How to Become an Athletic Trainer. An athletic trainer is a certified medical professional who specializes in the treatment of sports injuries. Athletic trainers are commonly employed by professional sports teams, colleges, high schools and sports medicine clinics. Entertainers, dancers and the military also need athletic trainers due to the high level of physical activity in their professions.
Complete a degree in athletic training at an accredited college. You will need to earn at least a bachelors degree to be considered for an athletic trainer position with a professional organization.
Study nutrition, psychology, therapeutic exercise, human anatomy and physiology, and gain clinical experience for 2 years under an approved instructor. This clinical study should include an internship, on-the-job training on a sports field during a game and lab work.
Attain state certification. Athletic trainers in most states need to meet certain requirements before they start their first day of work. Check the laws in your state and be sure to have certification before applying for a position.
Contemplate working for a sports team. Depending on your training and temperament, you can pursue a position with a baseball, football or hockey team. Being an athletic trainer for a sports team involves interaction with many different personalities, travel and a high pressure environment in addition to constant treatment of injuries. This high-profile job pays well, but be sure you can handle the pressure before applying.
Contact athletic trainer organizations about job openings. Your college will also help you set up job interviews and assist with job placement prior to graduation.