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Athletic Training Certification Programs Online

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

Do you have a passion for improving the health and wellness of others? Are you always looking for ways to improve yourself? Do you love the idea of joining a team of like-minded professionals who are willing to push their own boundaries? If you answered yes to any of these questions then getting certified as an athletic trainer might just be right for you.

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Can You Become an Athletic Trainer Online

Athletic training is a field that offers professional opportunities to men and women who enjoy working with active people. The best athletic training schools offer a historical background, clear graduate requirements and distinct athletic training programs online. It’s important to know what you need to do to become a certified athletic trainer.

There is no better resource to assist in your decision-making process than the most comprehensive guide to accredited athletic training programs, online masters degree in athletic training & associate degree in athletic training online. You will also find related posts on examination for Athletic trainers & athletic training programs, Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training, Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training.

Training Certification Programs Online

Degrees in athletic training are offered both in totally online and hybrid formats at the bachelor’s and master’s level. Bachelor’s degree programs require four years to complete and include general education courses that may also be available online. In a bachelor’s degree program, students get a foundation in recognizing, preventing and treating sports injuries. They also learn about general health and conditioning.

Master’s degrees usually require two years of study and cover more advanced topics in athletic training. Hybrid degree programs at both levels require on-campus attendance for labs, conferences and seminars as well as for completing the extensive hands-on work with athletes that is required. Fully online programs may also require students to complete some sort of internship. While certificate programs in the field are not available online, there are certificate options available in athletic administration and sports management.

Athletic Training | Kent State University

Students should make sure that any program they are considering is sanctioned by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Graduation from an accredited program is one of the qualifications to take the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) 

Degrees in athletic training are offered both in totally online and hybrid formats at the bachelor’s and master’s level. Bachelor’s degree programs require four years to complete and include general education courses that may also be available online. In a bachelor’s degree program, students get a foundation in recognizing, preventing and treating sports injuries. They also learn about general health and conditioning.

Master’s degrees usually require two years of study and cover more advanced topics in athletic training. Hybrid degree programs at both levels require on-campus attendance for labs, conferences and seminars as well as for completing the extensive hands-on work with athletes that is required. Fully online programs may also require students to complete some sort of internship. While certificate programs in the field are not available online, there are certificate options available in athletic administration and sports management.

Students should make sure that any program they are considering is sanctioned by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Graduation from an accredited program is one of the qualifications to take the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) examination for athletic trainers.

Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training

An athletic training degree program at the bachelor’s level teaches students how to prevent, recognize and treat athletic injuries. The curriculum includes study in medical conditions, motor skills, pharmacology and professional conduct, among other subjects. Students also participate in research experiences pertaining to sports medicine topics. One of the purposes of the program is to prepare individuals for the BOC examination upon graduation.

Information and Requirements

Students should expect to spend four years completing a bachelor’s degree program. Athletic training programs with distance learning options require students to spend a significant amount of time on campus to complete lab requirements, as well as participate in various clinical settings so that they may gain hands-on practice in the field. However, some required and elective courses may be available through online means. The online component of the program requires that students have a computer and Internet access in order to obtain assignments and submit completed work.

List of Bachelor’s-Level Athletic Training Courses

A hybrid bachelor’s degree program in athletic training includes on-campus courses in areas such as ethics, legal and insurance issues, sports psychology and emergency care. Sample courses with online components are discussed below.

Structural Kinesiology

In this course, students learn about the musculoskeletal system of humans. Study of basic anatomy allows them to gain an understanding of the body’s form and functions in relation to movement.

Nutrition

This course explores the nutritional requirements of humans over their lifetime. It also provides instruction in making healthy food choices.

Master’s Degree in Athletic Training

A master’s-level curriculum in athletic training provides students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to provide athletic training to sports teams as a whole, as well as on an individual basis with athletes. Students learn skills for preventive, emergency and rehabilitative care of athletic injuries. Classroom and distance learning is accompanied by hands-on work in clinical settings. Through the program, students also prepare for the athletic trainer certification exam offered by BOC.

