Sports medicine is a rapidly expanding area of healthcare that focuses on preventing and treating injuries sustained while participating in sports. Assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning and implementation, surgery, and post-operative care are tasks carried out by professionals in this discipline. The particular job duties carried out rely on the professional’s education, training, and other credentials in sports medicine.
In our update today, we shall outline some careers in sports medicine cutting across the following career options in sports medicine.
- Sports medicine degree jobs1
- Primary care sports medicine jobs
- Jobs with a sports medicine degree
- Sports medicine physician assistant jobs
- Orthopedic sports medicine jobs
- Sports medicine physician assistant jobs
Furthermore, with the help of our research associates, we shall outline how to become a sports medicine expert and ways to get a job in sports medicine.
What Is Sports Medicine?
A specialized area of medicine is sports medicine. It focuses on injury rehabilitation to aid in a person’s return to optimal function. Some sports medicine doctors and nurses collaborate with athletic teams. At hospitals, other sports medicine doctors practice. Some work in private practice or as a member of a group.
What Degrees Can Help You Get a Career In Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine is a dynamic and thrilling discipline. Helping players return to their favorite games after suffering a sports-related injury is one of the rewards of a profession in sports medicine. Non-athletes can also benefit from improved general function with your aid. Your options after earning a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine won’t be limited to becoming a doctor. There is a bright future in front of you if you take this degree path.
It’s crucial to understand that not many schools offer bachelor’s degrees in sports medicine if you wish to study this field. You can frequently minor in sports medicine, though. Take a pre-medical course emphasis as well if you plan to attend medical school.
There are additional choices if your university does not have a sports medicine bachelor’s degree program. By combining a pre-medical course specialization (often physics, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and statistics) with a degree in exercise science or kinesiology, you can effectively design your own sports medicine degree.
The easiest way to define exercise science is as a discipline of study that focuses on the application of kinesiology concepts. It falls within the umbrella of kinesiology. Numerous universities grant kinesiology bachelor’s degrees with specializations in exercise science. You might also be able to obtain a degree in exercise science explicitly, depending on the curriculum you choose.
How to get a job in sports medicine
A passion for sports is crucial if you want to work in sports medicine, but it won’t go you very far. In high school, you should concentrate on the sciences if you plan to pursue this job. Whatever branch of sports medicine you choose, the fundamental courses will cover anatomy, biology, (bio)chemistry, physiology, and other scientific topics. Investigate the colleges and institutions that are nearby, their prices, and admission requirements for the career you want.
Other jobs typically require at least a Bachelor’s Degree, whereas medical practitioners need many years of university education before receiving specialized training in sports medicine. Although it used to be enough to have a lot of hands-on experience and perhaps a brief certificate course to work as an athletic trainer, most professions today call for a bachelor’s degree from an authorized college or university. You can have a successful career in sports medicine if you have the right education, experience, and commitment to quality.
Why are sports medicine careers important?
Maintaining an athlete’s health and well-being is crucial for their own well-being, their team performance, and the sports industry’s financial aspects. Sports medicine professionals can aid players in reducing discomfort, increasing strength, and improving their athletic performance.
By enabling them to restore the strength and range of motion required to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, sports medicine specialists also assist non-athletes in recovering from muscle, nerve, and joint injuries. Successful sports medicine professionals can offer both athletic and non-athletic patients a thorough, personalized treatment plan because of their vast variety of specialties.
Sports medicine jobs
We have compiled top jobs in sports medicine that cut across different sports medicine careers and specialties.
1. Exercise physiologist
An exercise physiologist evaluates a person’s medical background and current level of fitness to establish the best diet and exercise plan. A safe and effective exercise program should be created, vital signs should be monitored before and during exercise, and they should administer stress and fitness tests.
The cardiovascular system and metabolism are the main areas of interest for exercise physiologists. You need a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology or a closely related subject like biology, exercise science, or kinesiology to become an exercise physiologist. A master’s degree or further certifications are options that people have. This career path forms an integral part of sports medicine jobs.
2. Athletic trainer
An athletic trainer supports an athlete’s or an athlete’s team’s best athletic performance. This involves advising clients to follow exercise and nutrition regimens, demonstrating secure and efficient exercise practices, acting quickly to stop injuries from occurring, and advising clients on the best ways to recover from injuries.
Athletic trainers can find employment in a number of places, such as health clubs, clinics, hospitals, colleges, and universities, or with professional or collegiate sports organizations. You need to pass the Board of Certification (BOC) Athletic Training exam and complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in athletic training to become an athletic trainer.
The fact that you have to get a degree makes it a top sports medicine degree job.
3. Orthopedic nurse
A registered nurse who treats patients with musculoskeletal illnesses and problems is known as an orthopedic nurse. This covers osteoporosis, arthritis, cracked or broken bones, and joint replacement. Their assistance may take the form of counseling, casting, pain management, or musculoskeletal examinations.
Orthopedic nurses assist orthopedic surgeons with patient post-operative recuperation and operation planning. They work day, night, and evening shifts in medical facilities such as clinics or hospitals. You need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse in order to become an orthopedic nurse, and you may do this by earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing (NCLEX-RN).
Kinesiotherapists create, carry out, and oversee exercise regimens for patients recuperating from injuries with a focus on regaining strength and mobility. While some are specialists who support a variety of injuries, others work with athletes who are recuperating from a particular injury.
