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Athletic Trainer Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does an Athletic Trainer Do?

An athletic trainer specializes in the management, prevention, and recovery of injured athletes. They are often the first medical professionals on the scene after a sports-related injury. Athletic trainers work alongside doctors to develop injury prevention and treatment programs for injured athletes. They are also responsible for handling communication between the athlete, physician, and coach to determine the right time to return to practice. 

Athletic trainers function as essential members of the healthcare team at schools, hospitals, fitness centers, and professional sports teams. They work with patients of all ages and should be compassionate and detail-oriented individuals. An athletic trainer should also have strong decision-making and interpersonal skills, along with a passion for sports and working with athletes.

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National Average Salary

Athletic trainer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for an Athletic Trainer is:


Athletic Trainer Job Descriptions

The key to attracting the ideal athletic trainer often lies in the job description. To make this task easier, we have curated a selection of examples that can be used as templates, ensuring you set the right foundation for your talent search.

Example 1

Desired characteristics

  • As a team member, do you often find yourself in the position of guiding the decisions about what the team should do?
  • Do you thrive when you work amongst friends in a truly collegial environment?
  • Can you inspire and motivate others to achieve challenging goals and exceed expectations?
  • Are you at your best when you are empowered to determine your goals and decide on the direction of your work day?
  • Are you someone who puts the needs of your patients/customers above all else?
  • Do you enjoy it when people depend on you for help?
  • Can you communicate effectively with anyone at any time, no matter how busy you are?

If you answered yes to these questions, being an On-Site Athletic Trainer for ABC Company may be a great fit for you!


Athletic trainers in this position are responsible for providing injury prevention programming including functional assessments, individual and group conditioning, corrective exercise programs, and educational presentations under the direction of the Program Medical Director.


  • BS Degree REQUIRED
  • National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) certification
  • Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification

Industrial setting preferred qualifications or experience

  • Desired 1-2 years of experience in an industrial/occupational setting.
  • Knowledge and an understanding of OSHA regulations and standards in first aid treatment in an industrial setting.
  • Basic understanding of ergonomics and body mechanic assessment.
  • Desired exposure and/or certifications in movement screens, postural assessments, and corrective exercises.
  • Bilingual (desired but not required).

Physical requirements

  • Ability to lift patients using biomedical techniques frequently throughout the course of a work day/shift; must be capable of easily lifting fifty (50) pounds of weight alone.
  • Ability to walk, bend, stand, and reach constantly during a work day/shift.
  • Visual acuity (near and distant) is sufficient to maintain accurate records, recognize people, and understand written directions.
  • Ability to speak and hear sufficiently to understand and give directions.
  • Ability to push wheeled equipment throughout the facility and in the community.
  • Fine motor skills adequate for scheduling and preparing athletes, equipment, and supplies for treatment.
  • Ability to participate in sustained activities for many hours in duration in accordance with state labor laws.

Example 2


The certified athletic trainer (AT) is responsible for evaluating and treating injuries and conditions which interfere with the pursuit of an active lifestyle and for assessing and implementing programs to improve physical fitness levels. The scope of these services is outlined in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) scope of practice and the State of Ohio athletic training practice act.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Functions within the designated scope of practice and maintain ethical conduct.
  • Completes documentation for athlete/patient care for the high school outreach schools according to the organization and department guidelines.
  • Demonstrates understanding of and the ability to follow processes/guidelines for each service or program they work in.
  • Demonstrates flexibility with schedule to fulfill services at contracted schools and community events, including evening and weekend hours as assigned.
  • Demonstrates behaviors that foster a positive work environment.
  • Attends and participates in required meetings.
  • Adheres to the organization and department policies and procedures, ABC Company Core values, and Hospitality House Rules.
  • Accepts direction to assist in all work areas as census requires.
  • Ability to understand and react effectively to the unique needs of patients in all age groups served.
  • Participates in program improvement activities to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.
  • Maintains CEU requirements and provides staff with in-services as appropriate.
  • Supports and contributes to organizational/department cost savings initiatives.
  • Assists with maintaining department appearance.
  • The Employee Wellness program, provides evaluation, testing, and treatment based on the employee’s fitness level and goals.
  • Provides evaluation, testing, and follow-up with physicians and others as necessary for patients in the Sports Walk-in Clinic.
  • Demonstrates skills and abilities to provide Outreach services to contracted school(s).
  • Participates in the development and marketing of Sports Medicine Outreach programs.
  • Demonstrates knowledge in the use of modalities, including but not limited to, ultrasound, phonophoresis, electrical stimulation, and iontophoresis.
  • Assists with fitting and ordering off-the-shelf braces (i.e. ankle, knee, shoulder) as appropriate.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Performs all duties, with or without accommodations, listed in the Physical Demands section of this job description.


