An athletic trainer is someone who treats and helps prevent injuries for athletes and others. She also assesses, rehabilitates, and reconditions an injured person. Although most athletic trainer jobs are found in the sports arena, the number of non-sports related athletic training careers has grown exponentially in the last decade.
The majority of athletic trainer jobs are in the professional sports arena. This is the most common and widespread type of trainer. They are usually the ones who are first on the scene when someone gets injured during practice or a game. Their jobs are to locate, assess, and treat injuries. They work closely with other medical professionals, and are supervised by licensed physicians.
At an undergraduate and graduate level, trainers perform medical support for their team. Many schools have athletic education classes and offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in athletic training. Trainers at these schools may supervise students who are studying to become athletic trainers themselves.
An assistant athletic trainer is generally supervised by the head trainer. Her job is to prevent, evaluate, and treat injuries on a university-level. The assistant also may provide counseling and education to students, as well as take care of basic administrative tasks. Generally an assistant athletic trainer is a student herself with hopes of graduating into the position of athletic trainer.
High school athletic trainers are similar to sports trainers in that they treat game- and practice-related injuries. Many times though, they will also travel with their teams and teach regular classes at the school. This can result in long and variable work hours.
Sports medical clinics are usually staffed with athletic trainers. They are responsible for performing the traditional duties of treating and rehabilitating injuries. They may also may teach classes for high schools or colleges and workshops for coaches.
Athletic trainer jobs are appearing in non-sports related fields much more frequently than a decade ago. Some corporations find it more cost effective to have on-site medical care. Athletic trainers can provide their services to company employees and often work fewer hours than sports-related trainers. Although many work in a hospital setting, athletic trainer jobs can also be found with other organizations, such as within the armed forces, or with dance companies.
It has become increasingly common to find athletic trainer jobs as staff at a physicians practice. This can be a desirable position, because at a practice there are less hours and more room for growth. This type of job can also lead to a managerial position for some trainers.