Many people dream of becoming an athletic therapist (ATC) but very few actually pursue this path. In this way, it is very much like becoming a doctor or a lawyer in that respect. However, there is one significant difference.
ATCs do not go to school for seven years and then spend three years in an internship to get licensed. No. You can get licensed in as little as nine months if you already have an undergraduate degree.
In fact, many ATCs get their bachelor's degree in four years and can still work full-time while going to school. There are some requirements, of course. You have to be at least 23 years old, have a valid state-issued license to practice physical therapy and pass the ATC exam. But, the good news is you only need about three hours of classroom time, plus you do not have to retake the written exam until two years later. In fact, many ATCs take the ATC exam twice in the first year to improve their scores.
Most people who become athletes as adults continue their athletic activities as a form of pleasure and recreation. However, for many, the joy of sport becomes far more than simply a hobby. They find themselves with a newfound passion that drives them to continue their athletic endeavours long after the fun and enjoyment of the activity has passed. These individuals may have a natural talent for sport, or they may have to work hard to learn their chosen sport. Still, either way, they possess an almost compulsive desire to continue pursuing their athletic goals. An athletic therapist is an alternative career path for these driven and talented people.
As an athletic therapist, you will help your patients achieve their physical goals while also providing them with the tools to achieve their mental and emotional goals. This combination makes athletic therapists some of the most highly sought-after professionals globally.
An athletic therapist can make an excellent living even though only a fraction of the population is willing to pay for athletic therapy. In addition, there are very few formal education and licensing requirements to become an athletic therapist. The first step toward becoming an athletic therapist is to obtain a bachelor's degree in exercise and sports science. After that, the next step is to complete a post-graduate program that will qualify you to sit for the required exam to become a Certified Athletic Therapist. Once you have completed these two steps, the final step is to apply for and obtain a license to practice as an athletic therapist.
The best way to get started in this field is to obtain a job as an assistant athletic therapist and then consider applying for a full-time position after one to two years.
The sports industry is one of the largest globally, with various opportunities from coaching to athletic trainers.
How do you start as an athletic therapy?
1. Determine what you want to do
Once you decide what you want to do, you need to think about how you're going to make it happen. Don't worry about the logistics of getting started just yet. Instead, just think about what you want to accomplish and how you plan to go about doing it. What does the road ahead of you look like? This is where most people get stuck. They get lost in the details and forget the bigger picture.
2. Determine the type of athletic therapy you'd like to practice
This is a great way to get a sense of what you like. For example, some people want to be out on the field, while others are more comfortable in the classroom. Some people like the intensity and competitiveness of team sports, while others prefer the solo nature of yoga and other relaxation-based therapies. It is essential to be honest about your preferences regarding therapy types because some therapies can be physically and mentally demanding.
3. Create a plan for how to get there
When a person is injured, certain processes occur in the body to help the healing process. These same processes can happen when someone needs to recover from a chronic ailment like poor health. Learn how to speed up the recovery process so the body is back to functioning at total capacity as soon as possible. Study more on motivation and encouraging the athletic to push to their maximum potential and keep raising the bar.
4. Build relationships with people in your field
There are many different ways to build your personal brand online. You can write articles, start a blog, create a YouTube channel, and more. But one of the most valuable ways to connect with a community of like-minded entrepreneurs is to become active on social media. After all, social media is where people interact, share, and get inspiration. It's a place where everyone is looking to connect and grow a personal brand. And the most effective way to build relationships with people in the field is to create a positive, authentic online presence.
5. Work hard, learn hard, and never give up
"Never Give Up!" The world is filled with people who tell you it can't be done. They are almost always wrong. The message here is that if the nay-sayers are right, you should stop trying. Instead, the message is that you should keep pushing through the pain and keep trying until you achieve your goal. When you reach your goal, you will be rewarded with an amount of appreciation, self-esteem and happiness that is so immense that the pain of the process will seem insignificant.
The risk of working as athletic therapy and getting sued by a client
Athletic therapy is the practice of helping people who are injured or recovering from surgery to get back into sports-related activities as soon as possible. This is an established and very profitable sub-specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. However, AT providers must be careful not to get sued for malpractice by their patients. Some actions may cause further injury, and sometimes, if negligent, may cause permanent damage to the client. Having evidence of negligence resulting in a lawsuit may be an extreme example of how things can go wrong when working within the legal boundaries of the practice of medicine. Still, it does serve as a constant reminder to all athletic therapists that they must proceed with caution. Furthermore, they must always maintain a "defensive mode" whenever they work with patients.
Protect your career by having Athletic Therapy Insurance
Safety is the number one concern of people new to athletic therapy. However, many don't realize how safe it is. After all, athletic therapy is physiologically similar to walking, stretching, and using an exercise ball. What makes athletic therapy different is the care and expertise provided by the therapist. If you have a minor injury and do your rehab incorrectly, you could end up with a much more severe problem. That's why having insurance is so important. It provides a safety net for you in the event something goes wrong. Talk to us for proper insurance needed.
In conclusion, you should consider a career in Athletic Therapy because it pays exceptionally well. It offers excellent job security, many opportunities for advancement, and the work is very satisfying. Plus, many people have trained in the field looking for jobs. That means you have an edge when it comes to getting hired. Another advantage is that Athletic Therapy is a relatively new profession. That means there are very few "old-timers" who will look down on you for having the audacity to enter their field. In fact, they may even help you get established by providing references and testimonials. Another plus is the Athletic Therapy degree is one of the more affordable degrees to earn. It typically costs about $30,000 to $50,000 to attend school and get your degree. But, that doesn't include the money you will need to put into a practice facility and equipment. The cost of going back to school and getting your Athletic Therapy degree will easily exceed $100,000. And, don't forget about the ongoing costs of maintaining a practice. This includes malpractice insurance, continuing education requirements, paying off student loans, and so on. Bottom line: If you have a passion for helping people in pain and enjoy working out yourself, Athletic Therapy might be the right career path for you.