7 Potential Career Opportunities for Athletic Training Graduates

athletic training careers

Athletic training as a career choice offers graduates a wide variety of opportunities to use their skills and make a difference in the wellbeing of physically active people.

As you advance in our athletic training program, or prepare for your career following graduation, you’ll certainly want to explore the diverse options you have in front of you.

With this in mind, we’ve crafted this list of career possibilities to help you find the roles that best fit your interests and abilities. Let’s take a look.

1. Colleges and Universities

Colleges and universities are some of the most prominent employers for those in the athletic training field. This is largely due to the numerous collegiate sports programs available on campus and any NCAA requirements these colleges and universities need to abide by to ensure athlete health and safety.

Athletic trainers employed by colleges may ultimately fulfill a number of functions:

  • Attending student athletes who take part in collegiate sports programs
  • Attending students who take part in intramural, club, and junior college sports programs
  • Working in an on-campus training center or workout facility
  • Working within a university health and wellness network or program

With over 5,000 colleges and universities currently found within the United States, it’s easy to see why this sector offers so much potential for professional athletic trainers.

2. High Schools

Another option for athletic trainers is to work within a public or private high school, which could also include spending some time performing services for the middle school and elementary schools within the same school system.

Unlike at a college or university, where you may be part of a larger team and have limitations on the duties you’ll perform, you might be the only trainer at a given high school. This will give you the opportunity to take part in a range of activities and oversee your own athletic training space.

It will also help you to gain vital working experience with a wide variety of injury treatment and sports, since high schools often offer:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Volleyball
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Cheerleading
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Swimming/diving
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling
  • Cross country running
  • Golf

As part of your role as a high school athletic trainer, you will:

  • Evaluate injuries and plan treatment procedures
  • Monitor injury rehabilitation
  • Consult with any physicians or coaches to make sure safety protocols are being followed
  • Educate students on various health issues, which can include those related to weight, concussions, and cardiac problems, as well as emergency care

The diverse experiences you can gain by overseeing a high school athletic training program can help you discover areas that interest you, and prepare you for future roles at colleges and universities, or elsewhere, should you decide to change course.

3. Hospitals, Clinics, or Physicians’ Offices

The healthcare field obviously has a lot of career possibilities for athletic trainers, with hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices being only a few of the opportunities.

Within these settings, athletic trainers will often:

  • Perform evaluations on patients and determine how best to address a given issue
  • Educate patients on ways to improve their health and heal their injuries
  • Offer instruction on rehabilitation while highlighting prevention measures
  • Consult with physicians to ensure appropriate treatments are administered and followed by patients

4. Industrial or Commercial Businesses

Another option for athletic trainers is to put their talents to work at private businesses, helping employees to improve their physical health so that they can be more productive and happier in their roles.

Duties for athletic trainers in these settings often include:

  • Performing injury evaluations and determining a treatment plan
  • Providing information on preventative measures employees can take to avoid injury
  • Facilitating employee education on health and wellness issues
  • Identifying and rectifying ergonomic hazards

Ultimately, companies that utilize athletic trainers greatly benefit by seeing reduced employee injuries and lessened downtime when injuries do occur, saving significant time and money.

5. Military Branches and Law Enforcement Agencies

Since those in the military and law enforcement often have physically active jobs, the employment of on-site athletic trainers is often necessary to see to their needs.

Athletic trainers who work in a military capacity are all civilians with either an ongoing government job or a service contract, as athletic training is not a role found within the military itself. This means that if you seek out this role, military experience will not be a prerequisite.

For both military and law enforcement settings, athletic trainers will often perform the following duties:

  • Performing injury evaluations and determining a treatment plan
  • Providing information on preventative measures patients can take to avoid injury
  • Treating chronic, overuse, and stress-related injuries more common in these fields than in athletic settings
  • Being on site for physical training events in case of injury

6. Performing Arts Centers

Since dancers and others within the performing arts have such demanding physical jobs, athletic trainers are often needed at arts centers to promote health and safety.

In these settings, athletic trainers will often perform the following duties:

  • Performing injury evaluations and determining a treatment plan
  • Providing information on preventative measures performers can take to avoid injury
  • Treating repetitive-use injuries that performers acquire
  • Being on site for practices and performances in case of injury

Those who have an interest in the performing arts and want to pursue this side of athletic training have the possibility of going on to major institutions at some point in their careers:

  • Cirque du Soleil
  • Disney World and Disneyland parks
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
  • The Cincinnati Ballet
  • Blue Man Group

All of these institutions, plus many others, employ athletic trainers to keep their performers in peak condition and help ensure the show goes on.

7. Professional Sports Organizations

Taking part in the world of professional sports can be exciting and challenging, as it gives you to opportunity to utilize your skills and help some of the finest athletes in the world.

In a professional sports environment, athletic trainers will often perform the following duties:

  • Performing injury evaluations and determining a treatment plan
  • Providing information on preventative measures athletes can take to avoid injury
  • Keeping up with the latest technological advancements in the field to help improve athletes’ health
  • Being on site for practices and during games/competitions in case of injury

If you’re interested in discovering everything that goes into a role as an athletic trainer for a professional sports organization, you can check out this interview with T. Pepper Burruss of the Green Bay Packers.

Contact Us

If you’d like to learn more about all that our athletic training program can do for you and your career, reach out to our team today. We look forward to hearing from you!

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