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How to Become an Athlete Trainer

Do you have a soft spot for sports and exercise and would like to earn a living in this field? Then you might consider working as an athlete trainer. Athlete trainers, also referred to as athletic trainers are exercise physiologists who are specialized in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of bone and muscle injuries and ailments. Their work is to develop exercise and fitness programs to enable patients, usually athletes improve their cardiovascular function, flexibility and body composition, and recover from chronic ailments.

What Do Athlete Trainers Do?

Athlete trainers are responsible for the performance of the following duties:

  • Applying injury-preventive or protective devices (e.g. bandages, braces and tape)
  • Recognizing and evaluating injuries
  • Providing first aid
  • Developing and performing recovery programs for injured athletes
  • Planning and executing exhaustive programs to curb injury and ailments among athletes
  • Carrying out administrative roles such as writing reports and keeping injury records
  • Monitoring team practices and athletic events
  • Carrying out initials athletic training analysis
  • Acting as a link between the physicians and the patient
  • Helping with the maintenance of medical records


Athlete trainers might be required to work on weekends, evenings and during sporting events. Their earnings depend highly on their dedication.



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The position of an athlete trainer requires you to have the following vital qualities:

  • Have a good comprehension of confidant analysis skills, orthopedic injuries, and orthopedic protocols for chronic, acute and post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Ability to monitor and assess personal performance and that of others
  • Excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • Excellent coordination abilities to be able to adjust actions in relation to other individuals
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Good instructing abilities
  • Excellent judgment and decision making abilities
  • Outstanding people skills
  • Complex problem solving abilities
  • Excellent time management abilities
  • Aptitude to persuade others and alter their behavior and minds
  • Management abilities
  • Good negotiation skills
  • Critical thinking abilities and aptitude to give problems a critical approach


In sports, medicine or any other related trade, the minimum entry requirement for the position of an athlete trainer is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher learning institution. These degree programs are comprised of both clinical and classroom components including health-related and science courses such as:

  • Physiology
  • Biomechanics
  • Anatomy
  • Nutrition
  • Chemistry
  • Biology

It is advisable for high school students who aspire to pursue postsecondary exercise physiology courses to take physics, physiology and anatomy subjects as they will enable them gain a better understanding in the field of exercise and physiology. To increase your prospects, you can consider pursuing a master’s degree as these are usually required for posts in colleges, universities and other professional sports programs. Those individuals who pursue PhD and Doctoral programs are open to higher positions and responsibilities such as management and training of other athlete trainers. Many states require you to be licensed. In order to acquire this licensure, you need to complete an accredited athletic training course and pass a written examination. Additionally, athlete trainers are required to keep their licenses updated by attending continuous medical education programs.

Career Prospects

Typical employers for athlete trainers include fitness centers, physician offices, collegiate and professional sports, intermediate and secondary schools, sports medicine clinics, hospital ER and Rehab clinics and various other occupational centers. The BLS projects a 21% rise in job opportunities for athlete trainers. This is attributed to the increase in people’s awareness of sports-related injuries hence the demand for these professionals.

If you want to turn your love for sports and exercise into a lucrative career, this job is ideal for you!

Image Source: Eastern Kentucky University

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