Athletic trainers work in the exciting worlds of sports and medicine combined. While athletic trainers are not doctors, they do require specialized knowledge of the human body.
Athletic trainers work with athletes to maintain, improve, and prepare their physical prowess and perform rehabilitative work with injured athletes.
Athletic trainers coordinate with doctors and other healthcare providers to create a healthcare team dedicated to working with individuals through training and other rehabilitative options.
For those looking for a stable career with substantial projected job growth, athletic training is right in the midst of solid choices.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates 7% job growth between 2019 and 2029, creating over 5,000 more jobs by the end of those ten years.
Resume objective for an athletic trainer
Athletic trainers have multiple settings to choose from when looking for work. Schools, colleges, healthcare clinics, sports teams, hospitals, and doctor offices are some of the choices listed by The College of Medicine and Science.
When crafting your resume objective, you will need to consider what experience you’ve previously had and the position for which you are applying.
As I reviewed roughly 15 resumes for this article, I noticed a trend in that candidates mentioned their patient base and statistics about the number of years and how many athletes they have worked with and rehabilitated.
Certified Athletic Trainer with 8 years of experience restoring athletes to the field and achieving peak performance with over a thousand college-level athletes. Extensive knowledge in assessing, treating, and rehabilitating athletic inquiries
Resume skills for an athletic trainer
Athletic trainers possess knowledge of a wide range of first aid and therapeutic treatments and the ability to apply emergency care.
They must also know about preventive care and both short-term and long-term injury treatments.
Many athletic trainers need the ability to lift 100 lbs or more since they are dealing with heavy equipment and assisting athletes in their movements.
WorkInSports.com lists a series of soft-skills that athletic trainers will need. The list includes interpersonal skills, empathy, and attention to detail.
Lastly, while it might not be a skill, a love of or interest in sports will go a long way in this career.
That passion could translate into knowledge since the more familiar you are with a sport, the more you will know about common related injuries.
Quick Reaction Time | Ability to stay calm in high-stress scenarios | Able to lift 125 lbs | First Aid | CPR | Injury Prevention Techniques | Knowledge of sports medicines
Athletic Trainer work experience
Since athletic trainers can work in various locations, your resume’s work experience portion may be somewhat eclectic.
It is also likely you may latch onto one specific area of athletic training and stay there.
I know one person who found a job as an athletic trainer at a private high school and is still there nearly fifteen years later.
The key is to highlight your strengths and the knowledge you have learned over time at your respective positions.
Sample Work Experience
Certified Athletic Trainer, 2012-2020
Worked alongside the Head Athletic Trainer to coordinate events and the treatment of student-athletes. Managed the athletic training room and attended practices and games as assigned.
- Maintained and created the work schedule for the athletic training room
- Traveled s needed with athletic teams
- Supervised work-study and athletic training students
- Oversaw maintenance of equipment and supplies
Pivot Physical Therapy
Certified Athletic Trainer, 2008-2012
Worked at assigned sites performing the duties of an athletic trainer. Sites included athletic games and practices, athletic training rooms, and youth programs. Additionally, I provided educational training at schools and universities on injury prevention.
- Educated athletes on health and nutrition
- Advised athletes on the proper use of equipment
- Evaluated chronic athletic injuries and conditions
- Coordinated and activated emergency medical care when needed
Certified Athletic Trainer, 2000 – 2008
Prevented, recognized, evaluated, and provided immediate care, rehabilitation, and reconditioning of athletic injuries/illnesses. Served s a liaison between MedStar and parents, coaches, physical therapists, and physicians to provide high-quality health care.
- Advocated for safe participation in youth sports and injury prevention
- Provided athletic medicine coverage at events affiliated with MedStar
- Represented MedStar at parent meetings, coach meetings, and ATC meetings
- Maintained individual work schedule in regards to events, training sessions, meetings, and other outside the office responsibilities
Athletic trainer education
To become an athletic trainer, you need to obtain a four-year degree in a certified athletic training program.
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, nearly 70% of all athletic trainers have a master’s degree. However, it is entirely possible to begin your career and work without one.
