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Oswego Career Ladders - Athletic Trainer

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Athletic Trainer



Oswego High School

Michelle Link

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Rehabilitation

Certified athletic trainers are highly trained professionals who are part of a complete athletic program. They specialize in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. They use their knowledge of hygiene, conditioning, nutrition, sports psychology, and protective equipment to ensure that athletic competition is kept safe and performance is at its best. Athletic trainers concentrate a great deal of their energy on preventing injuries. They design and implement detailed training regiments in an effort to prevent injuries and educate athletes on the best way to accomplish that goal. They are also trained in treating and rehabilitating, as directed by the team physician, any injuries that may occur during athletic competition. They must be able to recognize if an injury requires immediate treatment or if it requires more specialized care. Athletic trainers must have the ability to form close interpersonal relationships and work closely with coaches, athletes, administrators, physicians, and other health professionals. The work of athletic trainers ensures that athletic competition is kept as safe as possible, morale is kept high, and athletes perform at the highest level possible. Individuals interested in this field should be willing to work irregular hours, be in good physical condition, and have the confidence to make decisions.

Work Settings

Athletic trainers are primarily employed in athletic and educational environments. Settings for trainers include public or private secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports teams, sports medicine clinics, health clubs, hospitals, and corporate health programs.


Students must earn a college degree from a university with an accredited athletic training program that includes clinical experience. They must then pass a three-part national certification examination given by The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA).

Job Outlook

2002 employment: 14,000 Projected 2002-12 employment change: Faster than average


Average Annual Salary $40,600.

Work Schedule

In high schools, athletic trainers who also teach may work at least 60 to 70 hours a week. In addtional NCAA Division I colleges and universities generally work with one team; when that team's sport is in seaon, working at leat 50 to 60 hours a week is common.

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