Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Baccalaureate degree programs require 4 years of study. Postbaccalaureate programs are generally 2 years.
Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences.
More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree. Almost all states require that athletic trainers hold the ATC (Athletic Trainer, Certified) credential. The ATC credential is supported by three pillars:
-BOC certification examination,
-BOC Standards of Practice and Disciplinary Process
-Continuing competence requirements.
The computer-based examination verifies that the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for competent performance as an athletic trainer have been met.