Information and Requirements

The master’s degree program typically takes about two years to complete. Because of the hands-on nature of athletic training, distance learning courses included in the curriculum often have a short-term residency requirement. The on-campus residency typically includes short lectures, demonstrations and hands-on practice of training techniques. A computer with Internet access is required to complete the online learning component of the program; instructors and students use an online course management system to track assignments and materials.

List of Master’s-Level Athletic Training Courses

Courses at the master’s level consist of advanced topics related to kinesiology, strength, conditioning and training practices.

Athletic Training and Pharmaceuticals

Government regulations related to pharmaceuticals common to the athletic training field are discussed, as are typical applications and dosing schedules. Students learn when and how to advise athletes regarding the use of medications. Topics include possible drug interactions and contraindications.

Fundamentals of Athletic Conditioning and Strength Training

Theories behind strength training and conditioning activities are discussed, in addition to practical methods for implementation. Since athletic trainers may work with a diverse group of individuals possessing varying physical skills and abilities, an exploration of how best to tailor programs to meet athlete needs is also part of the class.

Administrative Skills for Athletic Trainers

An overview of the organizational and administrative duties of athletic trainers is covered, including discussion of initial physical evaluations, progress reports, athlete questionnaires and injury report forms. Students learn to collect data, write accurate reports and interact as needed with primary care doctors or medical specialists when an athlete’s condition warrants referral or conferral.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Doctorate In Athletic Training

After obtaining a master’s degree in the field and becoming a certified athletic trainer, students can also go on to complete a Doctorate in Athletic Training degree. This type of degree is typically aimed at anyone who want to focus on clinical practice, conduct research in the field of athletic training or who wishes to make an original contribution to the field. This degree can take two to three years to complete and may include courses such as Integrative Health, Manual Therapy, Administration of Health Care, Outcome Assessment in Health Care, Research Methods in Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation and more.

Certification

In order to work as certified athletic trainers, students must first pass the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Certification examination. It is only after passing this examination that students become certified and may use the credential of certified athletic trainer. This is why it is important to ensure that before enrolling in a degree program that they are able to fully prepare you for this important examination. A bachelors or master’s degree from a professional athletic training education program that is accredited is required before taking the test and there are ongoing continuing education requirements to stay certified as well.

Online Athletic Training Graduate Programs

Online athletic training graduate programs could be an accessible way to study the treatment and prevention of sports related injuries. Classes in these programs cover many ways to reduce the stress sports put on the body. For instance, courses may examine sports medicine topics in preventative care and the treatment of chronic injuries. In addition, classes may also teach how to care for other types of sports trauma like concussions or other emergencies.

Through the online format, students may have convenient access to their courses. This could be a great choice for students who may be unable to make a lengthy commute to a college campus. And, many online athletic training graduate programs maintain the same curriculum as their campus counterparts. This means you could have the chance to engage with the same advanced AT coursework but from the comfort of your own home.

The Basics of Athletic Training

Athletic training services are a wide range of exercises, medical treatments, and fitness plans that are designed to reduce or treat the stress athletes put on their body. This may include working with or providing some of the following.

  • Immediate Emergency Services
  • Chronic Injuries
  • Preexisting Conditions
  • Physical Therapy
  • Preventative Care

While schools vary, many online athletic training graduate programs emphasize these topics in their core curriculum. This way graduates may be prepared to use their knowledge of the human body and rehabilitation methods to help athletes maintain a healthy performance.

Why Earn an Athletic Training Graduate Degree Online?

Sports medicine may seem like a physical, hands-on degree. But, a large portion of the coursework could be conducted digitally as part of online athletic training graduate programs. Much of the same curriculum is maintained between campus and online AT programs. Students could potentially notice little difference between the course offerings. Plus, many online athletic training graduate programs may build in an experiential component through local practicums or short onsite visits. This could help students gain practical experience while still maintaining the flexibility and convenience they seek. Many of the resources students work with might be the same as well.

