Athletic Training - FAQ's
What skills and abilities does a student need to excel in this field?
Students thinking about a major in athletic training should have a genuine interest in sports and science. They should be personable, be able to solve problems, communicate well, be organized, be adaptable, and be willing to work hard.
What I will learn?
Athletic training majors will learn a variety of skills to help them be successful in their chosen profession, including:
- Risk management and injury prevention
- Pathology of injuries and illnesses
- Orthopedic clinical examination and diagnosis
- Medical conditions and disabilities
- Acute care of injuries and illnesses
- Therapeutic modalities
- Conditioning, rehabilitative exercise and referral
- Psychosocial intervention and referral
- Nutritional aspects of injuries and illnesses
- Health care administration
What opportunities are there for internships or other hands-on learning experiences?
Students complete hands-on clinical rotations with CMU sports, area high schools, sports medicine clinics, and a nurse practitioner. Professional internships are available based on availability and application. CMU athletic training students have completed internships in the NFL and MLB.
What are some possible entry-level careers with a degree in this field?
College/University Setting: The primary responsibility of the athletic trainer is to provide day-to-day services for collegiate sport teams. The athletic trainer will attend all home and way games as agreed upon by the respective head coaches and/or athletic directors. The remaining hours shall be spent in the rehabilitative facility.
Combination Teacher/Athletic Trainer: A majority of colleges and universities now require a master's degree for employment. Most collegiate positions require the athletic trainer to teach as well as provide sport coverage.
High School Setting: Certified athletic trainers provide Athletic Training Services to student athletes under the direction of the team physician, or a written referral from a physician, and in accordance with state athletic training practice act.
Professional Sports: In this setting, certified athletic trainers work only one sport, such as football, baseball, basketball, hockey or soccer. Although teams operate only a few months per year, ATC's work year-round conditioning and rehabilitating athletes. Fewer jobs are available in this practice setting due to the limited number of teams.
Physician Extender: The athletic trainer serves as the liaison between the patient, the medical doctor or their support staffs, and the medical assistant. Job duties include following the patient from the time of his or her arrival to the time that the patients departs from the clinic. The athletic trainer shall ensure that all the patient's and doctor's needs are met to provide the best physician/patient experience.
Clinic Setting: This growing setting provides certified athletic trainers the opportunity to work with a number of different health care professionals and a diverse patient population. In addition to athletic injury rehabilitation, many clinics provide athletic training services for secondary schools.
What are some CMU graduates with this degree doing?
CMU athletic training graduates have taken graduate assistant positions at a variety of NCAA division I and II and NAIA schools. Others have gone on to earn certification as chiropractors and physician's assistants. CMU ATEP graduates are employed in full-time positions in all levels of collegiate athletics, high schools, military, sport medicine clinics, orthopedic groups and professional athletics.
Want more information? Check out the Major Resources provided by the Career Development Center.
Other items to note:
Athletic Training Certification: Certification is required in order to practice as an athletic trainer. A Bachelor of Science Degree in Athletic Training is required in order to take the Board of Certification test.