Athletic Trainers- not “Trainers”

Mar 2, 2015

National Athletic Training Month

Melander Sports Medicine is proud to have the opportunity to work with so many Certified Athletic Trainers. We understand the important role that athletic training has as a part of the sports medicine team and we appreciate all of the hard work that athletic trainers put in to keeping teams healthy and safe.


The article below was shared from the National Athletic Trainers Association in honor of National Athletic Training Month. The original article can be found at:

The world today is on the move, and people are becoming more active, more interested, more educated. We’re getting trained in fitness, sports, computers, even parenting skills. As a result, the word “trainer” has lost its meaning. Here are the differences between a certified athletic trainer and personal trainer.



An athletic trainer is a person who meets the qualifications set by a state licensure and/or the Board of Certification, Inc. and practices athletic training under the direction of a physician.

  • Have at least a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, which is an allied health profession
  • Pass a comprehensive exam before earning the ATC credential
  • Keep their knowledge and skills current by participating in continuing education
  • Adhere to standards of professional practice set by one national certifying agency

Daily duties:

  • Provide physical medicine and rehabilitation services
  • Prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate injuries (acute and chronic)
  • Coordinate care with physicians and other allied health professionals
  • Work in schools, colleges, professional sports, clinics, hospitals, corporations, industry, military


A personal trainer is a person who prescribes, monitors and changes an individual’s specific exercise program in a fitness or sports setting.

  • May or may not have higher education in health sciences
  • May or may not be required to obtain certification
  • May or may not participate in continuing education
  • May become certified by any one of numerous agencies that set varying education and practice requirements

Daily duties:

  • Assess fitness needs and design appropriate exercise regimens
  • Work with clients to achieve fitness goals
  • Help educate the public about the importance of physical activity
  • Work in health clubs, wellness centers and various other locations where fitness activities take place

If you have questions about the person providing health care for you, for your student or for a colleague, speak up! Be sure you’re getting the right health care for the right condition.

About the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA):

Athletic trainers are unique health care providers who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association represents and supports 30,000 members of the athletic training profession through education and research. Only 42 percent of high schools have access to athletic trainers. NATA advocates for equal access to athletic trainers for athletes and patients of all ages, and supports H.R. 1846. NATA, 2952 Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 200, Dallas, TX 75247, 214.637.6282;

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Categories: Sports Medicine