Athletic Trainers: Salary Overview
Athletic trainers specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing injuries and illnesses of bones and muscles.
Their job description typically includes applying devices that prevent injuries, recognizing and assessing injuries, providing first aid, and developing rehabilitation plans for athletes who have suffered an injury.
Other responsibilities for athletic trainers may include developing injury-prevention plans, keeping records, and performing administrative tasks.
They are the first healthcare providers who attend to athletes who have been injured on the field.
Athletic trainers work under the supervision of a licensed physician and collaborate with other healthcare providers and discuss treatment options.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for athletic trainers was $48,440 in May 2019 which means that half the workers in this profession earned less than this amount and half earned more.
Salaries for athletic trainers vary depending upon a wide range of factors, including the level of experience, education, and expertise.
The top 10 percent earned more than $73,470 per year while the lowest 10 percent made less than $31,300 per year.
Athletic Trainer Salary by Industry
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that athletic trainers held about 31,100 jobs in the United States in 2018, most of them working in the field of educational services, for hospitals, offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists.
The mean annual wage for athletic trainers who worked for general medical and surgical hospitals was $48,940 in May 2019.
Colleges, universities, and professional schools paid athletic trainers with approximately $52,260 per year, on average.
The average annual wage was $45,740 for athletic trainers who worked for offices of other health practitioners and $60,950 for those who were employed by elementary and secondary schools.
Athletic trainers who were employed in offices of physicians earned, on average, $48,860 per year.
The highest average annual salary was reported by athletic trainers who worked in the field of spectator sports.
This field includes professional sports teams such as football, basketball, volleyball, cricket, rugby, soccer, or tennis.
Athletic trainers who work for sports teams are typically responsible for preventing and treating injuries sustained by professional athletes during games or during training.
Salaries for athletic trainers who work for professional sports teams vary depending on the size of the team, the type of sport, and how popular that team is.
Other places where you may find employment as an athletic trainer are civic and social organizations.
Salaries in this industry were not very high; the average annual salary reported by athletic trainers who work in this field was $42,730 per year.
Athletic Trainer Salary by Experience
Salaries for athletic trainers vary not only depending on the industry of employment and the employer but also based on the trainer’s level of experience or education.
Holding a master’s degree and being certified by the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainers may help trainers earn a higher salary.
Salaries for entry-level athletic trainers are typically close to the minimum for this profession which means that beginners typically earn a salary in the range of $30,000 per year.
The most experienced and skilled trainers who work for big sports teams or in industries that offer higher-than-average salaries can make more than $100,000 a year.
Athletic trainers who have around 5 years of experience are expected to earn a salary that is close to the 25th percentile for this profession, or $39,860.
Those who have more than 10-15 years of experience may earn a salary that is close to the 75th percentile, which is $59,430 per year.
As said before, salaries in this field vary also based on the industry of employment and athletic trainers with the same level of experience may earn completely different salaries because they work in different fields and for different employers.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Athletic Trainers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.