Athletics trainers are the ones who are responsible for the prevention, examination, and treatment of the athletes’ injuries. We often see them in different sports events where they attend to the athletes’ needs, especially when it concerns physical injuries. They usually treat minor injuries and sore muscles that occurred following the play. For instance, they may spray antiseptic on scraped knees and elbows, apply moist hot or cold pack to relieve player’s muscle cramps, or wrap bandages around sprained wrists and ankles.
They also collaborate with health care professionals such as doctors to provide physical therapy for those athletes who are under recuperation from injuries. They emphasize to athletes the importance of how to regain and build their strength again and prevent further injuries. Apart from their duties, they may also order equipment and supplies, recommending special diets and exercises, and keeping records on the athletes they are working with.
Education Requirements and Employment
- To become an athletic trainer, one must have a four – year degree course in a college and also a certification from National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA). Most of the aspirant athletic trainers gain their experience by volunteering to help the trainers and coaches at secondary schools. Apart from that, they are also required to take first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses which are offered by agencies such as the fire department, rescue squads, or Red Cross. It is important to be certified first with these courses before they can be certified by NATA as athletic trainers.
- In addition to the requirements above, to become fully certified, aspirants should complete an approved college program in athletic training and must have at least two years of experience in work where they will be guided and supervised by NATA – approved trainers.
- Athletic trainers are usually hired by different institutions, universities, and colleges that have athletic curriculum and sports teams. They are also working for professional teams in ice hockey, basketball, football, baseball, and many other sports.
Working Environment and Salary
- Athletic trainers’ working environment is either indoors or outdoors regardless of the weather. Part of their duties is already done while they are still in the clubhouse or training area but during team play offs; the trainers must be present on the sidelines of the gymnasium, arena, or field. The trainers are also expected to company the athletes anywhere they go. That would mean they will also travel with the team and spend nights and weekends working. However, those who specialize in a certain sport work occasionally. On the other hand, most athletic trainers who work in schools and colleges usually have their duty during the school year.
- The median wage salary of an athletic trainer way back in 2004 was roughly around $34,000 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics although it varies widely depending on the employer, the depth of experience, and the geographic location. Fortunate trainers who are working for professional athletes and teams are earning a yearly salary of $70,000 or more.
Athletic trainers are very important to an athlete’s career because without them, nobody would take responsibility of their physical injuries. To become an athletic trainer, it is strongly recommended to follow the guidelines of the whole process from education to training for you to become one.