How Do You Become a Certified Sports Trainer?


Quick Answer

To become a certified sports trainer, earn a bachelor's degree with a major in athletic training, and then acquire an athletic trainer credential by passing the ATC certification exam. This exam covers injury prevention, immediate care, professional development and clinical evaluation with diagnosis.

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Full Answer

At least 70 percent of athletic trainers earn a master's degree in a relevant field before becoming certified. Employment for high-profile positions, such as professional- and college-level sports teams, is highly competitive, and trainers with master's degrees are likely to have an advantage when applying for open positions. The demand for athletic trainers is growing, as of 2015, even though the field is still relatively small. Most eligible openings are for health care facilities and corporations.

Most trainers do not work a typical eight-hour day, and the average trainer's income is $41,000 a year. Trainers who have worked in the field for 10 or more years make an average of $47,500 a year. Trainers work with patients or athletes to prevent or treat injuries and must be able to recognize injuries on the spot. As medical treatment technology improves, certified athletic trainers are expected to master a growing body of knowledge concerning the proper treatment of athletes.

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