Athletic Trainer Salary
Job Description for Athletic Trainer
An athletic trainer is a sports medicine professional who specializes in working directly with athletes. Trainers can be employed by sports teams, schools and universities with athletic programs, as well as advanced fitness centers. Trainers typically advise on fitness regimens, treat injuries as they happen, and help assist injured athletes and participants in the recovery and rehabilitation process. For some employers, especially those involved in professional or school-sponsored sports, an athletic trainer may work with both nutritionists and strength training specialists to help set preparation and training regimens for practices, games and meets. The athletic trainer's key role in this process is to monitor the effects of training and adjust as necessary according to individuals' health and needs.Read More...
Athletic trainers are also present during practices, games and meets to provide the first response to an athlete's injury. The trainer is expected to be able to quickly assess the injury and make decisions regarding how to proceed. For minor injuries, it can involve re-taping or immobilizing an affected area so the athlete can continue to participate. For more serious injuries, the trainer works with other medical professionals to treat and further assess the injury as required. Trainers also typically work with injured athletes who are in the recovery and rehabilitation process. The trainer monitors the athlete's progress and adjusts the regimen as required while consulting with doctors and surgeons who may have treated the patient.
In some cases, athletic trainers may work for larger fitness centers, staying on hand in the event of sprains or muscle pulls and/or working with amateur athletes in their preparation or rehabilitation procedures. It is also common for trainers to be hired (or volunteer) for events such as marathons and triathlons to help treat participants.
Most athletic trainers study sports medicine or a related field as undergraduates, with professional teams and larger institutions often requiring trainers with postgraduate education in the field. Athletic trainers must also be certified in most jurisdictions, and they must maintain continuing education requirements for their licenses.
Athletic Trainer Tasks
- Prevent, examine, and treat athlete injuries.
- Attend meetings with the athlete and athletic director for which they are employed.
- Treat minor injuries at sports events and competitions.
- Recommend lifestyle changes, diet, and equipment.
- Assist in rehabilitation after injuries.
Common Career Paths for Athletic Trainer
Athletic Trainers might see a strong upturn in salary after transitioning into upper-level roles such as Physician Assistant, a seemingly popular career choice. People currently working in the latter position report a noticeably higher median income of $84K per year. Career advancement for the typical Athletic Trainer often leads to becoming a Physical Therapist or a Physical Therapist Assistant; median salaries in these positions are $27K higher and $8K higher, respectively.
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Pay by Experience Level for Athletic Trainer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Athletic Trainers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. People who have worked for fewer than five years earn around $38K, and folks with five to 10 years of experience see a modestly higher median of $41K. On average, Athletic Trainers make $46K following one to two decades on the job. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $52K.
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