Athletic Training Education Overview
Athletic Training is an academic major or graduate equivalent major program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)*. The minimum entry point into the profession of Athletic Training is a the baccalaureate level; by 2014-2015, all accredited education programs in Athletic Training will lead to a degree in Athletic Training. Upon completion of a CAATE-accredited Athletic Training education program, students become eligible for national certification by successfully completing the NATA Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) examination.
*The Master of Athletic Training Program at the University of Houston intends to seek accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). For more information about the CAATE please follow this link http://www.caate.net/
Emerging Job Opportunities in AT
Profile of Athletic Trainers
Athletic training is practiced by athletic trainers (AT), health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients across age and care continuums. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities. ATs work under the direction of physicians, as prescribed by state licensure statutes.
Professional Preparation for Athletic Training
Students become eligible for BOC certification through an athletic training degree program (Bachelor’s or entry-level Master’s) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Students engage in rigorous classroom study and clinical education in a variety of practice settings such as high schools, colleges/universities, hospitals, emergency rooms, physician offices and healthcare clinics over the course of the degree program. Students enrolled in their final semester are eligible to apply for the BOC exam.
Employment Settings for Athletic Trainers
Professional and Collegiate Sports
Secondary and Intermediate Schools
Sports Medicine Clinics
Hospital ER and Rehab Clinics
AT employment projections from U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor and Statistics
Employment of athletic trainers is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. As people become more aware of sports-related injuries at a young age, demand for athletic trainers is expected to increase, most significantly in schools and youth leagues.
New research reveals that the effects of concussions are particularly severe and long lasting in child athletes. Although concussions are dangerous to athletes at any age, children’s brains are still developing and are at risk for permanent complications, such as fatal brain swelling and learning disabilities. Parents and coaches are becoming educated about these greater risks through community health efforts. Because athletic trainers are usually on site with athletes and are often the first line of defense when injuries occur, the demand for trainers should continue to increase.
Additionally, advances in injury prevention and detection and more sophisticated treatments are projected to increase the demand for athletic trainers. Growth in an increasingly active middle-aged and elderly population will likely lead to an increased incidence of athletic-related injuries, such as sprains. Sports programs at all ages and for all experience levels will continue to create demand for athletic trainers.
Insurance and workers’ compensation costs have become a concern for many employers and insurance companies, especially in areas where employees are often injured on the job. For example, military bases hire athletic trainers to help train military personnel in how to properly lift items or to create training programs aimed at keeping injury rates down. More insurance companies are recognizing athletic trainers as healthcare providers and are reimbursing the cost of an athletic trainer’s services.
Unsung Heroes of Sports Medicine
Check out this video from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association: Unsung Heroes of Sports Medicine
A collection of surgeons, athletic directors, and physicians tell why an athletic trainer is critical to keeping physically active people safe.
Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education: www.caate.net
Board of Certification for Athletic Training: www.bocatc.org
National Athletic Trainers’ Association: www.nata.org
Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association: www.swata.org
Texas State Athletic Trainers’ Association: www.tsata.com
Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers: www.dshs.state.tx.us/at/
Greater Houston Athletic Trainers' Society: www.ghats.org/