Become an Athletic Trainer

Certified athletic trainers are allied health care providers who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active. To become a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) one must graduate from a bachelors or entry-level masters' degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) via the Joint Review Committee-Athletic Training (JRC-AT).

Athletic Training Education

Athletic Training is an academic major or graduate equivalent major program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The minimum requirement into the profession of Athletic Training is a bachelor's degree. Athletic training education involves didactic coursework combined with clinical education. Athletic training degree programs require the following educational content:

  • risk management and injury prevention

  • pathology of injuries and illnesses

  • orthopedic clinical examination and diagnosis

  • medical conditions and disabilities

  • acute care of injuries and illnesses

  • therapeutic modalities

  • conditioning, rehabilitative exercise, and referral

  • pharmacology

  • psychosocial intervention and referral

  • nutritional aspects of injuries and illnesses

  • health care administration

Clinical education sites may include the college/university teams, local high schools, sports medicine clinics, club sports/intramural teams, and general medical rotations. Students will gain clinical experience with various athlete and patient populations in how to manage and treat musculoskeletal and general medication conditions. Students are always under the direct supervision of a certified athletic trainer or other allied health care professionals.

There are currently eight CAATE accredited programs within the state of West Virginia and to learn more about these programs, you can visit caate.net for additional information.

  • Alderson Broaddus College

  • Concord University

  • Marshall University

  • University of Charleston

  • West Liberty University

  • West Virginia University

  • West Virginia Wesleyan College

  • Wheeling Jesuit University

Once students complete the CAATE accredited program, they are eligible to sit for the national certification exam through the NATA Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC).