

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