Athletic Training Profession

The Certified Athletic Trainer

Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC) are allied health care professionals educated and trained in the prevention, assessment, treatment, rehabilitation of injuries and illness that occur to athletes and the physically active. The athletic training profession has been recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) since 1990. Work settings that athletic trainers are employed in, include secondary schools, college and universities, professional sports, performing arts, military and law enforcement, industrial and commercial, clinics and hospitals, physician offices, and sports medicine clinics.


To become a Certified Athletic Trainer, one must complete a minimum of a bachelor?s degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited athletic training curriculums include coursework in human anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, kinesiology/biomechanics, emergency care, injury/illness prevention and evaluation, therapeutic modalities and exercises, injury rehabilitation, nutrition, psychology, pathology, pharmacology, athletic training program and health care administration. In addition to the coursework, students participate in a variety of clinical experiences under the supervision of a certified athletic trainer.


Certified Athletic Trainers have fulfilled the requirements for certification established by the National Athletic Trainer?s Association Board of Certification, Inc (NATABOC). Only individuals who have completed and passed all the required coursework, documented clinical hours and received their bachelor?s degree from an accredited school can sit for the certification exam. The certification exam consist of three sections: written multiple?choice exam, written simulation exam and a practical exam. Certified Athletic Trainers must meet requirements for State Licensure based on each individual State Law. To maintain certification, certified athletic trainers must obtain seventy five hours of medically related continuing education credits every three years and adhere to a code of ethics.

Professional Organization

The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of health care for athletes and those engaged in physical activity, and the advancement of the Athletic Training Profession through education and research in prevention, evaluation, management, and rehabilitation of injuries. Founded in 1950, NATA today has more than 30,000 members worldwide.

For more information about the NATA and the Certified Athletic Trainer go to National Athletic Trainer's Association

Additional Links

National Athletic Trainers Association
California Community College Athletic Training Association
California Athletic Trainers Association
Far West Athletic Trainers Association
Board of Certification
Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education