An athletic trainer focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of muscle and bone injuries and illnesses. These trainers work in a myriad of locations including colleges, universities, doctors' offices and sports teams. They apply tape, bandages and braces, as well as provide first-aid care, among other services.
Athletic trainers also analyze injuries and produce rehabilitation plans. They help athletes with the recovery process and implement methods to prevent injuries. They keep documentation on injuries and programs as necessary. Athletic trainers work with all sorts of people, including children and soldiers, and often work as part of a team. Part of their duties may entail budgetary meetings with an athletic director or manager. They must possess compassion, quality decision-making skills, an attention to detail, and interpersonal and communication skills. They must communicate regularly with patients, doctors, coaches and family members.
A minimum of a bachelor's degree is necessary for athletic trainers. Many states also mandate the requirement of a certification or license. The median wage as of May 2012 is $42,090 a year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The bureau predicts a growth of 21 percent for athletic trainers through 2022, meaning nearly 5,000 new jobs in this relatively small field. Much of the growth is predicted for youth leagues and higher education institutions.