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What Athletic Trainers Do

Athletic trainers specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses. They work with people of all ages and all skill levels, from young children to soldiers and professional athletes. They work under the direction of a physician, as well as other healthcare providers.


Athletic trainers typically do the following:

Athletic trainers are usually one of the first healthcare providers on the scene when injuries occur. Athletic trainers work under the direction of a licensed physician and with other healthcare providers. They often discuss specific injuries and treatment options or evaluate and treat patients as directed by a physician. Some athletic trainers meet with a team physician or consulting physician regularly. An athletic trainer’s administrative responsibilities may include regular meetings with an athletic director or other administrative officer to deal with budgets, purchasing, policy implementation, and other business-related issues.

Athletic trainers should not be confused with fitness trainers and instructors, including personal trainers. For more information , see the profile on fitness trainers and instructors.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition