General Information

What is athletic training?

Recognized by the American Medical Association, athletic training is a health care profession practicing within the domains of prevention; clinical evaluation and diagnosis; immediate care; treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning; organization and administration; and professional responsibility. "Sports medicine" is a term often associated with athletic training. It is a popular term that refers to the many individuals and professions that assist with the overall health care of athletes and individuals who are involved with physical activity.

Who are athletic trainers?

Athletic trainers work with physicians and other health care professionals to help individuals return safely to sport, recreational or work activity. Athletic trainers have been providing this service for over 50 years. Qualities often identified as necessary traits for an athletic trainer include stamina, adaptability, empathy, a sense of humor, ability to communicate and intellectual curiosity. The athletic trainer has many responsibilities, as do the other members of the "sports medicine team." Though a number of health care professionals will service patients, the athletic trainer is an integral part of this team and is most often the first contact person for the patient.

Where are athletic trainers?

There are multiple employment opportunities available for the athletic trainer. You will find athletic trainers in:

  • High Schools
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Professional Sports
  • Hospitals, Physician Offices, and Sports Medicine Clinics
  • Recreational and Fitness Centers
  • Industrial and Commercial Rehabilitation Centers
  • Amateur and Olympic Programs
  • Military and Law Enforcement
  • Performing Arts

Depending on which setting you choose to pursue, you may work with a wide variety of patients from all walks of life. You may have the opprtunity to work with high school, collegiate, disabled, or elite athletes, industrial workers, recreational athletes or even the "weekend warrior" all of whom will most likely come from differing socioeconomic classes, cultures, religions and lifestyles.

How do I become an athletic trainer?

Do the following:

  • Attend an institution that offers a CAATE-accredited athletic training education program.
  • Complete all the requirements to obtain the degree.
  • Pass the Board of Certification national certification examination.

There are over 300 institutions that offer CAATE-accredited programs. A current list of programs can be viewed at www.caate.net. All programs must adhere to the Standards for the Accreditation of Entry-Level Athletic Training Education Programs approved by CAATE. Each institution determines the methods to comply with these standards, the process for selection/admission to the program, and the number of students in the program. Generally, students will find the following criteria may apply for selection to an athletic training education program:

  • Grade point average
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Prerequisite coursework
  • Staff evaluations
  • Prior practical experience
  • Personnel interview
  • Essay
  • Practical exam
  • Written exam

What should I do in the mean time to be an athletic trainer?

The faculty, at CMU, suggests the following:

  • Job-shadow a certified athletic trainer.
  • Take coursework in high school or a community college such as: 
  1. Biology
  2. Anatomy
  3. Physiology 
  4. Chemistry
  5. Physics
  6. First Aid
  7. Health
  • Be active; take fitness or activity classes.
  • Search for schools that offer a CAATE-accredited athletic training education programs. View institution web sites, contact the program director or make an appointment with the program director and visit the institution. Contact us at shing1rr@cmich.edu. 

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