Kinesiology: B.S. Athletic Training

Employment Outlook

Expected Growth

CHS Athletic Training student tapes the leg of a UWM Athlete before a game.

Overall employment of athletic trainers is expected to grow much faster than average, particularly in the clinical, industrial, and high school settings. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates a growth of 37% in employment of athletic trainers from 2008-2018. Competition is expected for positions with collegiate or professional sports teams. These settings are expanding their services to physically active youth and adult populations. The demands for services will continue to expand beyond traditional "sport-related" roles to include exercise and re-conditioning, on-site occupational health, on-site injury prevention, and fitness and wellness. As our society continues to age and increase its focus on health and physical activity, the role of the athletic trainer is likely to increase proportionally. The athletic trainer is able to provide a diverse perspective in the prevention and treatment/rehabilitation of physical activities across our diverse and aging population.

Competition for well-trained professionals with recognized degrees in the field, relevant experience, and certifications beyond minimal requirements are likely to drive salaries and positions in this industry. According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, almost 70 percent of athletic trainers have a master's degree or higher. Athletic trainers may need a master's or higher degree to be eligible for some positions, especially those in colleges and universities, and to increase their advancement opportunities. Because some positions in high schools involve teaching along with athletic trainer responsibilities, a teaching certificate or license could be required.


Athletic trainers working in full time positions typically receive a salary and benefits. The salary depends on the education and experience of the athletic trainer and also on the setting in which the individual is working. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics the mean annual income of athletic trainers in Wisconsin is $44,940, compared to the national average income of $41,600. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association provides estimates of salary by experience level, education, and job setting based on a membership survey conducted every three years. The 2008 NATA Salary Survey indicates a national average salary of $44,235. Examples of average annual salary by education level, or job setting are listed below:

Education or Setting Average Salary
Athletic Trainer - Bachelor’s degree $39,096
Athletic Trainer - Master’s degree $44,707
Athletic Trainer - Public high school $47,822
Athletic Trainer - Collegiate $39,285
Athletic Trainer - Industrial/corporate $46,000
Athletic Trainer - Professional sports $54,000

Sources: NATA 2008 Salary Survey; U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011 edition.

For additional earnings information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook, or the National Athletic Trainers’ Association 2008 Salary Survey.