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WHAT IS ATHLETIC TRAINING?
Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences. More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree.


Athletic Trainers Work In:

  • Public and private secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional and Olympic sports
  • Youth leagues, municipal and independently owned youth sports facilities
  • Physician practice, similar to nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists and other professional clinical personnel
  • Rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers
  • Clinics with specialties in sports medicine, cardiac rehab, medical fitness, wellness and physical therapy
  • Occupational health departments in commercial settings, which include manufacturing, distribution and offices to assist with ergonomics
  • Police and fire departments and academies, municipal departments, branches of the military
  • Performing arts including professional and collegiate level dance and music


​A Safer Approach to Secondary School Sports


Athletic Training vs Personal Training
Athletic training is often confused with personal training. There is, however, a large difference in the education, skill set, job duties and patients of an athletic trainer and a personal trainer. Athletic trainers provide physical medicine, rehabilitative and preventative services. Athletic trainers treat a breadth of patients, including but not limited to: professional, college, secondary school and youth athletes, dancers, musicians and military personnel. Athletic trainers can work in a variety of locations including schools, physician clinics, hospitals and manufacturing plants.


​To become certified athletic trainer, a student must graduate with bachelors or masters degree from an accredited professional athletic training education program and pass a comprehensive test administered by the Board of Certification. Once certified, they must meet ongoing continuing education requirements in order to remain certified. Athletic trainers must also work under the direction of a physician and within their state practice act.

Smitty's Plan for O​rthopedic Rehabilitation & Training