Athletic Training Resources

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.

Read More: AT Education Overview from the National Athletic Trainers Association (pdf)

*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

Emerging Job Opportunities in AT

Emerging Job Opportunities in AT (pdf)

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.

Read more: Facts about Athletic Trainers - Hand out from the National Athletic Trainers Association (pdf)

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

  • Occupational Settings

  • Fitness Centers

  • Physician Offices

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.

Important Websites

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education:

Board of Certification for Athletic Training:

National Athletic Trainers’ Association:

Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association:

Texas State Athletic Trainers’ Association:

Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers:

Greater Houston Athletic Trainers' Society: