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For the Love of Sports Medicine

Careers in Fitness
If you are a sports lover who is interested in helping others achieve their athletic and fitness goals, then sports medicine is an exciting career to consider. There is room for nearly every level of training and experience within the field of sports medicine, from physician to fitness trainer. People who work in sports medicine are lucky to work with athletes and individuals who are passionate about their athletic goals, and work hard to make them a reality.

The Fitness Trainer
The position of fitness trainer requires the least amount of training in the field of sports medicine. Athletic gyms and some schools hire instructors of specific fitness techniques, such as Yoga and Pilates, to work proactively to prevent sports injuries. These teachers need specialized training in their areas of expertise, which are usually formalized by certification bodies such as the Yoga Alliance. There are many programs, ranging in duration from several weekends to several months, which prepare fitness trainers to work as instructors.

The Athletic Trainer
Unlike working as a fitness expert, athletic trainers must have at least a Bachelor's Degree in sports medicine. Many others, 68% according to the National Athletic Trainers Association, hold Master's or Doctoral degrees in the field. Athletic trainers with the most extensive training occupy the most desirable positions, such as with university athletic teams and professional sports clubs.

The Sports Physician
Although there is no specific "sports doctor" degree, there are certain specialties that allow physicians to work with athletes. For example, surgeons that study orthopedics in medical school often find themselves dealing with athletic injuries on a regular basis.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook

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