A certified athletic trainer iworks with athletes to assist them in recovering from and managing injuries and pain. A variety of employers utilize trainers, from sports teams to high schools and colleges (which are normally required by regulation to have certified trainers to participate in athletics) to hospitals and clinics. Fitness centers and other specialized athletic training facilities also typically keep a certified trainer on staff as well.
The trainer should be familiar with a variety of athletic requirements for athletes and have strong understanding of the best way to tailor recovery and management programs to the individual competitor and that person’s sport. This not only involves sound foundational education, but also emphasizes a need for continuing education as well. To work in this field, normally a bachelor’s degree in in a discipline related to physical therapy or training is required. There are also certifications that must be carried and kept up to date for this job.
Trainers who work with athletic teams are also the person who makes initial assessments of injuries. The trainer must be skilled in gaining feedback from the athlete regarding pain and flexibility, and needs to make sound judgments based solely on the continuing health of the person going forward. The trainer may need a variety of medical skills and should be able to apply medical first aid assessments and treatments to performers as required.
Certified athletic trainers typically work daytime hours during the week, but they also may need to have weekend availability depending on the employer. The trainer may work in a variety of environments from clinical to field and fitness center locales.
Certified Athletic Trainer Tasks
- Recommend lifestyle changes, diet, and equipment.
- Assist in rehabilitation after injuries.
- Treat minor injuries at sports events and competitions.
- Prevent, examine, and treat athlete injuries.
- Attend meetings with the athlete and athletic director for which they are employed.