Athletic Trainer

What does an Athletic Trainer do?

Athletic trainers specialize in injury and illness prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for all people They help ensure that athletic competition is safe, morale is high and performance is at its best. Certified athletic trainers are the leading experts in health care for the physically active. They are a key resource for making physical activity safe in any setting, ranging from professional and amateur sports to on-the-job work activity.

What might an Athletic Trainer do in a workday?

Athletic trainers:

  • prevent athletic injury and enhance performance using knowledge of nutrition, hygiene, psychology, conditioning and protective equipment.
  • develop training programs to prevent injuries.
  • treat and rehabilitate athletic injuries as directed by team physicians.
  • educate others about athletic injuries, equipment, nutrition and exercise programs to obtain optimal performance.

Developing a Career as an Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainers are found in physicians’ offices as physician extenders, rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers, military hospitals, physical therapy clinics, high schools, colleges and universities, commercial settings, professional sports teams, and performing arts companies.

How much salary do Athletic Trainers make?

Annual Mean Wage

How do I become an Athletic Trainer?

Students who wish to pursue a career as an athletic trainer should take challenging high school courses in science, math and English. All athletic trainers must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Athletic training programs include supervised clinical experience under the direction of a certified
athletic trainer, as well as core courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and other related topics.

To become certified, students must pass a three-part examination, including written comprehension, written stimulation and oral-practice settings.

Where else can I learn about becoming an Athletic Trainer?

Professional Associations:

National Athletic Trainers’ Association
1620 Valwood Parkway
Suite 115
Carrollton, TX 75006
(214) 637-6282

State License Requirements for Athletic Trainers

A license is required to practice as an athletic trainer in the state of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications and forms, visit

Virginia Board of Medicine
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233
Phone: (804) 786-0370

Find Local Support

Blue Ridge Region AHEC – Shenandoah Valley

Capital Region AHEC – Richmond Metro and surrounding areas

Eastern Virginia Region AHEC – Southeast Virginia and Peninsula

Northern Virginia Region AHEC – Northern Virginia

Rappahannock Region AHEC – Northern Neck, Fredericksburg, and Middle Peninsula

South Central Region AHEC – Lynchburg, Danville, and surrounding area

Southside Region AHEC – South of Richmond

Southwest Virginia Region AHEC – Roanoke Valley and West