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Sports medicine is a discipline that focuses on recognizing, diagnosing, and treating sports-related injuries. Professionals who work in the field may take jobs as fitness trainers, nutritionists, athletic trainers, and physical therapists. In order to earn a sports medicine degree, you must first graduate from high school with acceptable grades in your math and science coursework. After graduation, you can either enroll in a college or university program that will result in a sports medicine degree, or you can enroll at a two-year or community college to take coursework that will satisfy prerequisites for a bachelor's degree program.
It helps to think about your intended career path before you enroll in a sports medicine degree program. This will help you determine what level of education you need to pursue in order to get the job you want. With an associate's degree, for example, you may not be qualified for most jobs in the field. A bachelor's degree will qualify you for many jobs in the field, but some jobs, such as physical therapist, will require a sports medicine degree at the master's level or higher. It may be possible to take part in a degree program that sets you up to complete both a bachelor's and a master's degree in the least amount of time possible.
Once you earn your sports medicine degree, you may need to work toward other certifications or qualifications before you can be considered for a job. You will need to research if local laws or regulations dictate any certifications or additional qualification requirements; some colleges or universities will include certifications or additional qualifications in the degree program curriculum, while other programs may require you to satisfy such requirements on your own. Be sure to do as much research as possible into each degree program to ensure you choose the one that is best for your needs.
Some sports medicine jobs will require you to complete an apprenticeship or job training program after you finish a degree. During this period of time, you will work with a more experienced professional in the field to learn more about the day-to-day tasks you will be expected to complete. The duration of this job training program can vary significantly according to the type of job as well as various factors outlined by a specific company or entity, though you can expect to spend anywhere from one to four years in the job training phase.