Athletic trainers provide assistance to doctors in the sports medicine industry. Athletic trainers are on the front lines of care and avoidance of sports related injuries. The minimal requirement to become an athletic trainers is to get a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. However, most trainers do choose to continue their studies and complete a master’s program. In college, students learn the skills they need to provide treatment and early diagnosis to athletes so they can avoid injury on the field. An athletic training bachelors degree takes four years to complete.
Bachelors Degree Athletic Training requires that you have a keen interest in fitness, health and medicine. The program for the degree involves a set of classroom work and hands-on experience working with athletic teams at local schools or on campus. Inside the classroom, students learn injury treatment and prevention, anatomy, and physiology. The clinical portion of the degree program exposes students to the daily work of an athletic trainer so they know exactly what to expect in a potential career. An athletic training bachelors degree isn’t only a stepping stone to operating in the sports medicine industry, it can become a pathway to physical therapy or medical school as well.
A Bachelors degree in athletic training often leads to careers in high schools. In most states, athletic trainers working in high schools are required to get a teacher’s certification in addition to their undergraduate degree. Many universities offer a teaching certification program for students interested in working inside schools. Students can often complete the certification while finishing their athletic training bachelors degree or enter in the program upon graduation. Typically, teaching certification programs involve one to two years of class work, including being a teacher’s aid inside a real school.
There are athletic training degrees at both the bachelor’s a master’s degree levels. Although there may be plenty of unaccredited programs throughout the United States, it is sensible to go with an accredited athletic training degree program. First, it will qualify you for BOC certification as an athletic trainer. Second, there may be state legal licensing or certification requirements that include graduation from an accredited course. Thus, anyone seeking a career as an athletic trainer should learn how to identify and choose from the various accredited programs.
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The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) is the major accrediting organization for athletic trainer degree programs. Do not confuse CAATE accreditation with the college or university’s general accreditation. They are different, so you need to take part in a degree course that is accredited by CAATE if at all possible.
To find bachelor’s-degree programs in athletic training, go to the accreditation search engine at the CAATE website. In the search options, you’ll see a ‘Program Type’ dropdown menu. Select ‘UND’ to get the accredited athletic trainer degree program list. In a search conducted in August of 2011, there were 342 CAATE-accredited programs at that 4-year-degree level. Naturally, this large of a certain number means that there are a number of options for schooling in and around every U.S. state at the undergraduate level.
There are non-traditional options available at most schools to help students reach that goal, for individuals dreaming of earning a bachelors degree athletic training. Many universities offer athletic training degree programs online in addition to traditional campus classes. The online option may be ideal for students who cannot commit to being a full-time college student or commute to campus. However, students who consider this option need to bear in mind that there are downsides to not being in a real classroom. Online training lacks the human interaction and onsite laboratory facilities found in classrooms. Online students will still need to carry out the clinical context of the bachelor’s program at a local facility.