  • Licensed in the State of XYZ as an athletic trainer
  • BLS Certified through American Heart Association
  • Ohio driver’s license and car insurance
  • Bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.) from a four-year college or university with an accredited athletic training program
  • Experience in clinic-based sports medicine outreach program preferred and AHA Instructor Certification preferred

Physical demands

  • Demonstrate adequate balance and use of trunk/extremities to stand, walk, climb, crouch, crawl, kneel, sit, stoop, reach, and manipulate objects.
  • Ability to speak, hear, and see. (Specific vision abilities required include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, and depth perception.)
  • Demonstrates ability to frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds, and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds, using principles of proper body mechanics.
  • Ability to obtain appropriate assistance (i.e. mechanical devices, manpower, patient participation) as needed in cases when the weight to be maneuvered exceeds 50 pounds.
  • Ability to travel to and access all service areas.

Example 3

Athletic Training services are provided to reduce medical attrition and increase military manpower. Work includes providing forward MSK care, early medical intervention, injury prevention (IP), and performance optimization services.


  • The screen target population for conditions related to readiness and deploy ability, within the scope of practice as defined by the NATA and refer to the clinical supervisor as appropriate and in accordance with standard operating procedures.
  • Apply, evaluate and modify prophylactic and protective equipment and techniques for Soldiers/Trainees to minimize the risk of injury or re-injury per BDE requisitioning procedures.
  • Provide medical screening, assessments, and treatment services following established protocols to prevent serious injury from occurring.
  • ATs shall provide emergency first aid and immediate treatment for soft-tissue injury, acute inflammation/edema, and pain related to musculoskeletal injury or trauma.
  • Document functional limitations up to 7 days, with no more than an additional 7-day extension. Conditions requiring more than 14-days of physical limitations for the same condition require a referral to a clinical supervisor.
  • If needed, may communicate with the clinical supervisor or privileged provider through virtual health if that is the best method of communication for their location.
  • Document in the Trainee’s official electronic health record (EHR) any encounter involving the observation, treatment, or care of a medical condition.
  • Participate in a peer review of ATs documentation in the health care records in accordance with local procedures
  • Provide education, instruction, and guidance to Soldiers/Trainees and leadership, including generating training materials to support mission requirements.
  • Coordinate with unit Master Fitness Trainers, Master Resilience Trainers, and Senior Drill Sergeant as requested/needed to support unit development and execution of training programs in the physical domain for Soldiers/Trainees with and without physical limitations.
  • Observe Soldier physical training sessions and identify Soldiers who may be at risk for injury and provide recommendations to the Soldiers and leadership regarding observations.
  • Provide intervention/education to improve Soldier performance and reduce/mitigate the risk of injury.
  • ATs shall ensure proper execution of special conditioning programs, such as reconditioning of injured Soldiers/Trainees and enhanced conditioning of low-fit, high-risk Soldiers/Trainees.
  • Provide an AT orientation overview brief to each new class of Soldiers/Trainees.
  • Participate in meetings with the assigned clinical supervisor to review and evaluate the injury control services provided to Soldiers/Trainees, discuss medical issues of concern that affect safe and appropriate Soldier care, identify existing problems, identify opportunities to improve delivered care, and provide recommendations for corrective action.
  • Share best practices and lessons learned among all ATs in an internal, professional venue and report on them in the monthly report.
  • Attend and participate in meetings with leadership as requested and/or required.
  • ATs shall prepare and submit reports as requested.
  • Attend and follow mandatory Government training in accordance with Army regulations.
  • Maintain copies of all training, certificates, licenses, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned


  • A Bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
  • Board of Certification (BOC) for the Athletic Trainer examination and hold credentials of Athletic Trainer, Certified (ATC).
  • A current, active, valid unrestricted license in any of the 50 Unites States, the District of Colombia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, or the US Virgin Islands.
  • Minimum Two (2) years of relevant AT work experience within the last five years.
  • Current certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers from the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross with Automated External Defibrillators (AED) certification.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities

  • Have the ability to read, write, and speak English well enough and enunciate with sufficient clarity to effectively communicate with Soldiers/Trainees, staff, and other ATs.
  • Demonstrate sufficient initiative, interpersonal relationship skills, and social sensitivity such that they can relate to a variety of Soldiers/Trainees from diverse backgrounds.
  • Have the ability to operate a computer utilizing Microsoft applications, such as Word, Excel, and EHR Systems.
  • Must be physically able to hike in an austere environment and terrain (e.g., rocky, no running water, no shelter, no bathroom, no climate control, inclement weather, loud, smoky, etc.) while carrying their own backpack with necessary supplies on occasion (<30% of the time).
  • Be physically able to lift and manipulate loads and weight plates up to 45 pounds

Physical demands

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear.
  • The employee may use repeated motions that include the arms, wrists, hands, and/or fingers.
  • The employee is occasionally required to walk, stand, climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 45 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What was the most challenging course you took while completing your athletic training program?
  • How do you evaluate a patient’s readiness to resume physical activity?
  • What techniques and equipment do you have experience working with?
  • How do you motivate an injured athlete?
  • During a performance or game, how do you assess an athletic injury?
  • How would you help a patient understand their injury?
  • Can you talk about your experiences working with other healthcare practitioners and physicians?
  • How would you share a difficult diagnosis with a patient or their loved ones?
  • Have you ever misdiagnosed an injury? How did you fix your mistake?

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