Athletic trainers can expect a median salary of about $39,600. This is also working for $19 per hour. The range of salaries for the middle 50% of employed athletic trainers is recorded to be between $35,900 and $44,600, or between $17 and $21 per hour. Athletic trainers working in the lowest 10th percentile can see a starting salary around $32,500 or less. This is equivalent to $16 per hour or less. However, those working in the top 10th percentile can see a salary of about $49,200 per year ($24 or higher per hour).
Many factors can affect the differences in salaries for athletic trainers. Some factors may include experience, certification, and geographic location. These factors affect the salaries of most professionally employed persons in any field. Specifically for athletic trainers, experience and proper certification will equal a much higher salary. Metropolitan areas tend to pay higher wages to many employees, but some states tend to pay higher salaries than others. Therefore, geographic location is important. The states in which athletic trainers gained the highest income are New Jersey, Connecticut, Utah, Texas, and the District of Colombia.
The total compensation package for the average athletic trainer will be about $58,400. Paid benefits offered by an employer may include vacation time, health insurance, social security, and pension. However, there are other benefits that may be offered.
Job Description of an Athletic Trainer
Athletic trainers work in various facilities involving athletic health care programs. The usual duties of an athletic trainer may include assessing and treating injuries, as well as helping in the reconditioning process. Athletic trainers may also educate athletes concerning the prevention of injuries. Proper techniques of taping, bracing, strapping, and the fitting of athletic equipment must be demonstrated by these professionals.
Furthermore, athletic trainers must attend pre-season physicals, sports games, and other related events involving the performance of the assigned athletes/team. Concerning injuries to any of the athletes, the player may not continue in any games or activities until the athletic trainer has deemed him or her fit to play.
How to Become an Athletic Trainer
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To become an athletic trainer, one must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in a major concerning the athletic training and health care field. The school or program in which the student is enrolled must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
Next, the student must complete a minimum of two years of clinical experience in the field. Facilities can be found through the school or program from which the student has graduated. The student will complete various activities involved in the job field under the supervision of a certified athletic trainer.
The Athletic Trainer Credential must then be obtained, but only after all of the above has been completed. Earning the credential involves an examination. BOC certification is the only acknowledged certification for athletic trainers, so their guidelines and requirements must be met in order to gain certification as an athletic trainer and enter the working field.
Athletic Trainer Salary in Other Countries (UK, Canada and Australia)
The salaries expected for an athletic trainer in other first world countries are roughly the same as those found in the United States. Canadian athletic trainers should bring home an average salary of C$37,700. Australian athletic trainers can expect an average annual salary of AU$49,500.
The United Kingdom (U.K.) pays her athletic trainers along the same lines. £22,500 is the average annual salary for an athletic trainer working in the U.K. This is equivalent to about $36,000 in the United States.
Verdict on Athletic Trainer Salary
The salary for an athletic trainer may seem a little low, considering the schooling required to become a professional in the field. Around six years will pass before an athletic trainer can become certified. Furthermore, athletic trainers work in the health care industry. These are some of the lowest salaries within that field. The best thing to hope for is to apply for jobs with major league and national teams. Perhaps then the salary will be higher.