Kinesiotherapists work in a range of healthcare facilities, such as gyms, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and sports medicine facilities. You must successfully complete a bachelor’s degree program in kinesiology to become a kinesiotherapist. It is advised, though not necessary, for those in this position to additionally earn the Registered Kinesiotherapist qualification, which includes passing an exam.
5. Physical therapist
A physical therapist evaluates a patient’s present musculoskeletal functioning, makes any necessary diagnoses, and suggests appropriate treatment regimens. Helping patients heal from muscle, nerve, or joint problems, restore strength and range of motion, and get back to living an active lifestyle is the main goal of this treatment.
Until patients can complete the tasks on their own, physical therapists actively support them while teaching and modeling exercises for them. Physical therapists work in clinics, hospitals, schools, and other settings. You need to complete a bachelor’s degree, earn a doctorate in physical therapy, and pass a national licensing exam to become a physical therapist.
6. Sports psychologist
A sports psychologist helps athletes develop and maintain mindsets and beliefs that are conducive to athletic success. This involves pain tolerance and patience for injury rehabilitation as well as mental techniques for improving performance and preventing burnout during competition.
In order to develop environments that are tough but enjoyable for players of all ages, sports psychologists collaborate with coaches. A bachelor’s degree is the entry-level requirement for becoming a sports psychologist. Many people decide to earn a master’s or doctoral degree as well in order to hone their talents and increase their employability.
7. Sports medicine nurse
A sports medicine nurse, who normally holds a nurse practitioner degree, works alongside the supervising doctor to treat patients who have fractured bones, strained muscles, dislocated joints, and more. Sports medicine nurse jobs are among the highest paying sports medicine jobs especially if they attach you to an elite football club.
This person may be in charge of gathering the patient’s medical background, collaborating on the development of a treatment plan, or instructing the patient on efficient recuperation and injury avoidance techniques.
Having earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a closely related profession is the bare minimum required for becoming a sports medicine nurse. Many people decide to earn both the Orthopedic Nursing Certification and a Master’s Degree in Nurse Practice.
A doctor who specializes in physiatry, often known as physical medicine, is referred to as a physiatrist. Physiatrists support patients who struggle with pain and movement. Similar to physical therapy, but usually require a more in-depth understanding of nerve, bone, and muscle problems in this line of work.
Physiatrists’ main goal is to assist patients in regaining physical function so they can enhance their sporting prowess and overall quality of life. This mostly consists of non-surgical treatments like medicine, physical activity, and other holistic approaches. A bachelor’s degree, a doctor of medicine degree, four years of post-doctoral residency, and passing the medical board test are all requirements for becoming a physiatrist.
9. Primary care sports medicine physician Job
A sports medicine doctor focuses on the prevention of injuries, diagnosis, non-surgical treatment, and rehabilitation of physically active people, including athletes and people who are not players.
This involves giving instruction and advice on diet and physical preparation, prescribing physical or occupational therapy treatment, and making decisions regarding “return to play.” Physicians that specialize in sports medicine practice in offices, hospitals, schools, and clinics.
Completing a bachelor’s degree, a doctor of medicine degree, a family medicine specialty, passing the medical boards, and earning a supplemental, non-degree certification in sports medicine are the most typical steps to becoming a primary care sports medicine physician.
10. Orthopedic surgeon
An orthopedic surgeon, often known as an orthopedist, specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and surgical as well as non-surgical treatment of problems of the bones, joints, tendons, and muscles. Orthopedic sports medicine jobs pays the highest because of their importance in sports medicine.
Orthopedic surgeons can be generalists or specialists, with specialists concentrating mostly on a particular body component, like the hip, wrist, or shoulder. A variety of hospitals or private practices employ orthopedic doctors.
A bachelor’s degree, a doctor’s medical degree, a four- to five-year orthopedic surgery residency, and any required board certification examinations are all requirements for becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
Sports medicine jobs salary
The average annual salary for a sports medicine professional in the United States is $101,773. That comes out to about $48.93 an hour, in case you need a quick pay calculator. This amounts to $8,481 a month or $1,957 every week.
Sports medicine salaries presently average between $43,500 (25th percentile) and $119,500 (75th percentile), with the top 90 percentile earners in the United States getting $215,000.
The wide range of salaries for Sports Medicine positions—up to $76,000—indicates that there may be numerous prospects for growth and higher income based on experience, location, and skill level.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much money does a doctor of sports medicine make in the US? The average Physician – Sports Medicine pay in the United States is $247,725, while the range frequently ranges from $211,443 to $315,091.
Physical therapy, athletic training, and exercise physiology are just a few of the career options available in the field of sports medicine. A career in this field could be quite rewarding for those with interests in both athletics and healthcare.
Sports medicine is in high demand. By 2029, there will be a projected increase of 72,500 new positions for physicians. Over the following few years, this entails an annual increase of 2.15 percent.
How much money is made by an NBA team doctor? The average salary for an NBA team physician in the US as of 2023 is $88,571. In case you need a quick pay estimator, that comes out to about $42.58 per hour. This amounts to $7,380 per month or $1,703 each week.
Consider the prospect of a sports medicine job or exercise science if you are passionate about athletics, assisting others in improving their quality of life, and injury prevention. A sports medical degree offers good training for numerous occupations, whether you intend to work full or part-time.
Jobs with a stronger medical focus include orthopedic nursing and orthopedic medicine. For careers in athletic training, exercise physiology, and related sectors, an education in exercise science (also known as kinesiology) is ideal.