What is Sports Medicine?

Sports MedicineA career in sports medicine is focused on helping the athletic performance of professional and amateur athletes. If you have always wanted to work in the sports industry and you are not skilled in any particular sport, it is always important to review the career paths that do not require you to be athletically inclined. One field within the industry that is growing in popularity is sports medicine. If you would like to learn more about what you will do in the field as a trainer, exercise physiologist, orthopedic doctor, therapist, or dietetic, read on and find out what you need to know.

What is the Purpose of Careers in the Field?

There are several different types occupations in the field that you can pursue, and while your duties for each will be different, your main goal is the same, according to Explore Health Careers. Professionals in the field all work with athletes, either recreational or professional, to treat participants so that they can perform. The treatments might be to get better results during a game or to recover from a sports-related injury, but ultimately all medical personnel in the field will work with their clients to improve their game, their conditioning or their overall health.

How to Pursue a Career in the Field

As a specialist in the field, you will need to complete a certain type of formal training program and may need to earn certification. What is required to land a job or get your professional license depends entirely on the type of job title you are pursuing. If you would prefer to become an athletic trainer, you must possess a bachelor’s degree with an accredited athletic training program and then apply to sit for the certification exam through the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

To become physical therapist, the process is a bit more tedious and time-consuming. Not only will you need a bachelor’s, you will also need a graduate degree. This may help you meet state licensing requirements so that you can practice. You must choose the title and then see what the requirements are in your state.

How Much Will You Make in the Field?

Before you start to take college courses or certification exams, it can be helpful to learn how much you can make in the sports industry as an allied healthcare professional. Salaries range from setting to setting and region to region, but you can learn about the national averages to see if your expectations are realistic. Athletic trainers average $53,000 per year, but nurses earn $65,000 and Medical Doctors average $241,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consider these averages and research the salaries in your area for a clearer big picture.

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Many people think it is not possible to pursue a sports-related profession unless you are recruited as an athlete fresh from high school. While some lucky students are able to get contracts and move up the ranks, you do not have to be athletic just to work in an industry that you love so much. Be sure that you find out what the demand is like you certain occupations, learn about demand, find formal training institutions, and then make a plan. With your plan, you will be able to land a sports medicine position and help people while you do what you love.