Online athletic training graduate programs often provide access to their online databases and library services. In some cases, inter-library loans could even send physical books to a local library for pick up. Finally, schools may provide streamed lectures and video demonstrations, allowing students to view actual classroom presentations in addition to their online studies. Online athletic training graduate programs are unique in that you could access them wherever you have internet access and log into AT courses as time allows. This might be a great choice for students aren’t able to meet at conventional class times. Or, it could be perfect for those who don’t necessarily live within driving distance of a university. Not to mention, this might be an asset for working AT professionals. You could work on your courses in between clients, after you’re done for the day, or on your days off.

online athletic training masters degree programs

Online masters in athletic training programs focus primarily on practical AT applications. Courses teach advanced athletic training subjects so that students could potentially better handle situations in the field, such as emergencies or other injuries. To fully complete this curriculum, programs typically require students to take 68 credit hours. With this in mind, you could possible earn an online masters degree in athletic training in 2 years depending on enrollment. Program length varies by school. Please note that some programs may require students to have already earned their athletic training license, as well as hold a bachelors degree. For more information about this requirement, speak with a faculty member from your intended program.

Athletic Training Masters Program Online Curriculum

The online athletic training masters program core curriculum covers common injuries and rehabilitation methods. After that, courses may then begin to explore more serious injuries and their treatment options. As part of this curriculum, students may study the following subjects.

  • Concussion Prevention
  • Disability Rehabilitation and Therapy
  • Emergency Care
  • Evaluation and Treatment of Athletic Injuries

Available classes may differ by school. It’s important to keep in mind that online students may be required to complete some of their coursework on campus. Typically, students have to take a practicum course as part of their masters AT curriculum. In these cases, they might take a shortened course during the summer or winter break. In these classes, students may have the chance to use their AT knowledge in mock sports scenarios. Or, they might be able to work with real patients! Contact schools for details.

Masters Academics & Athletic Training Certification

Many online masters programs in athletic training are designed to help students pursue their athletic trainer certification (CAT) after graduation. Schools that cater their classes towards the CAT criteria typically reference the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) and the Board of Certification of Athletic Trainer (BOC) standards. Besides offering valuable academic topics, classes in these programs could help you study for potential future exams. Both of these exams aim to assess students’ knowledge of the 5 domains of athletic training. The 5 domains are as follows.

  • Prevention
  • Clinical Evaluation & Diagnosis
  • Immediate Emergency Care
  • Treatment, Rehabilitation Reconditioning
  • Organization & Administration

Topics the exams cover vary by year. Not all programs may focus on certification prep, so read program descriptions carefully and contact programs if this is of interest to you.

Online Athletic Training Graduate Certificate

Online athletic training graduate certificate programs might be a great choice for students who are looking for a shorter program. These programs typically cover one specific aspect of AT. Or, they may serve as a general introduction to AT graduate studies. For example, online graduate certificates may emphasize a certain type of rehabilitation technique, such as yoga studies. Students could study new stretches and meditation techniques that may be beneficial for injured athletes. Others may choose to pursue holistic medicine. Topics like aromatherapy and acupuncture could be a great addition to an AT toolbox. Students pursuing the above types of programs typically have already earned a bachelors in a related field. This prerequisite allows graduate certificate programs to focus on new material instead of covering AT fundamentals. Other online graduate certificate athletic training programs may serve as an introduction into graduate studies. These programs cover some of the advanced core subjects commonly found in a masters program. This could act as an addition to current AT knowledge. Or, it might help you decide if a future masters programs is right for you. Some schools may allow students to transfer graduate certificate credits towards a later masters program. However schools vary, so be sure to speak with a school representative to learn more.

