What Can You Do With An Athletic Training Degree?

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With an athletic training degree, you can do much more than just become an athletic trainer. Of course, that’s the first occupation that springs to mind; however, there are various other career options available to people with degrees in athletic training. Keep reading for more information on schools that offer athletic training programs and what kinds of jobs you can get with an athletic training degree.

What is Athletic Training?

Contrary to popular belief, athletic training does not always involve training athletes. Some students may find majoring in athletic training to be beneficial preparation for medical school. Some of the areas in which a person with either a bachelors or masters degree in athletic training are listed here.

Organization and Administration

Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis

Immediate Care

Rehabilitation and Reconditioning

How to Get an Athletic Training Degree

Many colleges and universities offer degree programs for people interested in pursuing a career in athletic training. When considering a school, you should determine whether you want to stay in-state or if you’re willing to travel outside of the state to earn a degree in athletic training. If you are set on staying within the state or territory where you live but none of the programs on campuses that appeal to you are within your desired radius, you could also earn your degree online. Be sure to do your research in order to find the best athletic training program that fits your needs.

Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA, was founded in 1906, and it offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. As undergraduates, students study the various angles of athletic training, including but not limited to clinical examination and diagnosis, caring for injuries and illnesses, and psychological referrals. In addition to its diverse education, the athletic training program at Valdosta is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, commonly referred to as CAATE.

Boston University in Boston, MA, also provides students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. The school’s athletic training program also offers the chance to participate in a combined 6-year accelerated degree program in which students can earn both a bachelors degree in athletic training and a doctoral degree in physical therapy. The university boasts that students are educated by and work closely with physicians, allowing students to build knowledge and experience with the help of experienced professionals and prepares them for regular interactions and teamwork with coworkers when they finally enter the working world.

Michigan State University is a public research university that gives students both undergraduate and graduate opportunities in the field of athletic training. While in school, students are encouraged to participate in the field of sports medicine and interact with allied health professionals in order to apply the knowledge they learn for pre-occupational experience. Undergraduates get the chance to help out with their school sports teams to gain professional experience, and graduate students going for their master degrees in athletic training and related fields often become graduate assistants for the on-campus sports teams as well, including but not limited to the swim, field hockey, and soccer teams.

Careers in Athletic Training

Once you earn a degree in athletic training, you’re sure to qualify for at least some of the positions described here.

Entry Level Careers in Athletic Training

Once you have earned a bachelors degree in athletic training, you will qualify for a multitude of positions. These are just some of the jobs for which you may qualify.

Youth Sports Athletic Trainer

An athletic trainer involved in youth and recreation sports helps young people understand the importance of playing fair and safe games. Athletic trainers can also treat sports-related injuries in order to help youth heal quickly so that they are able to get back on the team later in the season. Because children’s bodies are still growing, they typically heal much faster; and youth sports athletic trainers are familiar with the specifics in treating particularly younger individuals. They possess at least a bachelors degree in athletic training and may have background knowledge in sports medicine. Trainers of youth sports also have particularly high levels of patience in order to deal with the short attention spans of younger generations.

Athletic trainers involved in youth sports can earn around $30,000 to start.

Performing Arts Athletic Trainer

An athletic trainer in the field of performing arts treats and promotes the prevention of injuries in the performing arts industry. Individuals working in the performing arts may include ballerinas and even top Broadway singers, dancers, and actors. Athletic trainers working with these people can diagnose and treat physical injuries as well as refer performers to specific physical or occupational therapists or other specialists if the injuries need further attention. With a bachelors degree in athletic training and a minor or background in performing arts, you just may be on your way to land a job as an athletic trainer for Broadway casts.

Athletic trainers in the performing arts industry can earn around $35,000 annually, with room to grow as education and experience levels expand.

Physician Assistant

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Physician assistants help doctors provide health care for patients. They can perform physical examinations and write prescriptions in addition to assisting in surgery and diagnosing injuries. They also typically possess bachelor degrees in medical science with a concentration in athletic training and the ambition to continue their education to the masters or doctoral level. They are personable and skilled in the medical field, and some also focus their studies on sports science.

Physician assistants can make over $59,000 a year, depending on experience and education levels.

Advanced Careers in Athletic Training

Chiropractor

Chiropractors hold consultations with individuals with back injuries or other health issues related to the muscular system and nervous system, including those caused by sports accidents. They often work in chiropractic offices, sometimes owning their own business, where they diagnose and treat specific health-related problems that arise from a number of causes. Chiropractors often possess a doctoral degree in addition to a bachelors degree in anything from athletic training to chiropractics. They are very personable, as they spend much of their time conversing and treating patients on a daily basis.

Chiropractors can earn around $66,000 annually, depending on knowledge and experience.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists assist in the planning and executing of rehabilitation programs in order to help people who are physically, developmentally, or mentally disabled, often caused by injury, build up enough strength to perform day-to-day activities. Clients can be physically injured as a result of anything from car accidents to being injured during a sports game. Occupational therapists may work in hospitals, schools, occupational therapy clinics, or even nursing homes and possess excellent communication skills in order to make their patients feel comfortable. They also possess bachelor degrees in medical science, athletic training, or a related field and have a masters degree in occupational therapy.

Occupational therapists can earn around $72,000 annually.

Osteopathic Physician

Osteopathic physicians diagnose and prescribe medications to treat patients with diseases and injuries. They are also able to perform surgeries when necessary, and they typically work in general medicine and pediatric medicine. Requirements for an osteopathic physician include a bachelors degree in pre-medicine with a background in athletic training in order to understand the human muscular and nervous systems, a doctoral degree through a 4-year program in osteopathic medicine (only available in the U.S.), and a few years of experience in the medical field. In addition, once you receive your osteopathic physician license, you are qualified to practice in every state within the U.S.

Osteopathic physicians can earn over $120,000 annually, based on their levels of experience and where they practice.

Companies that Hire People with Athletic Training Degrees

After earning a degree in athletic training, you will be qualified to work for companies around the world. Just a few companies that have specific jobs for people with athletic training degrees are listed here.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – founded in 1983, locations throughout the U.S.; physician clinics, hospitals, and home care centers; hires positions for licensed athletic trainers, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, physical therapists, etc.

Orlando Magic – founded in 1989, Orlando, FL; professional basketball team in the NBA; hires positions for athletic trainers, athletic trainer interns, etc.

OrthoAtlanta – locations throughout GA; hires positions for various types of physicians, medical assistants, physical therapists, service representatives, etc.

Hawaii Pacific Health – based in Honolulu, HI; largest healthcare institution in HI; hires positions for nurses, medical assistants, physical therapists, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, etc.

Athletic training is a complex field, incorporating everything from biology and physiology to medicine and treatments. A bachelors degree in athletic training will suffice for many positions, but if you have your heart set on a higher job, then you may need to further your education to the masters or doctoral level. The information provided here is meant to help you discover more about athletic training. It does not provide all the answers. For more information, be sure to expand your research, especially when looking for accredited schools.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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