The most crucial aspect of wherever you obtain your degree is that the program is certified through the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
Sacramento State University
Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training 2006-2010
Athletic training programs fall under kinesiology, and therefore several courses focus on studying the mechanisms and movements of the body.
The program is relatively standard at programs across the country, so there is no need to list individual courses taken.
To work as an athletic trainer, you must become certified. Like other rehabilitative therapy types, like physical or occupational therapy, you must seek certification through the approved organization.
For athletic trainers, that organization is the National Athletic Trainer Association, and the Board of Certification or BOC issues the certification.
The certification is recognized in 49 states and Washington, D.C. If you live or work in California, they are the only state that does not regulate athletic training.
Before you can register to take the exam, you must be a graduate of an accredited athletic training program.
As with any field where you are dealing actively with people and patients having CPR and First Aid, certification is useful.
Another certification that is helpful to have is the Basic Life Support Certification. This certificate can be received from the American Red Cross and other organizations.
Like CPR certification, BLS certification is valid for two years.
- Certified Athletic Trainer ATC
Complete athletic trainer resume sample
The first half of this article discussed in detail the details and information that should be on an athletic trainer’s resume.
Below is an actual job posting; after the job posting is a complete resume example and template that you could use.
This job posting is highly specific and organized, making it easy to read and discover what the employer is looking for.
The physical requirements list stood out because it listed several requirements above ab beyond lifting a specified weight.
A certified athletic trainer with 20+ years of experience working with high school and college-level athletes seeks a position to use and elevate those skills. Experienced with both the field side and in the center working with a wide range of injures and athletes.
Ability to lift 100 lbs | Excellent Physical Stamina | Injury Prevention Techniques | First Aid | Critical Thinking | Physical Flexibility | Respond well under pressure
Assistant Athletic Trainer, 2010-2020
Responsible for assisting the head athletic trainer in providing comprehensive care to 250+ student-athletes. I Assisted in the daily running of the university’s sports medicine program.
- Evaluated and provided acute and chronic orthopedic conditions affecting athletes
- Traveled as required with teams to away games
- Filed Insurance Claims
- Attending meetings as required and represented the University at events
Athletic Trainer, 2008-2010
Under the direct supervision of the physicians, I provided orthopedic care to patients. Assisted in surgery when needed, removed casts, and braces as required. Assessed post-operative wounds and provided post-op education to patients.
- Applied braces, splints, and other assistive devices
- Obtained health histories and filed claims
- Maintained appointments and scheduling
- Removed sutures and assisted with wound care
Chesterfield County High Schools
Athletic Trainer, 1999-2008
I provided coverage and care at assigned county high school sporting events and practices. Educated student-athletes on their injuries and provided rehabilitative services to return them to activity.
- Conducted on-field assessments of injuries
- Advised athletes on the proper use of equipment
- Applied protective and prophylactic devices
- Educated athletes on proper nutrition
- ATC certification by NATBOC
- BLS Healthcare Provider
Master of Science in Athletic Training, 2008-2010
University of Nevada
Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training, 1995-1999
Athletic trainers have the opportunity to make a massive difference in an athlete’s life and potential career.
Athletic trainers exhibit passion and knowledge daily to ensure athletes make it back into play.
It is a steadily growing career with ample opportunities for job growth and advancement.
- Minimin 4 year degree needed, a master is recommended
- Certification is required unless you live in California
- Physical stamina and strength are required
Tips from Experts
“My goal is to constantly change an athlete’s/patient’s lives for the better. We are a part of a select group that has the opportunity to make a difference in an athlete’s life.” -Jake Webster, MS, ATC
“It doesn’t matter what your background is and where you come from, if you have dreams and goals, that’s all that matters.” – Serena Williams, professional tennis player and winner of 21 Grand Slams.
“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” – Timothy Gallwey, Former tennis player and author of ‘The Inner Game’
Do you enjoy being where the action is? Are you able to make quick and accurate decisions under extreme pressure? And do you have an interest in the medical field?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then athletic training might where it’s at for you.
With the opportunity to work anywhere from a physician’s office up to the NFL, there are opportunities and jobs to be found for athletic trainers at every level of the game.