Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who identify, prevent and take care of injuries that occur as a result of playing sports or any other physical activities. Athletic trainers usually attend all the games and practices of the sports teams that they are employed in. When there are injuries in the field, athletic trainers are the first people who respond. Sometimes, athletic trainers are part of a health care team and work under the supervision of a physician to come up with the best treatment plans for injured players. They also work with players to prevent injuries from occurring. Athletic trainers may be employed by colleges, high schools, universities or professional sports organizations and in medical centers.
How Much Do Athletic Trainers Make
Many athletic trainers are employed full time and receive benefits from their employers just like all other employees. How much athletic trainers make varies greatly depending on several factors such as job responsibilities and experience. The kind of sport that you work in as an athletic trainer also dictates the amount of salary you earn with football paying the highest salaries while racing pays the least according to a survey conducted by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2011. Gender and education level also influences the salary of an athletic trainer. A woman with 10 years experience in the field will not earn the same as a man with the same qualifications. Men are paid higher than women.
Specifically, men’s basketball trainers earn $88,444; football trainers earn $128,458; performing arts trainers earn $68,207; racing trainers earn $50,000; professional baseball trainers earn an average of $51,451 annually; soccer trainers earn $50,167 and hockey trainers earn $51,251.
Highest paid athletic trainers
Athletic trainers who work for professional sports organizations take home the highest salaries in the field. According to the (BLS) Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012, the mean salary of an athletic trainer is $42,090 annually. There are some states that have the highest annual salaries for athletic trainers such as New Jersey where athletic trainers earn $59,090, Washington D.C.,$52,900 in Texas and $51,680 in Massachusetts.
Athletic trainer job description
Athletic trainers work with athletes of different ages to prevent, diagnose and treat any injuries that occur on the muscles or bones. They work together with physicians and other professionals in the healthcare industry when complicated medical care such as MRIs are required for proper treatment.
Since athletic trainers are not professional doctors, they only offer basic medical care. They work for sports teams and are able to quickly offer emergency care when a physician is not available. They also apply bandages; braces and tape to assist athletes prevent or recover from any injuries incurred. They also help in preventing injuries by advising on the correct use of equipment. Prevention of injuries includes educating people on what they are supposed to do to avoid putting themselves at the risk of injuries. It is important not to confuse athletic trainers with personal or fitness trainers who train people to get fit but are not health care workers.
Although athletic trainers are supervised by a licensed physician and or other health care providers as they work, the level of supervision varies depending on the settings. There are some athletic trainers who meet with the consulting physician once or twice a week while others meet on a daily basis. The level of supervision varies from discussing particular injuries and the best treatment options with a physician to carrying out treatments and evaluations as per the physician’s directions.
Athletic trainers attend home and road games and practices and offer emergency and first aid treatment to players. They carry their equipment in trunks, which are usually moved to and from the field during games and practices. Athletic trainers always stay on the sidelines and treat injuries immediately they arise. They may diagnose and treat players in the field or carry players to the locker room where they are attended to. Athletic trainers also communicate using handheld radios with other trainers and coaches to monitor player’s hydration during practices and games.
After practices and games, athletic players use ice and any other necessary equipment to treat injuries sustained by players when they were in the field playing. In serious cases, the trainers ask the players to seek extra medical services from the team’s physician.
Sometimes, athletic trainers have administrative duties. These duties may include meetings with an athletic director so as to deal with budgets, implementation of given policies and any other administrative roles that are related to their job description
Work environment for athletic trainers
The work condition of athletic trainers requires frequent interactions with others. This involves consultations with physicians and frequent contact with patients and athletes to give treatments, practices to prevent injuries and other issues that are health related. Most athletic trainers work indoors in most cases, while there are others like those in sport-related jobs, who spend most of their time working outdoors.
This job may require you to stand for prolonged periods of time while working with medical machinery and be able to walk, kneel, run, squat or crawl. If you are working with a professional sports team, you may be required to travel often.
The schedules of athletic trainers vary according to the work setting. Those trainers who work in settings that are not for sports have well established routines with weekends and nights off and specific number of hours set which are about 40 to 50 hours weekly depending on the employer. Athletic trainers who work in hospitals and clinics use part of their time in other different outreach locations. Often, those outreach locations include secondary schools, colleges and community centers. Athletic trainers who are in sports usually deal with longer schedules that keep on changing every time. These trainers must be present during team practices and games, which in most cases are during the evenings and weekends and even then, their schedules can change on very short notice when the games are rescheduled. Due to this, athletic trainers who are in sports may work 6 to 7 days in a week including very odd hours.
As with most health related jobs, there is some stress level being an athletic trainer. Athletic trainers are usually responsible for the health of their clients and they sometimes have to make very fast decisions that can risk the health or career of their patient. They are also affected by the pressure to win a game which is very typical of all competitive sports.