Athletic Trainer vs Personal Trainer
Although the roles of athletic trainer and personal trainers intersect at times, they are two very different professions, which serve very different roles within their respective professions. In most states, Certified Athletic Trainers must obtain a license to practice and the nationally recognized ATC (Certified Athletic Trainer) credential requires at least a bachelors degree from an accredited program, go through extensive clinical experience under the supervision of a credentialed professional, and pass a very rigorous national Board of Certification (BOC) examination. They are also recognized by the American Medical Association as healthcare providers who collaborate with physicians, other members of the medical community, parents, and other educational staff members to provide the best quality of care for their patients. Athletic trainers provide a variety of services including injury assessment, recognition, prevention, immediate care, and rehabilitation of injuries.
Personal trainers, on the other hand, are fitness professionals and NOT healthcare professionals. There is little or no regulation of their professional practice and there are very few requirements to obtain a personal training credential (some of which can be obtained with as little as a weekend course). The only similarity between athletic trainers and personal trainers is that both work with athletes, but they do very different jobs. If you are interested in becoming a personal trainer, you should consider majoring in one of the exercise sciences.