Consumer Information

What You Should Know About Certified Athletic Trainers and Their Services


What is athletic training?

Athletic training is the application of the principles and procedures for managing athletic injuries. This includes preconditioning, conditioning, and reconditioning activities.

Athletic trainers work under the supervision of licensed physicians to provide services to individuals who have suffered athletic injuries.


When would I seek the services of a certified athletic trainer?

You might seek the services of a certified athletic trainer if you have suffered an athletic injury or if you wanted advice on preconditioning or conditioning to prevent an athletic injury.


What services do certified athletic trainers offer?

Certified athletic trainers manage athletic injuries and illnesses such as sprains, strains, contusions, and postsurgical reconditioning. Athletic trainers:

  • identify factors that may contribute to athletic injury and eliminate them before an injury occurs
  • conduct preparticipation screenings
  • develop appropriate fitness and training programs
  • apply protective or injury preventative devices, such as tape, bandages, or braces

At athletic events, athletic trainers provide emergency care and first aid to individuals who have sustained an athletic injury, evaluate athletic injuries, and make referrals to appropriate medical personnel.

Through individual consultation and lectures, certified athletic trainers also instruct coaches, athletes, parents, medical personnel, and communities in the care and prevention of athletic injuries.


What conditions do certified athletic trainers treat?

Certified athletic trainers treat athletic injuries such as sprains, strains, contusions, and postsurgical reconditioning. Athletic injuries may include conditions that impair or prevent participation in sports as well as those that occur during athletic pursuits.


How do certified athletic trainers treat these conditions?

Through the use of appropriate preventative and supportive devises - including braces, orthotics, supportive strapping, and therapeutic exercise programs - a certified athletic trainer treats athletic injuries under the supervision of a physician.


What credentials do New York certified athletic trainers have?

New York certified athletic trainers have a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an athletic training or other program registered or accepted by the New York State Education Department.

Professionals who did not graduate from a New York State registered or nationally accredited athletic training program must have earned a minimum of 1,500 hours of experience in the practice of athletic training prior to licensure.

New York certified athletic trainers have also passed a licensing examination accepted by the State Education Department.


Who may use the title certified athletic trainer in New York State?

Only a person licensed by the State Education Department may use the title certified athletic trainer.


Where do certified athletic trainers work?

Certified athletic trainers work in:

  • high schools
  • colleges and universities
  • professional athletic organizations
  • health care organizations

What questions should individuals with disabilities ask about accessing services?

Ask such questions as whether the service location is physically accessible (curb cuts, ramps, restrooms, etc.) as well as whether there is a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) and parking for people with disabilities.


Verifying a New York license:

New York certified athletic trainers must display a current New York registration certificate; this certificate lists the professional's name, address, and dates of the registration period. Certified athletic trainers must reregister every three years to practice in New York. Some professionals also display their original New York license, diploma, licenses from other states, and membership certificates. You may verify a license on this site.

Last Updated: May 18, 2009