Athletic Trainer vs. Personal Trainer

When most people hear the term “Athletic Trainer” they think “Personal Trainer.” This is a very common and easily understandable mix-up, however these are two very different professions. Below are a few of the differences to help you understand each profession and who you should consult.

1. Education: Athletic Trainers require at least a 4-year degree at an accredited college. This requirement is in the process of changing to requiring a Master’s degree. Personal trainers do not require a degree of any kind.

2. Certification: Athletic Trainers are required to take a national certification exam. There is only one exam option and without acquiring this certification, athletic trainers are not allowed to practice and cannot use the term “Certified Athletic Trainer.” Personal Trainers have a variety of certification exams available to choose from. There is no regulation on the term “Personal Trainer” therefore anyone can refer to themselves as a Personal Trainer.

3. Training/Abilities: Athletic Trainers are allied healthcare providers required to be certified in CPR, First Aid, and AED use. They are often the first on scene and deal mostly with sports injuries. They specialize in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. Athletic Trainers are also well-versed in strength & conditioning programs for athletes. Personal Trainers work with individuals to improve their overall fitness and body composition, and do NOT deal with injuries as they are not healthcare providers.

4. Job Settings: Athletic Trainers are able to work in a variety of job settings such as: youth sports programs, high schools, colleges & universities, professional sports teams, military, and more! Personal Trainers typically work in fitness centers or gyms as well as travel to clients’ homes in some cases.

Hopefully this helps you to understand what Certified Athletic Trainers do and what Personal Trainers do. For more information click here! If your child plays a sport at any of our affiliated high school programs, we have a Certified Athletic Trainer to help prevent and manage injuries!