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Career and Education Opportunities for Sports Trainers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to be a sports trainer, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 950 people work as sports trainers in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow by 19% to 1,100 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for sports trainers, which sees this job pool growing by about 37.0% over the next eight years. In general, sports trainers evaluate, advise, and treat athletes to assist recovery from injury, avoid injury, or maintain peak physical fitness.

The average wage in the general category of Athletic and Occupational jobs is $42 per hour or $79,272 per year in Pennsylvania, and an average of $44 per hour or $84,458 per year nationwide. Earnings for sports trainers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Athletic and Occupational in Pennsylvania and not quite as good as general Athletic and Occupational category earnings nationally. People working as sports trainers can fill a number of jobs, such as: athletic instructor, certified athletic trainer, and resident athletic trainer.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can study to be a sports trainer, among eighty-three schools of higher education total in the Pittsburgh area. Sports trainers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a sports trainer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Sports Trainer

Sports Trainer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, sports trainers evaluate, advise, and treat athletes to assist recovery from injury, avoid injury, or maintain peak physical fitness.

Sports trainers advise athletes on the proper use of apparatus. They also massage body parts to relieve soreness and bruises. Equally important, sports trainers have to conduct an initial assessment of an athlete's injury or illness to furnish emergency or continued care, and to establish whether they should be referred to physicians for definitive diagnosis and treatment. They are often called upon to formulate and implement comprehensive athletic injury and illness prevention programs. They are expected to recommend special diets to further optimize athletes' health, increase their stamina, or alter their weight. Finally, sports trainers talk with coaches to decide on protective apparatus.

Every day, sports trainers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation.

It is important for sports trainers to conduct research and furnish instruction on subject matter pertaining to athletic training or sports medicine. They are often called upon to lead stretching exercises for team members before games and practices. Somewhat less frequently, sports trainers are also expected to assess and report the progress of recovering athletes to coaches and physicians.

Sports trainers sometimes are asked to perform team-support duties such as running errands and stocking supplies. And finally, they sometimes have to accompany injured athletes to hospitals.

Like many other jobs, sports trainers must have a strong concern for others and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh include:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse. Care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Inspector. Review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. May conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals. May be employed in the public or private sector.
  • Physical Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.
  • Recreational Therapist. Plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions. Activities include sports, trips, and arts and crafts. May assess a patient condition and recommend appropriate recreational activity.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sports Trainer Training

California University of Pennsylvania - California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394. California University of Pennsylvania is a medium sized university located in California, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,519 students and an admission rate of 61%. California University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Athletic Training/Trainer which graduated sixteen and ten students respectively in 2008.

Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne University has a bachelor's degree program in Athletic Training/Trainer which graduated ten students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

AFAA Challenge Exam: Any AFAA Certification may be challenged, however, it is recommended that you attend the preparatory workshop for that certification offered prior to the exams (Primary, Step, KickBoxing - 1 or 2 days, Personal Fitness Trainer - 3 days).

For more information, see the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America website.

Post Rehab Conditioning Specialist: This entry level certification is for fitness professionals who are just starting in the post rehab arena.

For more information, see the American Academy of Health, Fitness, & Rehabilitation Professionals website.

Certification in Sports Medicine: The ABP in collaboration with the American Boards of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Emergency Medicine offers a certificate of added qualifications in sports medicine.

For more information, see the American Board of Pediatrics website.

Certified Health Fitness Specialist: The ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) is a degreed health and fitness professional qualified to pursue a career in university, corporate, commercial, hospital, and community settings.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Certified Personal Trainer: The ACSM Certified Personal TrainerSM is a fitness professional involved in developing and implementing an individualized approach to exercise leadership in healthy populations and/or those individuals with medical clearance to exercise.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Sports Nutrition: The optimum way for you or your clients to get the most out of their workouts and feel their best is to develop an energizing, performance-enhancing nutrition plan, tailored to their body's specific needs.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Sports Conditioning Specialist: The AFPA Sports Conditioning Specialist Certification program presents the principles and practices of a new era of athletic training.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Functional Training Specialist: The AFPA Functional Training Specialist Certification program is designed to teach the Functional Training protocols to improve total athleticism, enhances performance, and reduces injuries through exercise progressions that will spur development potential for specific movement patterns commonly use in sport.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Yoga Instructor Level I: The AFPA Yoga Fitness Instructor Certification program emphasizes safe, effective, and inspiring teaching methods that prepare you to be a confident and competent Yoga Fitness Instructor.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Stability Ball Trainer: The AFPA Stability Ball Trainer Certification program was developed to promote safe yet challenging ball exercise to instructors and personal trainers.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Sport Safety Training (6 1/2 hours): The American Red Cross and the United States Olympic Committee have joined forces to develop an exciting coach for coaches who want to keep their athletes safe.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

Master Personal Fitness Trainer Track: The Master Personal Fitness Trainer Track includes the following certifications: IFPA Personal Fitness Trainer OR .

For more information, see the International Fitness Professional Association website.

Sports Conditioning Specialist: The IFPA Sports Conditioning Specialist Certification(s) presents principles and practices from twenty-two of the finest and most respected strength and conditioning coaches.

For more information, see the International Fitness Professional Association website.

Personal Training: This 2 day certification involves a combination of lectures, discussion groups and hands-on practical sessions.

For more information, see the International Sports Conditioning Association website.

Yoga Ball: This 1 day certification combines Yoga, Pilates and Balance & Stability training with the Stability Ball.

For more information, see the International Sports Conditioning Association website.

Youth Fitness Trainer: Youth fitness training is one of the fastest-growing segments in the health club and fitness industry.

For more information, see the International Sports Sciences Association website.

Certified Fitness Trainer: If you enjoy staying in shape and helping others, there has never been a better time to become a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT).

For more information, see the International Sports Sciences Association website.

Group Exercise Certification: Beginning instructors with little or no experience gain insight into the basics of teaching group exercise.

For more information, see the National Exercise Trainers Association website.

Certified Weight Management Course: This course can be taken for CEU's or for Certification in Weight Control.

For more information, see the National Strength Professionals Association website.

LICENSES

Athletic Trainer

Licensing agency: Department of State
Address: Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Physical Therapy Board, PO Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105

Phone: (717) 783-7134
Website: Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs Physical Therapy Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.