What Degree is Needed For a Career in Sports Medicine?

Sports MedicineIf you are asking yourself "What is the degree needed for a career in sports medicine?" you have come to the right place. In order to work in sports medicine, where you will help athletes or other individuals recover from injury or improve their athletic performance, you need special training and credentials. The degree and/or licensure that is needed depends entirely upon the occupation within the field that you are pursuing. The degree needed to become a medical doctor is much more advanced than the degree needed when your goal is to become an athletic training. Here is the path that you must take to pursue the most popular sports medicine careers:

Degree Needed to Become an Athletic Trainer

In all states, the minimum requirement to become an athletic trainer is a bachelor's degree from a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. There is more than one type of major that you can choose when you want to pursue a professional in athletic training. The most common majors include athletic training, exercise science and others that cover human physiology, human anatomy, athletic injury prevention, kinesiology, community health, sports nutrition, therapeutic exercise and biomechanics. Once you have a degree, you will need clinical experience so that you can earn your certification.

Degree Needed to Become a Nutritionist or Certified Dietetics Professional

Another popular profession in sports medicine revolves around nutrition. Teaching athletics and people who are recovering from injury what to eat to fuel or repair muscles in the body is crucial. If you would like to work as a certified nutritionist or specialist in dietetics where you will develop nutrition therapies or conduct research on the diet, you will need a bachelor's degree in clinical nutrition, foods and nutrition or dietetics. Once you have this degree, you must get certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by passing a competency exam and earning your state license. You should check state licensure requirements in your state before enrolling in a program.

Degree Needed to Become a Physical Therapists

Physical therapists play a huge role in recovery in sports medicine. They will use physiotherapy methods and work with athletes or other patients who have suffered a crippling injury to help them with their physical challenges during recovery. To be a physical therapist, you must be licensed to practice. You must first take a bachelor's degree program with any science major. After you have completed this, you will apply to a professional physical therapy program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. When you have the right combination of education and clinical experience as a resident, you will be eligible to obtain a license and begin practicing.

Related Resource: Medical Bioengineering Jobs

There is a long list of different careers in sports medicine. Before you can select the right degree program, you need to know which direction you plan on going. You will need to select an appropriate major and then focus on choosing a program that has accreditation when you need to be certified. Make sure that you review the occupation options and then what education level you need to complete. After doing this, you will know the right degree needed for a career in sports medicine.

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