Sports Medicine Careers

Fitness and Sports Medicine

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in the field of sports medicine. Read on to learn more about common education requirements, certification, job outlook and potential salary. Schools offering .

Athletic trainers work in every kind of collegiate and professional athletic program. Additionally, it is possible to become a licensed physician specializing in sports medicine. If working in this field appeals to you, refer to the chart below for an overview of these two career paths.

Athletic Trainer Physician specializing in sports medicine
Degree Required Bachelor's M.D.
Licensure State certification required State licensure required
Key Responsibilities Diagnose and evaluate injuries, develop and oversee rehabilitation programs, maintain accurate records and apply simple preventive care devices such as ice, tape, bandages and braces Diagnose and treat various athletic injuries, recommend and implement specialized treatment plans to help heal injuries, document patient progress and answer patient questions or concerns
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 19% for all athletic trainers and exercise physiologists* 18% for all physicians and surgeons*
Median Salary (2014) $43, 370* $165, 143**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **PayScale.com

What Sorts of Jobs Can I Hold in Sports Medicine?

The duties of a trainer include the treating and preventing of a wide range of injuries within athletic contests. A career in athletic training usually entails formal education and health and exercise science certifications. Furthermore, a majority of professional trainers possess advanced credentials in their field.

In addition to trainers, physicians and surgeons may specialize in sports medicine issues. Orthopedic surgeons frequently perform operations to treat athlete's damaged ligaments and tendons. Physicians are also on hand during major sporting events to diagnose and treat serious injuries like concussions and spinal damage.

What Kind of Education Do I Need?

Athletic trainers generally need to possess a bachelor's degree. Many large universities have health programs that offer 4-year degrees with an emphasis on sports medicine. Your courses in these programs will include a general core curriculum in the humanities and sciences, as well as more focused studies with courses such as anatomy and nutrition. Additionally, many of these programs provide opportunities for aspiring sports medicine practitioners to assist with their collegiate athletic teams.

It's Interesting

  • This is the first season (2004-2005) of the American medical drama television series House. Counting the pilot, season 1 includes a total of 22 episodes.

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