Want to be involved in sports medicine but not spend four more years in school? Being a sports medicine technician is a lucrative and burgeoning career that does not require six more years of school like being a physician or medical doctor. In fact, entry-level positions typically require only a bachelor’s degree. Even though the requirements are less strenuous than a doctor, sports medicine technicians still help patients one-on-one while they work on improving their fitness, treating pain, or recovering from injury.
Employment and Advancement Opportunities
The wonderful thing about being a technician is the employment and advancement opportunities. As a technician gains experience he can work toward a more senior position. It can also be a good foundation for people who may want to continue their education in sports medicine but also want to learn more about the field before they invest time and money in a new career path. After practicing as a technician, you can easily continue your education in a similar field such as physical therapy. With the advent of online education you can advance in your career while you work. As an experienced technician you may also consider applying to medical school where you can specialize in sports medicine.
Trainers can work in a variety of settings including professional sports teams, school athletic programs, dance or gymnastic companies, business fitness programs, or even military academies. Depending on your career goals and ideal work environment you may choose one job over another, but often the roles of the medicine technician will be similar.
Sports medicine technicians, or assistant athletic trainers, aid head athletic trainers with emergency injury assessment, treatment, and educating athletes about strategies to prevent injuries. Technicians work with physicians and athletic trainers to design and implement treatment and rehabilitation measures.
Most states require athletic trainers to be certified by the Board of Certification. This is important to set a common standard among all athletic trainers and to protect the public from unqualified trainers. Once certified, trainers can work for individuals, private companies, schools, or even the government. With that said, however, some state educational systems may require further certification.
These are accredited programs where you can receive your certification:
- The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- America's Authority on Fitness (ACE)
- The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)