Online Athletic Training Doctorate Programs

Students who choose to pursue an online athletic training doctoral program usually do so for two reasons. First, doctoral programs often offer research classes and opportunities. Students could work towards enhancing the AT community by testing the validity of current methods. Secondly, doctoral programs may also delve into more advanced topics in AT. These classes could include studying high-level subjects such as muscle interactions, unique stress responses, and more. Students may have the opportunity to take some of the following courses in an athletic training doctorate program.

  • Quality Improvement & Patient Safety
  • Corrective Techniques
  • Foundations of Orthopedics
  • Comparative Effectives in Athletic Training
  • Epidemiology

Classes differ by school. Be sure to speak with a faculty member or admissions counselor from your intended school for a complete list of course offerings.

Doctor of Education in Athletic Training

Students could also pursue an online doctorate of education (EdD) in athletic training. These programs are designed to develop’ students understanding of how to teach athletic training methods. For example, graduates could go on to instruct school coaches or other athletic leaders on methods to better train their pupils. Courses in EdD programs cover teaching methods as much as AT techniques. For this reason, some classes are often provided through a school’s education department. For more information about class breakdowns, speak with a representative from your intended school.

Online Doctoral AT Capstone Projects

Doctoral AT capstone projects help demonstrate the knowledge a student gains during a program. Usually, AT programs offer two options. The first project, a dissertation, is more common. The dissertation often has students conducting their own research in the athletic training field. This could include testing the effectiveness of current physical therapy procedures. Or,  you might focus on why certain body parts degrade in specific sports. Either way, students create and conduct their own experiments. To be permitted to do their own research, students may first need to complete prerequisite courses. This may include the some of the following classes.

  • Research Methods & Design
  • Qualitative Research Methodology
  • Implementing and Evaluating a Solution
  • Completing & Disseminating Research Projects

Dissertation prerequisites may differ by school. After completing their research, students then may be asked to write a paper and present it to faculty. Online students typically present and defend their dissertation via video conference. But, some may be asked to come onto campus for their defense. The second capstone project option is to shadow a professional in a clinical environment. This semester-long experience places students in a real-world AT scenario. Typically, the semester begins with the student following a certified athletic trainer through their daily work routine. As the semester progresses, they could transition to handling some of the advisor’s patients. This could be a great way to practically apply knowledge and work on actual patients. Capstone project options and their requirements may vary by school. Be sure to speak with faculty in your department for more information.

Are Online Athletic Training Graduate Programs Accredited?

When browsing potential online athletic training graduate programs, you may wish to look for ones accredited by the Commission on Athletic Training Education (CAATE). This agency strives to ensure that accredited AT schools are constantly reevaluating and enhancing their curriculum as new information is made available. By doing this, schools could potentially offer innovative courses for their students that cover advanced techniques and research breakthroughs. Be sure to check your intended school’s website for proof of their CAATE certification. Or, speak with an admissions or program advisor.

After Graduation: Sports Medicine Careers

Many students who earn a degree through online athletic training graduate programs go on to pursue careers as athletic trainers. Athletic trainers earned a median salary of $48,440 in 2019 as per the BLS. And, the amount of available athletic trainer positions are projected to potentially grow from 2019 to 2029. Employment opportunities could grow by 16% which is much faster than the national average. There are many locations where students might pursue this career. Instead of being limited to an athletic training office, AT positions may be available in some of the following workplaces.

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Fitness Centers
  • Sports Arenas

It’s important to note that entry-level athletic training positions typically require applicants to have earned a bachelors degree in a related field. While this is true, many positions may also require a masters degree because it demonstrates a better understanding of more advanced AT techniques and knowledge. In addition, athletic training in positions may require applicants to have earned their athletic training certification. By earning your certification, you could demonstrate that you understand key AT concepts that may be necessary at the professional level. Students could choose to take either their state’s license exam or one provided by the Board of Certification for Athletic Trainers’ (BOC).

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