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Frequently Asked Questions About Athletic Trainers



What is an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic Trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients across  the age and care continuum. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations and disabilities. ATs work under the direction of physicians, as prescribed by state licensure statutes. ATs are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals, and are under the allied health professions category as defined by Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Athletic trainers are assigned National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers, and the taxonomy code for athletic trainers is 2255A2300X. Athletic trainers are listed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the “professional and related occupations” section. They are mid-level health care professionals.



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How would Hiring an Athletic Trainer Benefit my Business?

Reducing Lost Workdays after Work-Related Injuries

Effect on Patient Throughput and Revenue Generation in a Primary Care Sports Medicine Practice

Pediatritians Confirm Enormous Value of Athletic Trainers at High Schools



How do I Hire an Athletic Trainer?

The NATA Career Center is simple and easy to use.  Because NATA represents the most qualified industry professionals, our resume database gives you access to the best possible job seekers so you can find your next employee without leaving your desk!  You can set the criteria for your ideal job candidate, and this system will email you when new resumes are a match.  No more time wasted visiting the site every day to see new candidates.  Your online account will include reports showing you the number of individuals who have viewed your job, applied online, and even how many times your job was sent out in a "job agent" or "emailed to a friend." You'll be able to see at a glance just how effective your ad is!  Online job posting information – Now you can manage your job postings online, any time. Add, edit and delete company postings right from your desk, or even copy an expired or deleted ad for increased time savings.  For more information, visit:




How do I Find a Job as an Athletic Trainer?

The NATA Career Center is a free and confidential site available for NATA members to post resumes.  Make your resume available to employers in the industry, confidentially if you choose.  You will have access to individual jobs and can quickly and easily find relevant industry job listings and sign up for automatic email notification of new jobs that match your criteria.  Job listings on the NATA Career Center provide a broad range of opportunities for individual NATA members.   You can also save up to 100 jobs to a folder in your account so you can come back to apply when you are ready. 




What is the Occupational Outlook for Athletic Trainers?

The projected rate of change in employment for the 10-year timeframe between 2010 and 2020 for athletic trainers is 30%. The average growth rate for all occupations is 14 percent.  For more information regarding the outlook of the athletic training profession, vist






How can I verify that someone who claims to be a Licensed Athletic Trainer, truly is a Licensed Athletic Trainer?

Arkansas:  You can search a roster by visiting

Texas:  You can access a live search or browse a roster by visiting 



How can I verify that someone who claims to be a Certified Athletic Trainer, truly is a Certified Athletic Trainer?

You can go through a simple process called a Basic Online Verification to verify one’s credential.  However, if you are requiring an official verification, you may choose an official written verification or official electronic verification.  All three of these options are available by visiting




What is the Difference between a Licensed and Certified Athletic Trainer?

National certification is the credential of certification granted by the Board of Certification (BOC). State licensure is granted by an individual state. 




What is the Law that Regulates Athletic Trainers?

Arkansas:  Act 1279 of 1995 established the State Athletic Trainers Committee of the State Board of Physical Therapy.  The effective date of the Act was July 28, 1995, and the act was codified as Ark. Code Ann. 17-93-401 et seq.  The Act was amended by Act 1124 of 2001 to establish the State Board of Athletic Training.  The amendment was effective July 1, 2001.  There was a minor amendment to the law in 2003.

Texas:   Texas Civil Statutes, Article 4512d (the Athletic Trainers Act) is the law that regulates the profession of athletic training in Texas. The law was effective on September 1, 1971 and was amended in 1973, 1975, 1981, 1983, 1997, and 1999. Effective September 1, 1999, the Act is codified in Chapter 451 of the Texas Occupations Code, although some recently amended provisions of Article 4512d remain in effect. Licensed athletic trainers are required to comply with the Act and with all state and federal laws applicable to the services they are providing.



How do I become an Athletic Trainer?

