Fortunately, there are a few Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) programs that are currently available through a 100% online format. These types of programs make learning convenient for those with full-time employment. With that in mind, please consider that some online programs may require synchronous courses, as well as, asynchronous classwork. The synchronous format means some of your classes may require you to attend coursework or lectures at a certain time of the day to complete the requirements.
In addition, many DAT programs are offered through the hybrid format. In this setting, your school program is predominantly offered online, however, they also require on-campus attendance. For example, some demand 4-5 days of on-campus work per semester or have clinical residency requirements for graduation.
If possible, exercise is something that most of us try to avoid. While the benefits have been proven to improve the quality of life, sometimes, it’s just hard to develop the habit. However, if you are an athletic trainer, being in good physical condition is your job or at least part of it! To reach your full potential, why not earn a Doctor of Athletic Training degree to help you assist others? Encourage others to maintain good physical and emotional health while playing sports or other related activities.
What does an Athletic Trainer do?
Athletic training is considered a healthcare profession, as they study the importance of science in sports and exercise. While personal fitness trainers teach proper exercise techniques and encourage us to get in that extra rep, athletic trainers are highly trained themselves in that they follow the medical scope of athletic training that includes a variety of conditions. They often collaborate with physicians to provide the proper exercises needed to prevent injuries, as well as, assist in rehabilitation and therapeutic intervention.
Most athletic trainers have a master’s degree in their field, however, trainers with doctorate degrees are desired by most employers. They work with all ages and types of injuries caused by stress to our musculoskeletal system, not only on the court or football field but to others who have physically challenging jobs. They assess, diagnose, treat and use rehabilitation for all types of injuries, although sports-related injuries are their specialty. Athletic trainers also support nutritional and mental health.
How do I earn my Doctor of Athletic Training degree?
The Doctor of Athletic Training program is designed to help those individuals already established in the field achieve an advanced level of expertise in athletic training, perhaps in sports medicine, in a leadership position, as well as, those interested in research or academia.
Coursework pertaining to your DAT program may include orthopedic rehabilitation, clinical imaging in sports medicine, applied research and leadership, advanced therapeutic modalities, along with, evidence-based interventions for the spine, upper and lower extremities.
Your program should also include steps in dealing with psychological issues within athletic training, as well as, leadership and entrepreneurship. You will also learn about neurological evaluations and techniques and about fitness for our aging population.
If you would like to focus your studies in the area of research or teaching about health and wellness to others, you may want to consider a Ph.D. in Kinesiology. Coursework may include nutrition, metabolism, and vitamins, in addition to, research methods within the field of physical education and sports-related injury prevention.
What kind of career and salary can I expect with my DAT degree?
Athletic trainers are an important part of any sports related activity. Athletic trainers are often hired by schools and universities. As the participation of young students in sports increases, so does the need for athletic trainers to watch over sporting events. They carefully monitor young athletes for injuries, safe playing field environments, and other emergency situations. The up-and-coming athletes of today contribute to the 23% job growth expected for athletic trainers between 2016 through 2026.
Often, athletic trainers are hired to work in sports medicine clinics, in military training facilities or in corporate settings to ensure healthy employees as they oversee injury prevention, in addition, patients who require home help with prosthetic or crutches. With your Doctor of Athletic Training degree, you can easily transition into physical therapy, consulting or into the field of chiropractic medicine. If you are a true sports enthusiast, perhaps a head athletic trainer for your favorite sports team is your dream job.
The BLS states that the typical salary, as of May 2017, for an athletic trainer was $46,630 per year, however, the top highest ten percent earned upwards of $69,530 per year. Of course, with all careers, your salary will be dependent upon your experience, job title, and job location.
Do I need a license to be an Athletic Trainer?
Most states (except California) require licensure by the Board of Certification (BOC) who provides the credentials of “Athletic Trainer Certified” (ATC). You will need to pass an intensive certification exam to gain your licensure and continued education is required, as well, to maintain your license.
What schools offer Doctor of Athletic Training programs?
The following two schools offer online Doctor of Athletic Training programs: A.T. Still University and Temple University. The following schools offer their students the opportunity to earn DAT degrees through their combination online/hybrid programs: Indiana State University located in Terre Haute, IN, University of Idaho in Moscow, ID, as well as, Moravian College located in Bethlehem, PA.
If you can manage to incorporate a doctorate degree program into your schedule and finances, you won’t regret it. Typically, the higher your degree, the more money you can carry to the bank. Of course, the number of people you will help through your work in athletic training will bring you a gratifying amount of satisfaction, offering rewards for you and your clients.