If you’re passionate about sports and want to help people stay healthy, a career in sports medicine might be perfect for you. You can take many different paths within this field, so it’s essential to do your research and find the one that best fits your interests and goals. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most common careers within sports medicine and what you need to do to get started. We’ll also provide some tips on how to make the most of your career in this exciting industry!
1. What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine is a branch of health care that deals with athletes’ injuries and other medical conditions. It also covers the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning for sports-related injuries.
has evolved from what was once considered an optional extra to being recognized as integral to the success of any sporting program or individual athlete. The primary goal of sports medicine professionals is injury prevention through education and training programs. The secondary goal is to provide immediate care to injured athletes before they are allowed to return to play during games or practices.
The basis of sports medicine is science and scientific applications. As a result, sports medicine professionals must have a detailed knowledge of bio mechanics – how the human body works – and other sciences such as biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, and anesthesiology – the study of movement.
Sports medicine care incorporates three elements
- The delivery of healthcare services to athletes related to sports and physical activities;
- The investigation and prevention of injuries and other medical conditions for better performance and injury prevention; and
- The education and training of athletes on the issues surrounding their health.
2. How to Enter Into Sports Medicine?
The educational requirements for careers within sports medicine vary depending on each role’s specific field and function. A variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are available. It’s important to note that even though a bachelor‘s degree is in joint, many professionals holding senior roles in this industry have master’s or doctorate levels of education.
- A bachelor’s degree in health, physical education, athletic training or a related field is the minimum requirement to enter this industry.
2. Preferably a degree in sports medicine or exercise science
3. Those holding degrees in other fields but having an interest in pursuing a career in sports medicine may find it easier to obtain jobs such as coaching or athletic administration.
- Master’s degrees and doctorate degrees are available in sports medicine, health promotion, exercise science and physical therapy.
2. It is common for professionals wishing to advance their careers within the industry to have a master’s degree. Some organizations even require it before progressing higher up in their organization.
3. A doctoral degree is required for those who wish to teach or do research within the industry.
3. How Much Does a Sports Medicine Professional Make?
The size and type of organization you work in will largely determine your salary range. Athletic departments, recreational facilities, rehabilitation clinics, and small business owners may start at around $30K per year. Large corporations or professional sports organizations may start at around $45K per year. Although it is not as steady as a regular job, professional athletes make a perfect living. For example, a professional basketball player in the NBA may make between $500K and 20 million dollars per year.
However, this is not typical for most professionals within the sports medicine industry. The average entry-level salary in Australia is around $40,000 to $55,000 per year.
4. What Are the Career Options Available?
Sports medicine professionals can find employment in many areas, including athletic departments and facilities, colleges and universities, private clinics and hospitals, government agencies, professional sports teams or organizations and the military.
- Athletic trainers are employed in private clinics and health care facilities, but most commonly at colleges and universities.
- Physical therapists can apply their skills in hospitals, private practice physical therapy clinics, home healthcare agencies, long term care facilities for seniors, skilled nursing homes and rehabilitation centres.
- Sports physicians can apply their skills in clinics, hospitals, private practice, or professional sports teams/organizations. They are often affiliated with the national governing bodies of specific sports.
- Medical doctors must complete residencies and fellowships in family medicine, paediatrics, orthopaedics or general surgery. They can apply their skills in clinics, hospitals and private practice.
5. What Does a Sports Medicine Professional do?
The responsibilities of anyone within the sports medicine industry will vary depending on their specific position and qualifications (see above). However, some general duties may include:
- Examine athletes to identify potential medical conditions or injuries; recommend diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies.
- Diagnose and treat common sports injuries such as sprains, strains and fractures, recognizing the unique needs of athletes who have been injured for a prolonged period.
- Inspect facilities where individuals perform physical activities to ensure safety standards are met.
- Work with coaches and athletes to develop fitness programs and training plans.
- Provide care to athletes during practices and games, such as providing pre-game and post-game treatment for injuries.
6. What Is the Job Outlook?
The career outlook for professionals within the sports medicine industry is excellent. Statics show that employment opportunities in this field are expected to grow by about 21% between now and 2020, and this rate of growth is much faster than average for all occupations.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field is expected to grow by about 21 per cent between 2010 and 2020 (about as fast as average).
