The Certified Athletic Trainer


What is an Athletic Trainer?

    Certified Athletic Trainers are health care providers who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active.  The Athletic Training profession has been recognized by the American Medical Association since 1990, and the national headquarters of the American Red Cross welcomes Athletic Trainers as members of their disaster health services teams.  Athletic Trainers hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited athletic training education program; 70 percent have graduate degrees as well. 



Accredited Athletic training degree programs make sure students are proficient in:

  • - Acute care of injury and illness
  • - Assessment of injury and illness
  • - Exercise Physiology
  • - General medical conditions and disabilities
  • - Health care administration
  • - Human anatomy
  • - Human physiology
  • - Kinesiology/biomechanics
  • - Medical ethics and legal issues
  • - Nutritional aspects of injury and illness
  • - Pathology of injury and illness
  • - Pharmacology
  • - Professional development and responsibilities
  • - Psychosocial intervention and referral
  • - Risk management and injury/illness prevention
  • - Statistics and research design
  • - Strength training and reconditioning
  • - Therapeutic exercise and rehabilitative techniques
  • - Therapeutic modalities
  • - Weight management and body composition



Athletic trainers are regulated and licensed health care workers.  Nearly every state has enacted legislation and established regulatory boards.

In addition, an independent national board - the Board of Certification, Inc. - certifies athletic trainers.  Athletic trainers must pass an examination and hold a bachelor's degree to gain the credential of Athletic Trainer, Certified(ATC).  To retain certification, ATC credential holders must obtain 80 hours of medically related continuing education credits every three years and adhere to a Code of Ethics.


For more information about the profession of athletic training, visit[i]



[i] This information was published in the Journal of Athletic Training, published by the National Athletic Trainer's Association.