Athletic trainers are allied health professionals who work with athletes to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries. Although many athletic trainers work in the sports medicine field, others may work in other settings, such as hospitals, orthopedic clinics, and occupational health facilities.
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Many colleges and universities offer programs in athletic training leading to certification and licensure. However, some states require athletic trainers to have a bachelor’s degree before they can be certified or licensed. The Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) offers a voluntary certification program for athletic trainers who meet specific education, experience and examination requirements
Athletic trainers typically need at least an associate’s degree from an accredited athletic training program to work in the field. Although a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some entry-level positions, most employers prefer or require athletic trainers to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Some colleges and universities offer Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in athletic training, which typically take four years to complete. These programs usually include courses in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, first aid, and sports medicine, as well as coursework in other related sciences. In addition to academic coursework, B.S. and B.A. programs in athletic training typically include clinical rotations, during which students gain practical experience working with athletes and patients under the supervision of licensed athletic trainers.
A bachelor’s degree in athletic training, physical education, or a related field is required to become an athletic trainer. Many colleges and universities offer programs in athletic training, and most have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). An accredited program typically requires four years of full-time study and includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences.
Athletic trainers typically need a bachelor’s degree, although some jobs may require a master’s degree. Courses in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and exercise science are important for individuals who wish to become athletic trainers. Many programs also include courses in first aid and emergency care. Some states require athletic trainers to be licensed or certified.
To become an athletic trainer, one must graduate with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited athletic training program. Then, they must sit for and pass the Board of Certification (BOC) exam. After that, they must maintain their certification by completing continuing education units (CEUs).
NATA Board of Certification (BOC)
All states regulate athletic trainers and most states require licensure, registration or certification. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Certification, Inc. (NATA-BOC) is a nonprofit organization that provides credentialing services for the athletic training profession.
To be eligible for the NATA-BOC examination, candidates must have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited athletic training education program and completed a professional preceptorship. Other requirements include current CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer certification and liability insurance. Candidates who meet all eligibility requirements and pass the examination are awarded the ATC® credential.
To become an athletic trainer, one must graduate from an accredited athletic training program with a bachelor’s degree or higher. After completing an accredited program, the individual must then pass a national exam administered by the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC). Once these steps have been completed, the individual will be credentialed as an athletic trainer and can begin working in the field.
In order to practice, athletic trainers must obtain state licensure, certification, or registration, as required. Each state has its own requirements for licensure, but all states require certification by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Certification (NATABOC). Most states also require that athletic trainers complete a bachelor’s degree program in athletic training from an accredited institution. Certification by NATABOC and a bachelor’s degree are generally the minimum requirements for state licensure. Some states may have additional requirements, such as passing an examination or completing continuing education credits.