There are a lot of careers to pursue in the health sector, and most don’t require a sports medicine degree. However, for individuals interested in specializing in or diversifying to sports medicine, getting a sports medicine degree is a great way to start.
There are different ways a sports medicine degree can help your health career. If you want to know more, continue reading below.
What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine is the branch of medicine that specializes in the treatment and prevention of injuries that relate to exercises and sports. It is also focused on maintaining the physical fitness of athletes, as well as helping people interested in sports to participate healthily and safely.
Although formerly seen as a part of general medical science, sports medicine has emerged as a distinct field in the healthcare industry. Today, individuals seeking careers in sports medicine have to go through specialized training to be qualified.
The field of sports medicine is a wide one. It combines general medicine with several sports science specifics, such as sports psychology, exercise physiology, sports nutrition, orthopedics, etc.
A typical sports medicine team is usually comprised of specialists, such as athletic trainers, physical therapists, surgeons, psychologists, nutritionists, coaches, etc. Interested in sports medicine? Below are some ways that it could help your health career.
5 Ways A Sports Medicine Degree Can Help your Health Career
- Competitive Pay: Sports medicine is one field where you can earn competitive pay. According to Salary.com, a sports medicine physician can make up to an average of $200,682 annually.
Some of the highest-paying jobs in this field include orthopedics, athlete trainers, sports psychologists, and physical therapists. For instance, orthopedic surgeons earn an average of $469,000 to $536,000 annually, making it one of the highest paying careers of all times.
2. Progressive Job Growth: Looking for a career in medicine that is likely to grow in the next couple of years? Try sports medicine. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the estimated growth for jobs in sports medicine will increase by 24% in the next eight years.
Specifically, the demand for athletic trainers is expected to reach 23% by 2026. This growth is connected to increasing awareness of sports and a healthy lifestyle. The projected growth in the sports medicine sector is one of the fastest and highest so far, thus making it one of the safest jobs in the coming years.
3. Guaranteed Job Security: As the demands for more sport medicine specialists increase, coupled with the job growth forecast, there is a higher guarantee of job security for people who work in this sector.
As a result, getting a sports medicine degree can provide job security for the foreseeable future, which means there will always be jobs for people with sports medicine degrees, thereby eliminating the fear of sudden changeovers and unemployment.
4. Room For specialization: A degree in sports medicine will allow you to become a specialist in sports and fitness medicine. Becoming an expert in this particular field has several advantages, such as travelling opportunities, treating unique or celebrity clients, etc. And, for people who love sports, working as a sports medicine specialist could be one of the most fulfilling jobs.
You can either work with athletes or sports teams to help them achieve their professional goals. Whichever you choose, one thing is sure, and that is you are doing something you love.
5. Opportunity For Career Advancement In Various Fields: As mentioned earlier, sports medicine is a vast field, and it has different areas where you can work as a specialist. Getting a degree in sports medicine opens you up to a wide range of career choices, such as a nutritionist, personal trainer, athlete trainer, sports psychologist, physical therapist, and many more.
Besides, getting a degree in sports medicine gives you an edge over others in general medicine. Apart from working in the health sector, you will also be able to specialize in areas that require the expertise of a sports medicine personnel.
Career Opportunities For People With Sports Medicine Degree
As one of the fastest-growing sectors, there are many career opportunities available for people with sports medicine degrees. Some of these include:
- Physical Therapist: This is one of the highest-paying jobs in sports and sports medicine. They are responsible for diagnosing and treating athletes with physical challenges in the form of injuries or disabilities. With the help of a physical therapist, function and mobility can be restored to various degrees.
- Orthopedic Surgeon/Nurse: Among the highest-paid sports medicine specialists are the orthopedic surgeons, who treat illnesses and perform surgeries for the most severe injuries and conditions relating to muscles and bones among athletes. An orthopedic nurse, on the other hand, is a registered nurse who offers care to athletes with musculoskeletal conditions.
- Athletic Trainer: An athletic trainer, unlike a personal trainer, is certified and recognized as a health professional. They work with athletes and sports teams to prevent injuries and manage them when they occur.
- Sports Nutritionist: There is a famous saying that says, “You are what you eat.” Sports nutritionists work together with athletes to ensure that they take the right diet.
- Sports Psychologist: The world of sports is filled with pressure, and, as a result, athletes are always under constant pressure. A sports psychologist takes care of the mental health of athletes and helps relieve the stress of their profession.
A sports medicine degree can help your health career in several ways. