Many people around the world may not know who athletic trainers are. Athletic trainers (ATs) are certified and licensed health care professionals. Theses health care professionals practice in the field of sports medicine. Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions (www.nata.org). Aurelio Locsin states, athletic trainers are health care professionals that are not considered doctors. Athletic trainers diagnose and treat injuries to bone and muscle under the direction of health-care professionals. They prevent injury using devices such as tape and braces, recognize and evaluate injuries, and provide emergency care. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2016 to about 2026 the profession of athletic training is projected to grow about twenty-three percent. This growth is much faster than any other career.
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Meanwhile, athletic training is growing more and more every year. There are also multiple job opportunities as well. Athletic trainers can be employed in clinics, hospitals, physician offices, college/ university, secondary schools, professional sports, Olympics, amateur/recreational/youth sports, performing arts, Military/Law Enforcement/Government, etc. Since 2016 there are about 27,800 number of new jobs. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics the demand for athletic trainers is expected to increase as more people become aware of the effects of sports-related injuries. For athletic trainers to be needed, people of all ages must stay active. In forty-nine states and the District of Columbia athletic trainers are licensed. California continues to give effort to add licensure to the state (www.nata.org). According to the NATA, the athletic training profession continues to grow internationally through the help of organizations. Some areas that employ athletic trainers are Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. Many countries do not consider athletic training a profession. Salaries for athletic trainers can range from $40,793 to $50,276. In May of 2017 statistics say the median pay for athletic trainers is $46,630 per year. The salary for this profession all depends on where your job is located, who you are working for, and how much schooling you have. The NATA states, to become an athletic trainer, a student must graduate with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited professional athletic training education program. The student must also pass a comprehensive test administered by the Board of Certification (BOC). Passing of the certification exam is required for licensure. After this, the student can decide to go to graduate school for a master’s degree. Some employers may prefer you to have a master’s degree in this profession. To become an athletic trainer, it is great to have experience in the field. Bureau of Labor Statistics states, gaining experience while in school can help students be more competitive candidates in the job market. To gain experience students can look for internships which provide hands-on training. Hands on training can help develop treatment programs, document injuries, conduct patient evaluations, and even help you communicate with medical staff.
In addition, athletic trainers have a lot of responsibilities being professional health care providers. These health care providers make sure that safety comes first. They apply injury-preventive devices, recognize and evaluate injuries, provide first aid, develop and carry out rehabilitation programs for injured athletes. They also perform tasks like keeping records, writing reports on injures and treatment programs (www.bls.gov). Dana Baffuto from Phillipsburg High school knows a lot about these major responsibilities as being an athletic trainer. Dana Baffuto graduated from Rowen University with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. Later, she attended East Stroudsburg University to pursue a master’s degree. She also has a minor in sports management. After her schooling she worked at East Stroudsburg University for two years, then moved on to Centenary University for six years. Now she is currently enjoying her job at Phillipsburg High school. She was drawn into the career of athletic training after she had an injury from cross country. During this injury Dana learned that there was an athletic trainer she could go to for help. Dana knew that she wasn’t going anywhere with cross country, but she knew that she wanted sports to still be a part of her life. While spending every day in the athletic training office rebuilding her strength, she realized that she wanted to be an athletic trainer. Although Dana Buffuto has found her job rewarding, one downfall is that for her to do what she loves to do, someone must get hurt for her to do it. most rewarding about her job to be unfortunate, because what she loves to do, treat injuries, someone must get hurt for her to it. She loves watching her athletes be dedicated to getting better. It is rewarding for her to see the athletes go back to the sport they love doing.
On the other hand, the most challenging part for her career is seeing someone get hurt and telling them that they have an injury and can’t participate in their sport. Dana Buffet stated, “Sports are a part of a young person’s life, it is their identity growing up.” She also gets frustrated with being an athletic trainer for a school distract because sometimes she is forgotten, and people do not communicate with her. Coaches and administration forget to tell her when activities are cancelled or switched to different days. Dana said, “Sometimes I just feel like an afterthought.” She stated that she would have chosen this job again, one hundred percent if she could. Her advice for a student entering this career is to be all in. Dana states, “athletic trainers are not always recognized, but are important, so make sure you love what you are doing.” The job is very challenging because it is a day to day schedule and can change easily. There is a lot of dedicated time you must put into this career. She said, “when entering this field keep your horizons broad, do not settle for a small job, fight for what you worked so hard for.” Dana also said, “The biggest advice that I can give you is to stay passionate about this career!”
Finally, after doing Focus 2 I realized that athletic training is the right profession for me. Focus 2 showed me that I would fit into these top four professions under Exercise Physiology after answering the questions. The top four majors were Physical Education Teaching and Coaching, Sports and Fitness Administrator/ Management, Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and Athletic Training. Athletic training is suited to my personal preferences and attributes because ever since I was little I loved to care for people and help them. Sports has also been a big part of my life ever since I can remember. I have always been interested in how the body works, so combining everything that I love to be involved with choosing athletic training as my major covered it all. By choosing this career choice I learned that you must always be one hundred percent in, and you must stay interactive with your athletes. It is a very dedicated job, but I am looking forward to the challenges of this career. While going through schooling after I get my bachelor’s degree in this field, I would like to go for my master’s degree to be a competitive candidate in the job market. After being almost half way through my fist semester, I would not change my major because I am eager to keep learning more about caring for athletes. I do believe I would chose a minor in nutrition, or sports management to have knowledge in a different major. Studying hard, getting good grades, and being involved will make you competitive for an internship. Internships are important for all careers. I would like to look for an internship at a high school, because that I would like to be employed in a school district. By doing this paper I believe that I gained knowledge about my career that will prepare me for the future.
- Locsin, Aurelio. “Athletic Trainer Job Description.” Chron.com, 1 July 2018, https://work.chron.com/athletic-trainer-job-description-11146.html
- “Academics School of Health Sciences – Athletic Training.” Mayo Clinic, 4 Mar. 2017, www.mayo.edu/mayo-clinic-school-of-health-sciences/careers/athletic-training.
- “Athletic Training.” NATA, 8 Mar. 2018, https://www.nata.org/about/athletic-training
- “Focus 2 Login.” Focus 2 Career, www.focus2career.com/LoggedIn/CareerPlanningStatusQuestions.cfm?Unique=%7Bts%2B%272018-10-05%2B12%3A19%3A29%27%7D.
- “Obtain Certification.” NATA, 25 Sept. 2017, www.nata.org/about/athletic-training/obtain- certification.
- “Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 Apr. 2018, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/athletic-trainers.htm.
- “Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 Apr. 2018, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/athletic-trainers.htm#tab-2.
- Study.com, Study.com, https://study.com/articles/Athletic_Trainer_Summary_of_How_to_Become_an_Athletic_Trainer.html