The ATC Profession


Athletic Training is an allied health profession that falls under a vast scope of sports medicine professions recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA). Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC’s) are highly educated and skilled professionals specializing in the prevention, recognition, management and rehabilitation of athletic-related injuries. They work in cooperation with physicians and other allied health personnel to ensure the health of physically active individuals in secondary schools, colleges, universities, sports medicine clinics, professional sports programs, industries and other health care environments.

The route to certification as an athletic trainer is a challenging, yet rewarding one. To be eligible for the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Board of Certification (NATABOC) exam, students must earn a degree from an athletic training education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). 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. This formal classroom instruction is then applied through a clinical education component to enhance learning experiences.

Although WKU does not currently offer athletic training as an official program of study, students can complete courses that meet pre-requisite requirements for admission into an entry level master’s degree program meeting CAATE standards. According to the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA), more than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree. WKU students may apply to be an athletic training aide, assisting the Certified Athletic Training Staff with the daily health care of the University’s athletic teams. This hands-on experience not only provides a sample of the time commitment and effort required by the profession, but may also provide financial assistance for college expenses on a competitive basis.

For more information about becoming a Certified Athletic Trainer, please visit the NATA website -

If you are interested in becoming an Athletic Training Aide, please fill out an application form here.

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