There are numerous emerging fields that professionals within the sports medicine industry will explore. Opportunities for physical therapists to work in home health care and the rehabilitation of injured workers should increase dramatically as baby boomers age and demand more therapy. Opportunities at sports facilities to work with athletes and coaches should also grow as the number of people who participate in sports increases.
7. What Skills Are Needed to Become a Sports Medicine Professional?
Some of the skills needed to become a sports medicine professional include:
- Knowledge about the rules of various sports and other forms of exercise
- Knowledge about anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and bio mechanics
- Ability to communicate effectively with coaches, athletes and others to recommend treatment plans
- Ability to understand medical insurance claims
- Physical stamina (sports medicine professionals often need to stand for long periods and be on their feet in emergencies)
- Tolerance for high-pressure, stressful situations
- Patience with recovering athletes
- Ability to work long hours
- Ability to lift and carry heavy equipment such as ice packs, elastic bandages, hot water bottles and medicine balls
- Knowledge of computer software such as electronic medical records and billing software
- Ability to work well with others (sports medicine professionals often need to collaborate with other health care providers)
8. Pros and Cons of Being a Sports Medicine Professional
Some of the pros of being a sports medicine professional include
- Many opportunities for self-employment
- Ability to work as a consultant for teams and facilities
- The ability to have flexible hours so you can take part in all activities your children are involved in after school
- Being able to work in a variety of settings
- Opportunities for advancement
Some of the cons of being a sports medicine professional include
- Low pay (the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that physical therapists in 2010 had median annual earnings of $55,880)
- Lack of job security (jobs may be eliminated in economic recessions or when coaches and athletes leave an organization for better opportunities elsewhere)
- A lack of stability in the number of jobs available in different areas throughout the U.S.
- Injuries and health problems associated with long periods of standing, repeated stress on the body and being exposed to cold weather
9. Top Recruiting Companies for a Sports Medicine Professional
Sports medicine professionals are in demand, especially with the growing population of baby boomers. As they age, more and more people will need physical therapy.
Some of the top recruiting companies for a sports medicine professional include:
1.Aetna – Aetna is an American public health care company that offers medical insurance to individuals, families and employers who have group coverage. It was founded in 1853 as Aetna Insurance Company by Amos Bronson Alcott. The company has its headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut.
Blue Shield of California is one of the largest nonprofit providers of healthcare services in Northern California and southern Oregon, headquartered in San Francisco and employs approximately 19,000 members across all departments (2016).
2.Kaiser Permanent – Kaiser Permanent is an integrated managed care consortium based in Oakland, California, with significant business operations in California and the Northwest. It comprises three distinct but interdependent groups of entities: the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (KFHP), Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and the regional operating subsidiaries of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
Kaiser Permanent is an integrated managed care consortium based in Oakland, California, with significant business operations in California and the Northwest. It comprises three distinct but interdependent groups of entities the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (KFHP), Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and the regional operating subsidiaries of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
3.United Health Group – United Health Group is an American managed health care company based in Minnesotan, Minnesota. It is 6th in the 2017 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by revenue.
4.Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences – The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), formerly known as the Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing, is a graduate school in the United States sponsored by the United States Department of Defense and under the operational supervision of the Surgeon General of the United States Army
10. Best Colleges to Study Sports Medicine
Several colleges offer excellent programs for those who want to study sports medicine. Some of the best include:
- Athletic Training – Frostburg State University
- Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training – Northern Michigan University
- Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training – University of Findlay
- Doctorate in Physical Therapy – the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
- Master of Science in Kinesiology – California State University, Fullerton
- Master of Science in Athletic Training – Ithaca College
- Master of Science in Physical Therapy, Sports PT – D’Youville College
- Master of Science Sports Medicine and Kinesiology – New York Institute of Technology
- Doctorate in Physical Therapy – the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
So, if you’re interested in helping people stay healthy and active while enjoying a challenging career path, sports medicine may be the perfect choice for you. We hope this article has given you a good overview of what to expect as a sports medicine professional. Are you excited to start your journey? Let us know in the comments below!