Athletic Trainer

Job Description:

The role of an athletic trainer is to prevent, assess, treat, and rehabilitate injuries and medical conditions in athletes, helping them maintain optimal physical health and performance.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

As an athletic trainer, you will be:

  • Developing and implementing strategies to minimize the risk of sports-related injuries through proper conditioning, warm-ups, and equipment use
  • Evaluating athletes’ injuries and medical conditions to determine the nature and severity of the problem
  • Providing immediate first aid and appropriate medical care to injured athletes, including applying techniques like taping, bracing, and wound care
  • Designing and overseeing customized rehabilitation programs to help athletes recover from injuries, regain mobility, and regain strength
  • Designing fitness and exercise programs to improve athletes’ strength, flexibility, and overall physical condition
  • Collaborating with physicians and medical specialists to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment for serious injuries
  • Educating athletes on injury prevention, nutrition, hydration, and safe training practices
  • Being prepared to respond quickly to emergencies on the field, including providing immediate care and stabilizing injured athletes
  • Maintaining accurate records of injuries, treatments, and rehabilitation progress for each athlete
  • Collaborating with coaches, athletes, parents, and medical professionals to ensure coordinated care and effective recovery
  • Conducting assessments to measure athletes’ fitness levels and track their progress over time
  • Advising athletes on proper equipment use and suggesting modifications when needed
  • Recognising the psychological aspects of injuries and offering emotional support to athletes during their recovery process
  • Staying informed about the latest advancements in sports medicine and injury management
  • Adhering to ethical guidelines and regulations governing sports medicine practices


You will need:

  • knowledge in anatomy, orthopaedic assessment, rehabilitation techniques, biomechanics, medical conditions and emergency care
  • knowledge in injury evaluation, exercise physiology, nutrition, first aid and taping
  • knowledge in communication, legal considerations, and continuing education

As well as:

  • effective communication skills
  • adaptability skills
  • decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • time management (organisational skills)
  • leadership skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • empathy and patience
  • the ability to pay attention to detail
  • stress management
  • ethical awareness
  • the ability to work with others (teamwork skills)
  • cultural sensitivity
  • conflict resolution
  • motivation
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

While specific GCSE subjects may not be prerequisites for becoming an athletic trainer, focusing on the following subjects can provide a solid foundation for pursuing a career in sports medicine:

  1. Biology: Understanding the human body’s anatomy and physiological processes is crucial in sports medicine.
  2. Physical Education (PE): Gaining knowledge of exercise science, fitness, and sports principles is directly relevant.
  3. Mathematics: Math skills are useful for calculations related to exercise plans and injury assessment.
  4. Science: Subjects like chemistry or physics can provide a general scientific background.
  5. English: Effective communication is vital for interacting with athletes, coaches, and colleagues.
  6. First Aid or Health and Social Care: Courses related to health and safety can offer foundational knowledge.

Remember, while these subjects can provide a helpful background, pursuing further education in sports medicine, athletic training, or related fields at the college or university level is essential for a career as an athletic trainer.

To become an athletic trainer, you generally need the following qualifications and requirements:


A bachelor’s degree in athletic training, sports medicine, kinesiology, or a related field is typically required.
Some countries also require completion of an accredited athletic training program.


In the United States, becoming a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) through the Board of Certification (BOC) is a common requirement. This involves passing the BOC examination. Other countries may have their own certification or licensing requirements.


Depending on your location, you might need to obtain a state license to practice as an athletic trainer.

Clinical Experience

Gaining practical experience through internships, clinical rotations, or supervised training is important.

CPR and First Aid Certification

Many employers require or prefer athletic trainers to have CPR and first aid certification.

Continual Education

Staying current with advancements in sports medicine through continuing education and workshops.

Residency (Optional)

Some athletic trainers choose to complete post-graduate residencies to gain specialized experience.

Working Hours and Environment:

Athletic trainers often work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends, in various settings such as schools, sports teams, clinics, hospitals, and fitness centers, with busy periods during sports seasons and potential travel with teams.

Career Path & Progression:

A typical career path for an athletic trainer often begins with entry-level positions like internships or assistant roles, advancing to roles as head athletic trainers or sports medicine coordinators, and can further progress to managerial positions, teaching roles, or specialized areas within sports medicine, such as sports performance or sports rehabilitation.