Athletic training is one profession that has gained a lot of attention lately. There are already 25,000 certified athletic trainers across the country according to National Athletic Trainers’ Associations (NATA). But don’t worry, as long as you are qualified for the job, you won’t have a hard time getting employed. How long does it take to be an athletic trainer? The answer is as fast as 4-5 years.
- A basic requirement is a four-year bachelor’s degree from colleges or schools with accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). This is the organization that ensures quality education is taught to meet the standards for professional athletic training education. There are 350 accredited programs in the country. Examples of lessons included in the program are: human anatomy and physiology, therapy, and nutrition. Some health related areas such as pharmacology and acute care are also covered by the program.
- Some schools also offer a five-year joint bachelor’s and master’s program because of the trend that trainers allot some of their time to earn a master’s degree.
- Licensing and certification are required in almost all states, exception are: California, West Virginia, Florida and District of Columbia. You must pass the Board of Certification exam. This exam is given by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Board of Certification (NATABOC) to screen applicants and make sure that all athletic trainers are competent. This examination evaluates applicants’ skills and knowledge regarding injury prevention, rehabilitation and treatment of an injury, and health promotion. ATC or Athletic Trainer, Certified is the title awarded to successful examinees.
- Statistics show that 70% of all athletic trainers are master’s degree holders. Although it’s not a requirement, a master’s degree can help you earn a higher income.
- Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, new job opportunities will be available for athletic trainers in the years to come. Schools, gyms, and other industries are may provide more job openings until 2018. So competition for job openings won’t trouble you that much.
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