What Education Does an Athletic Trainer Need?

Athletic trainers need at least a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, physical education, or a related field. Some states require athletic trainers to be licensed or certified.

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Education

Athletic trainers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, although some jobs may require a master’s degree or higher. Athletic trainers must be licensed or certified in most states. Some states have licensure laws that allow only those who have completed an accredited educational program and passed a state-specific exam to be licensed as athletic trainers.

Bachelors degree

Most entry-level positions in athletic training require at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited professional program in athletic training. The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredits more than 350 undergraduate and graduate athletic training programs throughout the United States. In order to be eligible for professional certification, individuals must graduates from a CAATE-accredited program and pass a comprehensive exam administered by theBoard of Certification, Inc. (BOC).

Masters degree

Athletic trainers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, although some jobs may require a master’s degree or higher. Beginning in 2019, all athletic trainers will need to earn professional certification to practice.

A bachelor’s degree program in athletic training includes classroom instruction in sports medicine and related science courses, such as anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. These programs also include clinical rotations, during which students gain hands-on experience working with patients under the supervision of licensed healthcare professionals.
Bachelor’s degree programs in athletic training are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). As of 2016, there were 252 accredited programs available at colleges and universities across the United States.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, many states require athletic trainers to be licensed or certified. Some states recognize certification by the Board of Certification (BOC), while others have their own licensing requirements. Most states require certification or licensure for athletic trainers who work in healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, or rehabilitation centers.
Athletic trainers who work in collegiate or professional sports settings are not typically required to be licensed or certified; however, they may need to meet other standards set by their employer

Doctoral degree

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventive services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. As practiced by athletic trainers, prevention involves optimizing activity and teaching individuals how to adopt healthier lifestyles. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Certification, Inc. (NATABOC) certifies athletic trainers who meet eligibility requirements that include successful completion of a professional level athletic training education program and passage of a rigorous entry-level examination. To be eligible for the professional certification exam, candidates must have earned a degree from an accredited educational program in athletic training – bachelors, masters or doctorate degrees are acceptable. Doctoral programs that lead to the Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) degree are becoming increasingly prevalent in order to prepare graduates to assume advanced practice roles such as working as primary care providers in sports medicine clinics or hospitals.

Licensure and Certification

An athletic trainer is a highly trained professional who works with athletes to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries. Athletic trainers need at least a bachelor’s degree, although many have a master’s degree. In order to become licensed, Athletic trainers must pass the Board of Certification (BOC) exam.

NATA Board of Certification

NATA Board of Certification (BOC) is an independent certifying agency for athletic trainers. The BOC sets the standards for entry-level athletic trainer education and practice and certifies athletic trainers who meet these standards. Athletic trainers must be certified by the BOC to practice in the United States. The mission of the NATA Board of Certification is to protect the public by providing services that certify and promote competence of certified athletic trainers and to advance the professional practice of athletic training.

State licensure

Most states regulate the practice of athletic training and licensure is required in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Most licensure boards have determined that the successful completion of an accredited professional (and, if required, post-professional) athletic training education program and passage of a board examination are minimum requirements for state licensure.

The Conference of Intercollegiate Associations of Athletic Trainers (CIAAAT) has established standards for accreditation of professional athletic training programs. Currently, there are more than 400 accredited programs nationwide. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Certification, Inc. (NATABOC) certifies individuals who meet the educational and professional standards specified by the NATABOC in order to earn the ATC® credential.

Continuing Education

Athletic trainers need to have continuing education in order to keep up with the latest advancements in the field. This is important because it allows them to provide the best care possible for their patients. There are many different ways to get continuing education, such as attending conferences or taking online courses.

CEUs

Most states regulate athletic trainers and often require them to maintain their license by completing a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) each year. The number of CEUs required varies by state, but is typically between 20 and 40. Athletic trainers can complete CEUs by taking courses offered by colleges or universities, attending workshops or seminars, or completing online education programs. Many professional organizations, such as the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), also offer CEU opportunities.

Conferences and Workshops

In addition to taking continuing education courses, athletic trainers can also attend conferences and workshops. These events usually consist of a series of lectures or presentations by experts in the field, and they provide a great opportunity to learn about new developments in the profession. Many of these events also offer the chance to network with other professionals, which can be valuable for finding new jobs or making connections in the field.

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