All athletics and sports trainers must earn a minimum degree of a bachelor’s, ideally in athletic training or in a related field such as health science or kinesiology. It is important to make sure that any program of study has been fully accredited by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association. Most importantly, those looking to find employment as an athletics or sports trainer should know that 70 percent of all those working have earned an accredited master’s degree or higher. Such a high level of academic achievement helps to land positions at colleges and universities in particular. Some schools may include a teaching component alongside sports training duties, which mandates teaching certification as well.
Those studying to become an athletics or sports trainer should expect to undergo a group of rigorous courses that center around knowledge of the human form. Anatomy of the body, strength and conditioning technique, physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, injury detection and prevention, and rehabilitation technique are all potential classes to expect. In addition, many athletics and sports training students will participate in internships or externships to further expose them to real-life conditions and to help them discover positions available to them after graduation.
Diploma in hand, potential athletics and sports trainers must receive additional certification that is administered by the state in which they would be working. The Board of Certification is in charge of such commendations, and these are only granted to those who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Once awarded certification by the BOC, athletics and sports trainers must regularly take medical classes in order to maintain good standing. Certain states do not require their athletics or sports trainers to be certified; these include Alaska, California, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Though not an obligation in these states, certification helps to distinguish job seekers as desirable and competitive. (BLS)