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Athletic Trainer

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What Does it Take to Be an Athletic Trainer?

Position Description Evaluate and advise individuals to assist recovery from or avoid athletic-related injuries or illnesses, or maintain peak physical fitness. May provide first aid or emergency care.

Athletic Trainer Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with physicians to develop and implement comprehensive rehabilitation programs for athletic injuries.
  • Plan or implement comprehensive athletic injury or illness prevention programs.
  • Massage body parts to relieve soreness, strains, or bruises.
  • Perform general administrative tasks, such as keeping records or writing reports.
  • Perform team support duties, such as running errands, maintaining equipment, or stocking supplies.
  • Assess and report the progress of recovering athletes to coaches or physicians.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic Trainers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

  • Sports Trainer
  • Athletic Instructor
  • Head Athletic Trainer
  • Resident Athletic Trainer
  • Clinical Athletic Instructor

Is There Going to be Demand for Athletic Trainers?

There were about 27,800 jobs for Athletic Trainer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 22.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 6,300 new jobs for Athletic Trainer by 2026. There will be an estimated 2,200 positions for Athletic Trainer per year.


The states with the most job growth for Athletic Trainer are Utah, Colorado, and Oregon. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Kansas, or Wisconsin. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Athletic Trainer Average Salary

Athletic Trainers make between $31,010 and $70,750 a year.


Athletic Trainers who work in Hawaii, Texas, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Athletic Trainers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $41,690
Alaska $46,870
Arizona $46,140
Arkansas $46,700
California $58,060
Colorado $53,030
Connecticut $58,920
Delaware $47,930
District of Columbia $68,470
Florida $45,130
Georgia $48,870
Hawaii $59,990
Idaho $41,200
Illinois $44,380
Indiana $45,370
Iowa $47,260
Kansas $45,860
Kentucky $47,140
Louisiana $46,650
Maine $44,320
Maryland $51,820
Massachusetts $56,850
Michigan $51,230
Minnesota $50,310
Mississippi $49,650
Missouri $45,050
Montana $42,860
Nebraska $45,880
Nevada $41,530
New Hampshire $50,210
New Jersey $51,890
New York $49,960
North Carolina $47,120
North Dakota $45,470
Ohio $46,990
Oklahoma $47,720
Oregon $48,370
Pennsylvania $48,310
Rhode Island $53,790
South Carolina $42,590
South Dakota $45,320
Tennessee $44,590
Texas $56,170
Utah $48,490
Vermont $50,470
Virginia $48,970
Washington $49,240
West Virginia $45,170
Wisconsin $49,370
Wyoming $48,960

Tools & Technologies Used by Athletic Trainers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Athletic Trainers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • Scheduling software
  • BioEx Systems Exercise Pro

How do I Become an Athletic Trainer?

Individuals working as an Athletic Trainer have obtained the following education levels:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Athletic Trainers?


The table below shows the approximate number of Athletic Trainers employed by various industries.


Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming an Athletic Trainer might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as an Athletic Trainer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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