Athletic Trainer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Athletic Trainers Career Video



Evaluates and advises individuals to assist recovery from or avoid athletic-related injuries or illnesses, or maintain peak physical fitness. May provide first aid or emergency care.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Evaluates athletes' readiness to play and provides participation clearances when necessary and warranted.
  • Cares for athletic injuries, using physical therapy equipment, techniques, or medication.
  • Conducts an initial assessment of an athlete's injury or illness to provide emergency or continued care and to determine whether they should be referred to physicians for definitive diagnosis and treatment.
  • Assesses and reports the progress of recovering athletes to coaches or physicians.
  • Performs general administrative tasks, such as keeping records or writing reports.
  • Applies protective or injury preventive devices, such as tape, bandages, or braces, to body parts, such as ankles, fingers, or wrists.
  • Plans or implements comprehensive athletic injury or illness prevention programs.
  • Collaborates with physicians to develop and implement comprehensive rehabilitation programs for athletic injuries.
  • Advises athletes on the proper use of equipment.
  • Travels with athletic teams to be available at sporting events.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Athletic Instructor --