The Science Behind Sports Medicine
Sports medicine is a very specific, in-depth topic within the study of sports science. If you choose to pursue a higher education in sports medicine, you will be looking at many different areas of science in order to sharpen your skills and prepare you for a job in the field of sports medicine. Some areas that sports medicine programs often touch on include those listed below.
How to Get a Sports Medicine Degree
Students who want to pursue a career in sports medicine often start out as undergraduates majoring in sports science with a concentration in sports medicine. However, there are many universities and colleges that offer sports medicine undergraduate degree programs, as well.
Keiser University offers undergraduates a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine and Fitness Technology on various campuses across the state of Florida, effectively providing more students with the chance to take advantage of a highly useful program. With this major, students explore the biomechanics and physiology involved in the field of sports medicine and also the therapeutic and business aspects behind it. Classes help build students’ critical thinking and professional writing skills in addition to the knowledge necessary for success in sports medicine. Students can also earn a Master of Science in Nutrition as well as a Health Services Management Certificate at multiple Keiser University campuses.
Located in Malibu, CA, Seaver College of Pepperdine University offers multiple programs in sports medicine. Students interested in earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Medicine take courses in human anatomy, human physiology, and more. Students who want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine focus their studies more on the scientific principals and systems, taking a variety of chemistry courses as well as math, physics, and neuroscience. Seaver College also offers an honors research program for juniors who excel in the scientific field in order to build critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills.
Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, AL, provides a degree program in which students can earn an Associate in Science in Sports Medicine. This program helps prepare students for further education in sports medicine, offering basic courses that should be able to transfer to other colleges and universities and perhaps count towards the requirements necessary for a bachelors or masters degree in sports medicine, as well. Wallace offers all the basic training necessary for individuals to become athletic trainers if they decide not to pursue their education further.
Careers in Sports Medicine
While you’re earning your degree in sports medicine, it is important for you to determine what career path you are most interested in traveling. Once you’ve chosen a career path, you’ll be able to focus on taking more courses that will better prepare you for that particular career. This section may give you some ideas of what careers are out there for people with degrees in sports medicine.
Entry Level Careers in Sports Medicine
Once you earn an associates degree or bachelors degree in sports medicine, you may find that you qualify for one or more of the positions described below.
Intramural Sports Official
Intramural sports officials help set up and referee intramural sports. Intramural sports are sports played for recreational purposes, including games like flag football and ultimate Frisbee. Intramural are responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations of the games to be sure that all players are competing fairly and that any unjustified actions are addressed and handled professionally to prevent unnecessary violence on the fields or courts. An associate degree in sports medicine is preferred for this position.
Intramural sports officials can earn around $18,000 annually.
Sports Medicine Technician
Sports medicine technicians work with athletic trainers to provide professional attention to athletes injured on the field. They assist athletes with the recovery techniques advised by athletic trainers for diagnosed injuries. Also known as athletic training assistants, sports medicine technicians have at least an associates degree in sports medicine. They possess advanced problem solving and communication skills.
Sports medicine technicians can earn around $32,000 annually, depending on their education and experience levels.
Athletic trainers are often hired by professional sports teams in order to diagnose and treat injuries that need immediate attention. They also suggest therapeutic techniques for athletes to recovery properly. A person must get certified in addition to earning a bachelors degree in order to become a professional athletic trainer. Athletic trainers are patient and attentive and have excellent communication skills.
Athletic trainers can earn around $40,000 annually.
Advanced Careers in Sports Medicine
Orthopedic SurgeonOrthopedic surgeons focus their talents on addressing medical issues related to the human musculoskeletal system. Issues in the musculoskeletal system affect nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and more. Orthopedic surgeons diagnose and treat injuries related to these parts of the human body, and in multiple cases treatment requires surgery. Orthopedic surgeons have extensive training and many, many years of education that qualify them to perform these surgeries. Many have bachelor degrees in sports medicine, pre-med, sports science, and other related fields and all have pursued and earned their doctoral degrees in sports science, sports medicine, or related field and a license to practice.
Orthopedic surgeons can earn over $350,000 annually, based on their experience and knowledge.
A sports physician is responsible for providing athletic teams with basic medical attention, such as necessary physicals, injury prevention counseling, and more. Sports physicians often organize and manage the care that athletes receive from athletic trainers and sports medicine technicians. They have bachelor degrees and doctoral degrees in sports medicine and possess excellent leadership and organizational skills.
Sports physicians can earn around $90,000 annually, with the opportunity to expand depending on their education and experience levels.
Companies that Hire People with Sports Medicine Degrees
Since sports will always be one of the most popular forms of entertainment around the world, the need for people with sports medicine degrees will never dwindle. Below is a list of just a few companies that look to hire people with sports medicine degrees.
Greenville Health System – located in Greenville, SC; hires positions for clinical nutrition specialists, physician practice clerks, etc.
Take Care Health Systems – various locations; hires positions for health fitness specialists, personal trainers, group exercise class instructors, etc.
Colquitt Regional Medical Center – located in Moultrie, GA; hires positions for paramedics, dietary aides, medical assistants, athletic trainers, assistant athletic trainers, etc.
Franciscan Alliance – locations in IN and IL; hires positions for athletic trainers, sports medicine technicians, etc.
Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation – three locations in TX; hires positions for rehab assistants and other medical assistants
If you want to provide medical attention to athletes of all ages, you should consider earning a degree in sports medicine. Research college and university programs to find ones that best fit the type of career you would like to pursue and apply to those schools, and you’ll be on your way to a career in sports medicine before you know it.