Athletic Trainer Career Plan

If you love sports – and want to be a healthcare practitioner – you might consider becoming an athletic trainer. You will need at least a bachelor’s degree; a master’s degree will give you a wider choice of work settings. The following tips and resources may help you reach your goals.

Become an Athletic Trainer

Athletic Training Resources…

  1. Do well in your high school classes. Some professional programs consider your high school GPA. Make sure you have a solid math and science background – you’ll be taking a lot of science in college.

  2. Do some career exploration. You might try job shadowing. You can also get some sense of the profession by watching the videos that are linked to on the student section of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association site. You may also want to pursue CPR certification at this stage.

  3. Research schools and select one with a CAATE-accredited program in athletic training. (You will likely apply for the professional phase of the program after you have taken foundation classes.)

  4. Do well in foundational courses like kinesiology and basic sciences. Fulfill other admission requirements; professional observation hours may be required.

  5. Complete professional coursework. Then complete your supervised internship.

  6. Fulfill state licensing requirements. You may take the Board of Certification exam during your final semester.

  7. Seek a position. Use online job boards and connections that you have made through internships or professional activity. You may want to participate in the Career Development Experiences program through the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. This gives you a chance to try out specialized roles. Ultimately, it may help you get a job in your preferred area.

Personality Traits: Athletic trainers have stress tolerance and good people skills. They work well as part of a team.