How to become an NFL trainer

Being an athletic trainer carries a lot of responsibility in that the health and welfare of the team’s athlete’s rest on his or her shoulders, so to speak. You are basically a certified health care professional and your career field is recognized by the American Medical Association as an allied healthcare profession. Also, there is a lot that goes into becoming a trainer after you have completed your education.

Once you have received your undergraduate degree, you can continue your education through the Masters and Doctorate levels if you choose to do that. The next step is the certification stage of the process. You need to be certified if you are going to be hired by any type of professional sports franchise. Certification usually requires a minimum of 800 hours of internship before you can even consider taking that step.

Registration and licensing usually goes hand in hand with certification in your pursuit of becoming an athletic trainer. Every state’s requirements are different in that trainers are perceived as health care professionals similar to physical therapists or occupational therapists. As it stands right now, 44 out of 50 states in the US have legislation regarding what’s referred to as training licensure/regulation. In the six remaining states, local and national organizations have become active in the pursuit of the necessary legislation for licensing and regulation of this career.

The field of athletic training is actually comprised of six separate domains:

  1. prevention
  2. clinical evaluation and diagnosis
  3. immediate care
  4. treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning
  5. organization and administration
  6. professional responsibility

Depending on the situation, geographic area, and other criteria, you could be performing duties in all six of the above domains, or you may just specialize in only one by being part of a training team. No matter how your endeavor unfolds or what level you practice at, as an athletic trainer you will always perform your duties under the direction of a licensed physician.

In professional sports today and especially in NFL Football (because it is considered a contact sport), the domain of prevention carries a lot of weight in that so many injuries result from improper training and conditioning. Speaking personally, I would much rather receive recognition for helping the athletes that I was responsible for avoid the injuries rather than having to help them rehabilitate and recondition themselves for months at a time.

The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, or CAATE, is the chief overseeing body for any education programs for this career field. There are currently 357 accredited entry-level educational training programs that are governed by the CAATE. While a Bachelor’s or Baccalaureate Degree is the minimum standard for entry into this career field, be aware of the fact that over 70% of all athletic trainers have a Master’s Degree.

Hopefully, this content has given you a little insight into this career field. For other instructional tips or helpful information I would suggest that you visit, which is a website that is geared towards helping the aspiring job seeker in a lot of different areas.