Allied Health Profession


Certified Athletic Trainers

March is National Athletic Training Month.




Certified athletic trainers:
Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are medical professionals who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active. As part of a complete health care team, the ATC works under the direction a licensed physician and in cooperation with other health care professionals.



Practice settings:
Certified athletic trainers can be found almost anywhere people are physically active. Whether it be on the playing field or in an industrial work setting, ATCs are in place to help active people prevent injuries and stay healthy. Here are some of the places you will find them:

Education requirements:
ATCs must have, at a minimum, a bachelor's degree, usually in athletic training. ATCs also participate in extensive clinical affiliations with athletic teams under appropriate supervision. Students who want to become ATCs must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum.

Accredited undergraduate education programs include formal instruction in a variety of areas, including: injury/illness prevention; first aid and emergency care; assessment of injury/illness; human anatomy and physiology; therapeutic modalities; and nutrition. More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold an advanced degree.

Certified athletic trainers have fulfilled the entry level requirements for certification established by the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification ( The certification examination consists of: a written part with multiple choice questions; a practical section that evaluates the skill components of the domains within athletic training; and a written simulation test, consisting of athletic training related situations designed to approximate real-life decision making. In addition to the exam, ATCs must maintain continuing education, and meet individual state regulatory requirements in most states. To determine if these added requirements apply, ATCs must check with states in which they practice.

National Athletic Trainers' Association:
The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), headquartered in Dallas, Texas, was founded in 1950. Today, the NATA membership spans the globe and includes 30,000 members.

The mission of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) is to enhance the quality of health care for athletes and those engaged in physical activity and to advance the profession of athletic training through education and research in prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of injuries.

For more information, contact:
National Athletic Trainers' Association
2952 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75247 USA
214-637-6282 voice
214-637-2206 fax

Last updated: March 2003