How Much Money Does an Athletic Trainer Make?


Athletic trainers are members of the health care field who work in identifying, preventing, recovering from and managing conditions and injuries that relate to physical activity. Athletic training is a career choice for people who are interested in physical activity and have the ability to handle stressful situations. Other traits of an athletic trainer include strong communication, time management skills and the ability to work with your hands.


  • An athletic trainer works under a licensed physician or other health care professional to treat patients who range from professional athletes to industrial workers. These trainers treat multiple musculoskeletal injuries and can be the first people to arrive on scene at an injury. Athletic trainers assess and identify an injury and prevent further injury by giving advice and using proper equipment. Some of the equipment includes injury-prevention devices like bandages, tape and braces. Athletic trainers can also be involved in rehabilitating and reconditioning injuries.


  • Most athletic trainers receive a bachelor's degree in a related field like exercise and sports science with courses including anatomy, nutrition, physiology and biomechanics. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a National Athletic Trainers' Association survey found that nearly 70 percent of trainers have received a master's degree or higher education. A master's degree is needed for certain jobs like university or college positions. Forty-seven states require certification for an athletic trainer to begin working, which is in the form of an exam given by the Board of Certification Inc. Certification in the other three states (West Virginia, California and Alaska) is voluntary, but it can still help trainers seeking job placement.


  • According to, the middle 50 percent of all athletic trainers earned an average annual salary of $35,743 to $45,348 as of December 2010. The lower 10 percent had an annual salary below $32,467, and the top 10 percent earned more than $50,817. The median salary was $39,342, and the average benefits package was an average of $3,020. An athletic trainer's salary varies depending on job responsibilities, job setting and experience.


  • The prospects for jobs in the athletic training field are extremely positive, as the number of positions is projected to grow 37 percent from 2008 to 2018, reports the BLS. This is more than three times the national average of all job projections during the same decade. The number of positions is expected to grow in the health care industry, in recreation and fitness centers and in high schools, while open positions will remain low in the professional and college sports world.


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