Athletic trainers specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses.
Many athletic trainers work in educational settings, such as colleges, universities, elementary schools, and secondary schools. Others work in hospitals, fitness centers, or physicians’ offices, or for professional sports teams.
How to Become an Athletic Trainer
Athletic trainers need at least a bachelor’s degree. Nearly all states require athletic trainers to have a license or certification; requirements vary by state.
Employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. As people become more aware of sports-related injuries at a young age, demand for athletic trainers is expected to increase.
This occupation supported 22,900 jobs in 2012 and 25,400 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 10.9%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 21.4% in 2022 to 27,800 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 23,800, compared with an observed value of 25,400, 6.7% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 23.6% in 2024 to 30,800 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 28,700 jobs for 2024, 6.8% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.