Among all occupations in the United States, the employment of athletic trainers will grow faster than the average profession through 2012, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), which represents 30,000 members of the athletic training profession.

“Athletic trainers’ increased licensure requirements and regulations have led to a greater acceptance of their role as qualified healthcare providers,” says Marjorie J. Albohm, MS, ATC, vice president of the NATA Board of Directors. “Many employers are now realizing the cost-effectiveness of having an athletic trainer onsite to help prevent injuries and to provide immediate treatment for injuries.”

Studies have found athletic trainers staffing on-site clinics in corporate and industrial settings, under the direction of a physician, help increase productivity, according to NATA. Workers at such facilities benefit from immediate care and do not have to clock out to travel for rehabilitation. Many athletic trainers now visit companies several times a week to provide healthcare services to their workers.

Certified athletic trainers specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. In addition to working in competitive sports-related jobs, many athletic trainers are also employed in healthcare facilities, schools, offices, factories and in the military, according to NATA.