Related Organizations

There are many professional organizations that align with athletic training and offer membership opportunities and/or additional certifications that allow athletic trainers to participate and specialize in particular areas such as performance enhancement, physiology, and other health, medical, and physically active arenas. The following represent a few of these organizations.

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) - AAHPERD is an alliance of five national associations, six district associations, and a research consortium that is designed to provide members with a comprehensive and coordinated array of resources on both the national and local level, support, and programs to help practitioners improve their skills and so further the health and well-being of the American public.

For more information visit

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) – The ACSM promotes and integrates scientific research, education and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health and quality of life. ACSM offers multiple certifications including Health Fitness Certifications: 1) ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor, 2) ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, and 3) ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist; Clinical Certifications: 1) ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist and 2) ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist; andSpecialty Certifications: 1) Exercise Is Medicine® Credential, 2) ACSM/ACS Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer, 3) ACSM/NCHPAD Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer, and 4) ACSM/NPAS Certified Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist.

For more information visit

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) – The NASM offers a variety of certifications such as Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES), Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES), and Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS).

For more information visit

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) – The NSCA supports and disseminates research-based knowledge and its practical application to improve athletic performance and fitness and offers the CSPS, NSCA-CPT, and CSCS certifications.

For more information visit

Additionally, athletic trainers often work with a variety of other health care professionals to deliver the most optimal care to their patients and athletes. At some point during their careers, athletic trainers may choose to pursue another health related profession as their educational background and clinical exposure enhance their preparation and transition. Listed below are other health professional careers related to the field of athletic training.

Occupational Therapy (OT) – occupational therapy is a profession that assists people in their need to perform therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupation) such as helping children with disabilities, recovery from injury, and helping older adults with physical and cognitive changes.

For more information contact the American Occupational Therapy Association at

Osteopathic physician (DO) – a doctor who attended an osteopathic medical school that emphasizes the primary care physician, which include a “whole person” approach to medicine with emphasis in preventative health care, the musculoskeletal system, and osteopathic manipulation.

For more information contact the American Osteopathic Association at

Physical Therapy (PT) – physical therapists are licensed health care professionals that help patients to reduce pain and restore mobility through treatment and rehabilitation. Physical therapists practice in hospitals, private practice, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, work settings, and nursing homes.

For more information contact the American Physical Therapy Association at

Physician Assistant (PA) – physician assistant is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a doctor and is able to perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab results, perform procedures, assist in surgery, prescribe medication, and provide patient education and counseling. 

For more information contact the American Academy of Physician Assistants at

Physician or Medical Doctor (MD) – A physician can diagnose and care for patients of all ages who are ill or have been injured. They can take medical histories, perform physical examinations, conduct diagnostic tests, recommend treatment, and advise patients on health related matters and their overall well-being. There are many physician/medical specialty areas such as primary care, surgery, cardiology, orthopedics, geriatrics, anesthesiology, pediatrics, radiology, emergency medicine, and ophthalmology just to name a few.

For more information contact the American Medical Association at