Skills for an Athletic Trainer

by Lynda Moultry Belcher; Updated September 26, 2017

Athletic trainers are responsible for working with athletes on conditioning and training as well as injuries sustained during -- or outside of -- sports activities, which may impact their ability to perform. Like other career types, athletic trainers must be equipped with a certain skill set to help them do their jobs properly.

First Aid Skills

Athletic trainers must have first aid skills to help athletes address acute injuries, generally in a high-pressure situation such as a game. They must be able to apply bandaging and tape to hold the injury until the athlete can seek further medical attention. They must also be able to apply tapes and braces to hold bones and skin injuries in place to promote proper healing.

Educational Skills

Athletic trainers must have the skills to educate coaching staff, athletes and their families on injuries, healing processes and the proper methods of exercise and conditioning. They must be able to convey information in a helpful manner to help athletes reduce the risk of injury during sporting activities. They should provide advice on healthy living standards for athletes and offer warnings on activities and supplements to avoid.

Communication Skills

Athletic trainers must possess good people skills, as well as a good grasp on proper methods of communication. A large part of their job is to convey information to people and help athletes to understand the capabilities and limitations of their bodies. Often, this communication occurs in high-pressure situations, so an athletic trainer must have the skills to withstand high stress and display calm in times of duress.

Medical Skills

Athletic trainers must have a certain level of medical skills to help diagnose issues on the spot. For example, a trainer must know when a bone has been broken in the middle of a game or the extent of an injury to determine whether or not a player can continue. Athletic trainers must also have the medical skills to determine if there may be an underlying medical condition causing problems or whether or not an athlete should pursue further medical attention before he engages in sports activities.

2016 Salary Information for Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers earned a median annual salary of $45,630 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, athletic trainers earned a 25th percentile salary of $37,010, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $56,320, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 27,800 people were employed in the U.S. as athletic trainers.

About the Author

Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.