An athletic traine seeking employment in today?s job market is likely to encounter many problems and obstacles along the way. The need for higher education greatly affects the prospect for the athletic trainer with only the baccaulereate degree. Those with this degree are better suited to seek employment in the rehabilitative therapy clinic setting. Many of these clinics have contracts with the local high schools or university thus allowing for more employees and allowing these entry level positions. Clinics also tebd to employ the student trainers who also have a tendency to move on after their education. With third party payees coming more into this field there should be an increase in the job availability for the athletic trainer in the clinical setting.
There are also many openings for trainers in the high school level. The down side to this area of work is that this position is not generally based on the care and concern for the health and well being of the student athlete but is contingent on the budget aspect.
The most dismal field for an athletic trainer seeking employment is in the college level. Athletic trainers most certainly need advanced degrees as well as certification of the National Athletic Trainers Association. Most Athletic trainers in this level have accepted employment while in college or attending that particular university. The college level for the athletic trainer position has not increased over the past few years- due impart to the hiring of the student trainers leaving no openings for the athletic trainer who is seeking full time employment.
Obviously there is a definite need for advanced degrees in todays society, if one is seeking employment as an athletic trainer due to the fact that there is a very limited job field and openings are few and far between.
In order to be fully prepared for the position of athletic trainer in todays sports related society, the potential trainer needs to obtain the minimum of a baccalaureate degree with a designated course of study. They need to have studied thoroughly anatomy and physiology, physiology of exercise, rehabilitation, kineseiology, psychology, injury evaluation and also emergency care procedures and techniques. Before meeting the requirements to become eligible to test for the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) a potential trainer needs a minumum of 800 clinical hours of experience or 1500 hours if not enrolled in an accredited athletic training education program. The NATA also requires continuing education units for a certified trainer to remain certified through them.
The steps to obtaining a career in the field of athletic training are fairly simple. A desire to work in the sports related field is obviously the driving force for most. A BA is the minimum degree along with clinical hours of experience as noted earlier. Also the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification requires continuing education classed to maintain and update your knowledge of new procedures. A Masters Degree is often sought by the athletic trainer to further advance their career. A select few often go on and pursue a doctoral degree and progress on to become instructors.
A few of these problems are, but not limited to, the following:
Budgeting problems : many athletic trainers have learned how to ?juggle? funds and become extremely frugal to maintain within the budget limitations.
Travel: there is often the need for the trainer to accompany the team or athletes on the road to games and sports events which poses a hardship both on the trainers life and the life of their families.
There will always be the legal aspects of the job field to content with for the athletic trainers. There is a definate need for the explicit following of all rules and procedures in order to try to prevent any egal ramifications. While employeed at any particular school or clinic a trainer should be covered at all times by the schools liability policy. All athletes are required to sign a waiver when they decide to participate in the sport of their choice and this too is a protective measure for both the trainer and the school or the clinic.
Although it may seem like the problems along with the dismal job openings are a great deal to contend with when one is contemplating choosing the field of Athletic Training there are a great many pluses to this field too. Many a trainer has a feeling of camaradarie with his athletes feeling of being one of the team…being one with the boys. They also feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when their team or athlete does well also.
An athletic trainer tends to become an integral part of an athletes life as they see each other on a daily basis in the training room or at the clinic. Athletes often come to the trainer for advice on how to maintain the health of their bodies as well as with the rehabilitation of their injuries. The trainer is there to offer advice and also for the support when an athlete is feeling down and about recovery. This is a very important part of the job.