Like all professional fields, each sports medicine discipline is rewarding but also has challenges. Here are some questions to consider when trying to identify the best discipline for you.
What are the educational requirements? Does this include earning a certification? What is needed to maintain the certification?
What environment do individuals in this discipline work-setting (industrial, hospital, education, etc)? Who do these professionals work with? For example, you may prefer to work with children, Olympic athletes, or even aging seniors.
What are the job responsibilities based on the work-setting? Based on the setting the job responsilities may vary. For example, athletic trainers working in high schools have some different responsibilities from those working in a factory or doctor's office. Also, what are the typical work hours?
What is the average salary per work-setting?
If you reflect on and investigate the answers to these questions, you should be able to narrow your search and find something really rewarding in the process. Consider the following next steps to help you reflect and get answers to the questions above.
Carrie recommends the following next steps:
- Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook. This is an amazing FREE resource about every job in the United States. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/
- Consider scheduling a job shadow for 20 hours with a local sports medicine professional. It is most important to go on different days and at different times so that you get a real perspective of what these professionals do.
- If you pursue a sports medicine education, start by taking the basic general and foundational courses first. These courses typically review information that can be applied to most of the disiciplines and will help you pick the best field for you.