Athletic trainers work in various parts of the industry, whether they help to prepare high school athletes for college sports or train National Football League (NFL) players to do their best during their next game. These things affect athletic trainer salary figures; location, experience and even reputation also affect these individuals’ annual incomes.

National Average

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, athletic trainers nationwide earned an average salary of about $41,600 per year. This is about $10,000 less than the average salaries earned by individuals working in similar technical occupations,but it is about $10,000 more than the average salaries earned by physical trainers and individuals in similar occupations. Athletic trainers working in schools, colleges and universities earn an average of $32,000 per year; those that work with professional athletes earn salaries that start out at about $51,021 per year and climb based upon experience and the success of their clients.

Salary by Location

Along the east coast, athletic trainers employed in New York City earn an average of $51,000 annually, those in Boston, MA earn about $46,000 per year, and those in Miami, FL earn $39,000 per year on average. On the west coast, those in San Francisco, CA earn around $52,000 annually, athletic trainers in Los Angeles, CA earn about $42,000 per year, and individuals in Seattle, WA earn about $39,000. Finally, in Midwestern cities, athletic trainer in Chicago earn about $46,000 per year, those in St. Louis, MO earn roughly $42,000 annually, and individuals in Des Moines, IA earn only about $35,000 per year.

Amount of Education and Experience

In order to obtain entry-level positions as athletic trainers, individuals will need at least Bachelor’s degrees. The average pay for these positions is about $25,750 per year, but this climbs quickly as the trainer gains experience in the industry. Master’s degrees are not uncommon in the field due to increased job competition, and individuals who seek entry level positions with these degrees may earn as much as $32,310 per year. However, with years of experience, plenty of good references and a positive reputation, it is possible for athletic trainers holding either Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees to earn as much as $64,930 per year.

Other Contributing Factors

One of the biggest factors contributing to an athletic trainer’s salary is the athletes with whom he or she works. For example, a trainer who works with a minor league baseball player may earn a salary of $37,000 per year. Conversely, a trainer who works with a Major League Baseball (MLB) great may earn upwards of $75,000 per year. Another important thing that athletic trainers must consider is reputation. Individuals who are known for helping professional athletes perform at their best will be in higher demand and will therefore earn a larger income. However, it is still important for those who work with non-professional athletes to aim for an excellent reputation in order to maximize their earnings.
Athletic trainers earn a wide variety of salaries based upon their location, experience, reputation and more. In order to earn the most money possible, these individuals should strive to do their best and gain a clientele that will provide nothing but positive references.