What is an Athletic Trainer?



Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals that specialize in treating athletic and physically active individuals. Under the direction of a physician, athletic trainers treat patients and collaborate with other healthcare professionals. 


Are personal trainers and athletic trainers the same profession?

No! This is a common misconception. Athletic trainers are nationally credentialed by the Board of Certification (BOC) and state licensed healthcare professionals. Athletic trainers are highly educated with many holding advanced degrees. Personal trainers are not licensed healthcare professionals and often not required to hold a college degree. 


Where are athletic trainers employed?

Traditionally working with athletes in high schools, colleges, and professional sports, recently athletic trainers’ roles have been expanding in health care administration, physicians offices, industrial, military and performing arts arenas.


What is the value of employing an athletic trainer?

Athletic trainers are the leaders in health and safety in sport. They help facilitate a high level of healthcare, ensure safe participation, improve patient outcomes, and limit unnecessary healthcare costs. Athletic trainers often oversee compliance to state and federal healthcare laws. Employing athletic trainers allow organizations to maintain a high standard of care all individuals deserve.


What type of skills do athletic trainers have?

Athletic training includes the prevention, evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries as well as management of on-field emergencies. Following injury, the goal of an athletic trainer is to return the individual to their optimal level of performance and function. Athletic trainers are trained to treat everything from ankle sprains to concussions. 


How do I become an athletic trainer? 

To become an athletic trainer an individual must graduate with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited professional athletic training education program and pass a comprehensive test administered by the Board of Certification (BOC). After obtaining certification on-going continuing education is required to maintain certification. Athletic trainers must also obtain a state license to practice as a healthcare professional. 


Are there athletic training programs in New Jersey?

There are five accredited professional athletic training education programs in the state of New Jersey, with Monmouth University in Central Jersey pursuing accreditation for its new program. Each program offers students unique opportunities to become an athletic trainer. For more information about these programs please visit their websites. 

Kean University

William Paterson University

Rowan University

Montclair State University

Seton Hall University


For more information about New Jersey athletic training educational programs visit ATSNJ Schools.

For more information about athletic trainers visit the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.