Choosing California University of Pennsylvania for graduate study is your first step to preparing for athletic training career opportunities. You'll develop the knowledge and clinical skills required to succeed as an athletic trainer. Cal U's Master of Science in Athletic Training degree program takes a hands-on, multifaceted approach to preparing students for certification and a career in this fast-growing occupation, whether you choose to work in Pennsylvania, across the country or even around the world.

Cal U is nationally known and widely respected for its outstanding athletic training program:

  • Students develop clinical skills in areas such as manual therapies, therapeutic and alternative interventions, pediatric sports medicine and leadership. They complete two cadaver dissection courses, which provide a foundational understanding of human anatomy.
  • Our on-campus and online program is both affordable and convenient.

By 2022, anyone seeking certification in athletic training will be required to enter a graduate-level degree. Students who complete Cal U's M.S. in Athletic Training will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam, the Board of Certification (BOC) exam, to obtain athletic training certification. A successful candidate then has the ability to obtain a state medical license to practice as an athletic trainer.

Explore Career Options

Athletic training professionals recognize they have a great responsibility to ensure the safety and health of clients at all age and skill levels. We’ve outlined at least reasons why it’s important to earn your graduate degree in athletic training  and the impact it will have on your future.

Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventive care, emergency response and clinical examination and diagnosis of injuries, along with therapeutic interventions and rehabilitation services. Athletic training is recognized as an allied healthcare profession by the American Medical Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers related to the field of athletic training are growing: Athletic training jobs are projected to increase 22% through 2024. The demand for certified athletic trainers will step up as people become more aware of the effects of sports-related injuries and Americans remain active as they age.

The median annual wage for athletic trainers was $48,440 in May 2019.

Athletic Training: In-Demand Profession

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) reports that athletic trainers are in demand at a wide range of businesses, organizations, schools, healthcare settings and more, including:  

  • Public and private secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional and Olympic sports.
  • Youth leagues, municipal and independently owned youth sports facilities.
  • Physician practices.
  • Rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers.
  • Clinics with specialties in sports medicine, cardiac rehab, medical fitness, wellness and physical therapy.
  • Occupational health departments in commercial settings, which include manufacturing, distribution and offices to assist with ergonomics.
  • Police and fire departments and academies, municipal departments, branches of the military.
  • Professional performing arts organizations (such as the Rockettes or Pittsburgh Ballet Company), and collegiate-level dance and music programs.


Colleges and universities are among the largest employers of athletic trainers to support NCAA divisions in addition to intramural, club and junior college athletic programs. Athletic trainers working in campus settings prevent, treat and rehabilitate the injuries of more than 460,000 student athletes at more than 1,000 educational institutions across the United States.

Athletic trainers are routinely employed in hospitals, clinics and orthopedic, family, pediatric, physiatry and sports medicine office practices. Athletic trainers working in these settings improve productivity, patient outcomes and satisfaction. They help move patients more effectively and efficiently through the appointment, evaluation and treatment process. By providing quality services to more patients in the same period of time, physicians are able to increase patient throughput and revenue generation. 

According to NATA, today many physicians are choosing to hire athletic trainers as a part of their office staff. Athletic trainers provide value to the practice through skills in triage, taking patient histories, performing evaluations, providing instruction on exercise prescriptions, rehabilitation and general patient education.

Athletic Training Careers Continue to Grow

In recent years, NATA reports, certified athletic trainers have been increasingly employed by the various armed forces to assist in the health and welfare of both active-duty soldiers and their dependents. Although each particular branch has its own specific employment policies, most athletic trainers being hired today are either independent contractors or part of the Government Civil Service system. 

In the occupational health setting, athletic trainers develop and manage programs designed to keep employees working at full capacity, improving company productivity and even help to reduce health care and insurance costs. The occupational athletic trainer brings skills and knowledge about the design, implementation and measurement of injury prevention, injury reduction and return-to-work programs

Behind the scenes in the arts, athletic trainers have been working with performing artists for more than 25 years, says NATA. Performing arts athletic trainers provide specialized injury prevention and rehabilitative care to dancers, musicians and vocalists. Studies show that on-site medical care provided by certified athletic trainers reduces both the frequency and severity of performer injuries and keeps down operating and production costs.

Athletic trainers also work with public safety officials – police, fire departments or academies – to provide injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and reconditioning.

What to Do with An Athletic Training Degree

Top Reasons to Earn an Athletic Training Master's Degree

Learn how a versatile graduate degree in athletic training at Cal U qualifies you to pursue exciting jobs, build a solid career and promote your own personal growth. 

Learn more.