What Can I Do with a Sports Medicine Degree?
Are you thinking about earning a degree in sports medicine, but are unsure what career options will be available to you upon graduation? Graduates of sports medicine degree programs can pursue careers in medicine, psychology or coaching. Read on to learn about some potential job options for sports medicine majors. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Overview of Sports Medicine Degree Programs
Sports medicine degrees are offered at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. These programs may be titled 'sports science', 'sports medicine and athletic training' or 'sports medicine'.
In an associate's degree program, you may complete courses in anatomy, kinesiology, nutrition, health and wellness, optimizing human performance and physical fitness testing. A bachelor's degree program curriculum includes coursework in subjects such as anatomy and physiology, statistics, coaching technology, the history of sports and personnel management. The curriculum of a master's degree program covers topics like sports psychology, sports coaching methodology, treatment procedures in the field and sports administration. Depending on the program, you may also participate in internships, clinical rotations or field studies.
Sports Medicine Physician
To work as a sports medicine physician, you must complete four years of medical school, a medical residency and then a fellowship in sports medicine. The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) recommends that, because there are no specific sports medicine residencies in the nation, aspiring sports medicine physicians should complete a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation, family practice, internal medicine, emergency medicine or pediatrics (www.newamssm.org).
As a sports medicine physician, you provide non-surgical treatment for sports-related injuries. For example, you may treat musculoskeletal injuries using medication or physical therapy, work to prevent further injury or identify a patient's nutritional needs. You could work as the physician for a sports team, in a hospital or as part of a group practice. As of 2012, Salary.com reported that sports medicine physicians earn an average annual salary of $242,019.
To become a sports psychologist, you must complete a Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Psychology degree program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these programs take about five years to complete (www.bls.gov). The American Psychological Association (APA) states that to work as a psychologist, you'll need hands-on clinical postdoctoral training in the form of a fellowship (www.apa.org). The APA explains that sports psychologist help athletes of all ages cope with athletic performance anxiety, recover mentally from injuries or enjoy participating in sports.
The BLS states that many colleges and universities require their coaching staff to have a bachelor's degree in an athletic discipline, such as sports medicine. As a college coach, you oversee practices, develop game strategies and manage rosters.
In May 2010, the BLS reported that coaches and scouts earned an annual average salary of $35,950. As of 2012, Salary.com reported that head coaches of a major college sports teams earn an annual average salary of $69,175.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: