About Athletic Training

The AT Universe: Past, Present and Future

Welcome to the AT Universe. Here you can explore the past, present and future of athletic training. But first, let's see how much you actually know. Can you guess the answers below? 

Average Salary Range

How much do ATs make? 

The average salary range is $50,000 to $190,000. *According to the NATA 2022 Salary Survey  

Current Job Outlook

Will there be lots of jobs in the future for athletic trainer? 

Employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Level of Education

What is the minimum education required to become an AT? 

The minimum level of education required is a master's degree. 

The AT Origin Story

Ever wonder how athletic training began? In the early 1900s, many early leaders, inventors and sports medicine practitioners were pioneers in their own right and contributed to what is now known as the modern-day athletic training profession. As a result of their efforts, NATA was founded in 1950 and has since expanded over the years to encompass a global membership.

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The First Athletic Trainer

James "Jim" Robinson is recognized as the first athletic trainer employed in the United States. He was born in 1847 in Failsworth, Manchester, England. He trained as a veterinary assistant in England and competed in the then-popular walking races. Robinson immigrated to the United States in 1878 to train horses. He continued to have an interest in "athletics," which at the time meant track and field, and was hired by the student-controlled athletic committee at Harvard to help train the track team in the spring of 1881 (hence, an athletic trainer). When he began working with the Harvard football team in the fall of 1881, modern athletic training began. Source: "The First Athletic Trainer," NATA News, April 2014. 

NATA's First Female Member

Sherry Kosek Babagian, AT Ret., a retired athletic trainer in District Eight, has had the unique experience as a female athletic trainer before Title IX went into effect June 23, 1972, and after it was signed into law. Babagian shares her experience as the first woman to complete the Care and Prevention class, introducing the athletic training profession and fueling her passion for medical care of female athletes.


The First Female Member of NATA

Athletic Trainer Profiles

Amos Mansfield, ATC, U.S. Army’s Center for Initial Military Training

“As an AT, I am able to utilize my knowledge and experience of working with interdisciplinary human performance and health care teams to help U.S. Army change the culture of health and fitness."

Kyra Dodson, ATC, Industrial/Occupational

"Working in the industrial/occupational setting immerses you in new challenges and skill sets, while enabling you to support the total worker health of an extremely appreciative population. It’s rewarding as a health care professional and empowering as you use data and KPIs to demonstrate your value to the setting."

Aaron Ngor, MS, ATC, CSCS, Performing Arts

"Working in the performing arts and private practice settings has taught me life lessons and brought me relationships that I will carry with me wherever I go. I am always learning from the patients I work with and the industry professionals I get to interface with during events, shows and competitions."