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Andrea Santiago

Athletic Trainer: A Top Health Career for 2011 and Beyond

By February 28, 2011

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Athletic Trainers Treat the Athlete in Everyone

Athletic training was recognized earlier this year as a top health career by US News & World Report, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects "much faster than average" growth for this profession through 2018. Careers in sports medicine are often popular among former athletes, and anyone who is interested in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

The general public often confuse athletic trainers with personal trainers or fitness trainers. However, athletic trainers are allied health professionals, and their role is very different from that of personal or fitness trainers. Furthermore, athletic trainers must have a bachelor's degree, and many have a master's degree as well.

Athletic trainers work with sports teams, students, workers, or any patients or clients who may need help recuperating from an injury or need physical rehabilitation. In addition to helping people recover from injuries, they also help athletes (or other groups) prevent injuries and optimize athletic or sports performance with strength training and conditioning.

March is Athletic Trainers month, according to the National Athletic Trainers' Association. The theme for 2011 is "Not All Athletes Wear Jerseys - Athletic Trainers Treat the Athlete in You". Therefore, it's a great time to explore this rapidly growing career. Athletic training is a fast-paced career that will keep you physically active, and allow you to remain near the action on the playing field, if you are able to score one of the most desired jobs working with a sports team.

If you are truly passionate about sports and athletes, the job is more like play than work, according to Bart Peterson, MSS, ATC/L. Peterson, who currently works at Palo Verde High Magnet School in Arizona, shares a lot of enthusiasm for the profession. "Work is not easy, no matter the profession.  I, however, don't go to work, I go to play," Peterson says. "I am blessed to do what I love and I get paid for it!" Peterson has worked as an athletic trainer since 1988, and he provides excellent insight and advice about the profession in the athletic trainer career overview.

More: How to Become an Athletic Trainer - Career Overview

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March 1, 2011 at 4:50 am
(1) Elena says:

I think my mom needs an athletic trainer. My mom won the battle with breast cancer, but she had 2 heart strokes..

March 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm
(2) Jen Green says:

Thank you for posting the distinction between the two. I’m very grateful. One of my friends has just become a personal trainer, but now I’m going to have to ask her if it’s actually personal training, or if it’s athletic training that she does… Lol, thanks!

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