To become a BOC-certified athletic trainer (AT), you must earn a degree from a college or university with an accredited athletic training program, then, depending on your state regulation, take and pass the exam administered by the Board of Certification (BOC).  If you do not have a Bachelors Degree, go to and leave State field blank, select Undergraduate in the Program Type area and then click submit to see the listing of all undergraduate level programs.  If you do have a Bachelors Degree you can get a second bachelor’s from one of the schools mentioned above or you can get a masters in athletic training from a university with an accredited entry level masters program.  There are fewer than 20 of these.  For a list of schools with accredited entry-level masters programs, go to and click on Accredited Programs.  Leave State field blank, select Entry Level Masters in the Program Type area and click submit to see the listing of all entry level masters programs


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To Become a State Licensed Athletic Trainer:

Arkansas:  An applicant for an Arkansas athletic trainer's license must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, meet other curriculum and internship requirements as specified by the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training, pass the examinations administered by the Board of Certification and submit appropriate application forms and fees to the Board.  Notarized proof of employment, performance of duties, and supervision is required as part of the application process.

Texas:   Licensed athletic trainers must hold a college degree, meet the coursework and apprenticeship requirements set out in the board's rules, complete the application process, and successfully complete the Texas Athletic Trainer Written and Practical Examinations.  If an applicant has successfully completed the examination administered by the Board of Certification on or after January 1, 2004, the applicant shall not be required to complete the state licensure examination, unless the applicant has previously held a license issued by the board.



What is the Difference between an Accredited Program and an Internship Program?

In Arkansas and Texas, an accredited program is the only way to achieve a Certified Athletic Trainer credential.  To sit for the BOC certification exam, candidates must graduate from a CAATE (Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited athletic training program. CAATE is the agency responsible for the accreditation of professional (entry-level) Athletic Training educational programs.

In Texas, an internship program allows you to achieve a Licensed Athletic Trainer credential and is regulated by state departments of health services.  



What is the Difference between an Athletic Trainer and a Personal Trainer?

A Personal Trainer is a person who prescribes, monitors and changes an individual’s specific exercise program in a fitness or sports setting.  An Athletic Trainer is a person who meets the qualifications set by a state licensure and/or the Board of Certification, Inc. and practices athletic training under the direction of a physician.

Personal Trainers may or may not have higher education in health sciences.  Athletic Trainers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, which is an allied health profession.  

Personal Trainers may or may not be required to obtain certification.  Athletic Trainers must pass a comprehensive exam before earning the ATC credential.

Personal Trainers may or may not participate in continuing education.  Athletic Trainers must keep their knowledge and skills current by participating in continuing education. 

Personal Trainers may become certified by any one of numerous organizations that set varying education and practice requirements.  Athletic Trainers must adhere to standards of professional practice set by one national certifying agency. 

Daily duties:

Personal Trainers assess fitness needs and design appropriate exercise regimens.  Athletic Trainers provide physical medicine and rehabilitation services. 

Personal Trainers work with clients to achieve fitness goals.  Athletic Trainers prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate injuries (acute and chronic). 

Personal Trainers help educate the public about the importance of physical activity.  Athletic Trainers coordinate care with physicians and other allied health professionals. 

Personal Trainers work in health clubs, wellness centers and various other locations where fitness activities take place.  Athletic Trainers work in schools, colleges, professional sports, clinics, hospitals, corporations, industry, military, performing arts. 





What are the Standards of Professional Practice of an Athletic Trainer?  

The Practice Standards establish essential practice expectations for all Athletic Trainers.  Compliance with the Standards is mandatory.  The Standards are intended to:  assist the public in understanding what to expect from an Athletic Trainer; assist the Athletic Trainer in evaluating the quality of patient care; and assist the Athletic Trainer in understanding the duties and obligations imposed by virtue of holding the ATC® credential.  The Standards are NOT intended to:  prescribe services; provide step-by-step procedures; or ensure specific patient outcomes.  For more detailed information on the Standards of Professional Practice of an Athletic Trainer, visit:



Where do Athletic Trainers work?

Athletic Trainers can be found in many settings.  Although most athletic trainers work at secondary schools, colleges & universities and professional sports teams, athletic trainers are also employed by physician’s offices and hospitals, the military, performing arts and many other settings.   


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Information on Specific Settings:

College and Universities


Secondary Schools




Professional Sports


Hospitals, Clinics & Physician Offices




Performing Arts


Public Safety