Like winning and losing, even injuries, rehabs, and treatments are a part and parcel of sports. Athletic trainers are recognized as health professionals, who play a very important role in the field of sports, athletics, and field events of all levels. These are highly professional trainers, which are usually the first healthcare providers that interact with the injured athletes and provide first aid. They help in assessing, preventing, and deciding the further course of treatment. An injury can threaten the entire career of a sports person and hence, first aid and timely diagnosis and treatment of the injury is necessary. People interested in this profession would be mostly concerned about the athletic trainer salary. But before that, understanding their role is also essential.
Their main job is to help the athletes in preventing injuries by encouraging proper training and use of equipment and application of protective gears. These professionals work and discuss with the physicians to determine the extent of injury, the treatment, and the recovery time. They extensively use tape or bandages and braces for injury prevention. They need to go along with the team or individual athletes to the place where the competitions are being held. They also discuss the designed rehabilitation programs with the coaches and management. In addition, they teach many training exercises, to make the muscles strong enough to deal with the constant fatigue and stress, experienced during and after the game. Sometimes they also give diet related tips to improve energy levels and stamina.
A trainer should at least have a Bachelor's Degree. However, pursuing a Master's or Doctoral Degree in this field will be useful in the long run and can also affect the average salary. Many states also demand a license or some form of registration. So, having National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) and CPR certifications or any relevant certification, will be a criterion to help you achieve great heights.
In 2012, these trainers held about 20,780 jobs in the United States. Majority of them were found to be working in private and public educational institutes, amusement and recreation industries, general medical and surgical hospitals, and elementary and primary schools. The average salary range is influenced by various factors like education, training, location, experience, etc. Mean annual wage is $44,010 per year. A trainer who is just starting out may earn about USD 30,000 per year, whereas an experienced one with a Masters or Doctorate may earn USD 60,000 per year. However, about fifty percent of all the athletic trainers are believed to earn in between USD 32,000 to USD 48,000 per year. According to the sources from the job market, the average salary for the head trainer is around USD 51,900 per year. But as mentioned earlier, it is subject to change according to your credentials and experience.
As the people all over the world are getting increasingly fitness conscious, the demand for athletic trainers is bound to increase. The salary can be a deciding factor for you to choose this career. But one must remember, like any other profession, immense hard work and determination is needed to reach great heights in this field as well.