What many people think of as 'sports medicine' is actually Athletic Training. Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians. The services provided by ATs include prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. 

Athletic Training is a health care profession that is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA). In 2010, U.S. News & World Reports named Athletic Training as one of the 50 best careers. Athletic trainers are licensed or otherwise regulated in 49 states. California passed a licensure bill in 2014, but it was later vetoed by their Governor. 

Athletic trainers are integral members of the health care team in secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports programs, sports medicine clinics, corporate/industrial and other health care settings. The athletic trainer’s professional preparation is based on the development of specified educational competencies and clinical proficiencies. Through a combination of formal classroom and clinical instruction and clinical experience, the athletic trainer is prepared to provide healthcare within each of the following content areas:

  • Evidence-based practice
  • Prevention and health promotion
  • Clinical examination and diagnosis 
  • Acute care of injury and illness 
  • Therapeutic interventions 
  • Therapeutic and rehabilitative exercise 
  • Psychosocial strategies 
  • Health care administration 
  • Professional development
  • Clinical integration
More information about the Athletic Training profession is available from the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA).

What can you do with an Athletic Training degree?

In order to practice Athletic Training, you must generally pass a national board exam and obtain a license in your state. In the final semester of their senior year, students become eligible to sit for the Athletic Trainer Certification Exam offered by the Board of Certification, Inc. and Ohio State has an exceptional record of success on this exam. 

Upon passing this exam and completing their degree, graduates are awarded the professional credential "ATC", the entry-level credential for practicing Athletic Training. Forty-nine states regulate the practice of Athletic Training, with most requiring a license to practice. Athletic Training practice in Ohio requires a license issued by the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Athletic Trainers' Board (OTPTAT).  

Athletic trainers are employed in a variety of work settings and they provide care for both athletes and non-athletes alike. Most of the program graduates elect to go on directly to a master's degree program, as roughly 70% of Certified Athletic Trainers have master's degrees. 

Of those students entering the workplace immediately after completing a bachelor's degree, the most common settings nationwide are outpatient clinics with high school coverage and intercollegiate athletics. Ohio State graduates tend to find jobs in intercollegiate and professional athletics in numbers higher than the national average. More information about where athletic trainers work is available from the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA).