NBA Athletic Trainers Salary and other FAQs

We love seeing our favorite NBA stars running and jumping up and down the court day in day out. However, it takes hours and hours of hard work to keep them fit and ready to get back out there after a very demanding day of play.

This is where athletic trainers come into play. They work with our favorite athletes to make sure that they stay fit and we get to see them on the court for a longer period of time.

Even though it takes a lot of hard work, just imagine how much fun it would be to work as a professional athletic trainer, you get to spend time with some of the most famous players all month and at the end you get a big fat paycheck. Now the question is; how much do NBA athletic trainers make?

Salaries for NBA athletic trainers start from $55,767. Around 25% of all NBA athletic trainers are making this amount per year, whereas 75% of the trainers make $56,200 per year. However, that is not the case with top-level trainers; they often make much more than what trainers normally make.

If you were to take a private lesson with an athletic trainer, it would cost you $68 on average for an hour-long session. However, the exact price may vary somewhere between $34 to $167 depending on the teacher, the type of lesson, and your geographical location.

I’m sure you have a million questions in your head right now, but don’t worry, this article will tell you everything that you need to know about NBA athletic trainers and more.

Money NBA athletic trainers make:

NBA Training

NBA players have a very important role to play when it comes to keeping the athletes fit. Not only do they work on preventing injuries they make sure that injuries don’t happen in the first place by using a number of different techniques.

Athletic trainers truly have a very tough job. As far as the question of salaries goes, NBA athletes make $55,767 annually on average. However, it can vary depending on experience and reputation. As the experience and reputation of an athletic trainer grows so does their salary.

If someone is starting out as an athletic trainer, they make $38,000, whereas someone with experience of 5 to 10 years makes $41,000. The salaries keep on increasing with experience and trainers that have spent 10 to 20 years working with athletes make $46,000 and ny trainer who has over 20 years of experience can make well over $50,000 annually.

How do NBA athletic trainers prepare players for a game?

How do NBA athletic trainers prepare players for a game?

The job of an NBA athletic trainer is to keep his athletes as healthy as possible so they can spend more time on the court. Trainers use a lot of different techniques to make sure that their players can avoid injuries and stay fit, whether it’s preventative flexibility programs or prehab programs to prevent weaknesses.

Some trainers work in conjunction with strength and conditioning. Some use massage therapy or yoga, so it’s a variety of different things that trainers use throughout the course of a season to cater to the needs of the athletes.

Some players start an hour before practice and some guys start as much as two hours before practice. There is generally a lot of heating involved in these sessions to warm up the body properly. There are a lot of warm tanks, hot packs, stretching, and flexibility training. Some guys do a simple maintenance program for a knee, a shoulder, or an ankle during a theraband program.

How do NBA trainers prevent injuries?

How do NBA trainers prevent injuries?

All the injury-related work is plain and simple for trainers. An athlete gets injured and asks the trainer to help them recover. The trainer knows exactly where the injury is, why it happened and how to help the athlete recover quickly. The most difficult part is to prevent injuries from happening.

The athletes go through a whole screening process and the trainers try to identify the weaknesses that they may have and address those weaknesses and ultimately try to prevent an injury.

The preventive aspect of medicine has grown exponentially. Although injuries still happen, now trainers have the help of amazing doctors that help the athletes and make the job of the trainers much easier.

The trainers also have a lot of confidence in the doctors because they know that every need that they have for their athletes can be met. So it takes a team approach whether it’s a physician, physical therapist, or other athletic trainers, it takes a holistic approach where everybody plays their part.

How tough is it to be an NBA trainer?

You might think that NBA athletic trainers have the most amazing job in the world. They get to hang out with the most famous NBA stars all day long and get to watch NBA games for free but it’s not as fun as it seems. Although hanging out with someone like Steph Curry would probably make your whole month but still it can get really hectic for athletic trainers.

The most difficult part of their job is the never-ending grind. It’s seven days a week, trainers do have Sundays off but they still do treatments because athletes still come in, because as soon as you don’t, you miss the opportunity to potentially recover and get better. So players make sure that they see their trainers as soon as possible because they need their bodies to be at 100% to make sure that they are at their best every time they step on the court.

Even though it can get really overwhelming for trainers at times they need to be proactive and not reactive in these situations because they need to maintain a healthy relationship with every athlete to make sure that they don’t make a mistake while treating some of the most valuable players on the face of the earth.

Trainers also need to make sure that they are communicating with the athletes properly. Communication between the trainer and the athlete is key. That’s ultimately where the success lies. The athletes need to be educated about their bodies. It is the job of a trainer to teach the athlete what’s going on with their body so that they can understand their own bodies better and really make sense of what their body is going through.

The trainers need to prepare the athletes as to what they should expect, what the steps are, what needs to be done, and how much of a commitment it’s going to take on the part of the player to go through treatment and rehab. The education of the player is an essential component in keeping them fit and healthy which makes it a key part of the trainer’s job.

How to become an NBA trainer?

Becoming an NBA trainer is no joke. For starters, you need to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Sports training that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Once you’re done with your degree you can apply for an internship in a sports league like the NBA or the NFL which will give you hands-on experience. The final step is to pass the sports training licensure exam to get the license to work as a professional athletic trainer in your state.

Currently, the minimum criteria to become an athletic trainer for the NBA is a bachelor’s degree in athletic training but the AT Strategic Alliance recently decided that the new minimum criteria would be a master’s in athletic training, a change that will be implemented in the fall of next year.

What does the future hold for NBA athletic trainers?

The NBA is gaining more and more popularity all over the world and it is expected that in the next few years it will take over the MLB to become the most famous pro sports league in the states. This means that everyone associated with the NBA has a safe future because the NBA is not going anywhere any time soon and everyone who works for the NBA has nothing to worry about.

As far as NBA athletic trainers are concerned, they have a very important role to play in the health of the NBA stars and according to BLS the employment growth for athletic trainers has been on an all-time high. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, athletic trainers are expected to have 23% employment growth which is three times more than any other occupation in the last decade.

What is the NBATA?

NBATA stands for National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association. The association came into being back in 1974 when athletic trainers from all 17 teams adopted the NBATA constitution and code of ethics in Kansas city. The first chairman of the association started a system for all the members to track the frequency of basketball injuries. The summary of the collected data was distributed to the members after every season. The system kept on evolving and when computers became available a university professor was hired to automate the process into a program that would take care of summarizing the injury data.

The NBTA empowered and united all the NBA athletic trainers and enabled them to present a united front on important issues like the minimum necessary qualification to become an athletic trainer and pensions. The NBTA gave the trainers the opportunity to brand themselves as sports medicine specialists.

Final thoughts

Though it might seem from a distance that NBA trainers have the best job in the world given the fact that they get to spend time with some of the biggest names in the basketball world, but they really have a tough gig. They hardly get any time off and they work their socks off to make sure that they keep their players fit and ready to go. Thanks to NBA athletic trainers we get to see our favorite NBA stars in action on the court game after game.