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Career and Education Opportunities for Sports Trainers in Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for sports trainers. There are currently 120 jobs for sports trainers in West Virginia and this is projected to grow by 21% to about 140 jobs 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 $44 per hour or $82,604 per year in West Virginia, and an average of $44 per hour or $84,458 per year nationwide. Sports trainers earn less than people working in the category of Athletic and Occupational generally in West Virginia and less than people in the Athletic and Occupational category nationally. People working as sports trainers can fill a number of jobs, such as: physical trainer, athletic instructor, and certified athletic trainer.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as a sports trainer. Sports trainers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Charleston 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.
  • 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

University of Charleston - Charleston, WV

University of Charleston, 2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE, Charleston, WV 25304. University of Charleston is a small university located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,431 students and an admission rate of 66%. University of Charleston has a bachelor's degree program in Athletic Training/Trainer which graduated seven 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: West Virginia Department of Education
Address: Office of Professional Preparation, State Capitol Complex, Building 6 Room 358, Charleston, WV 25305

Phone: None
Website: West Virginia Department of Education Office of Professional Preparation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.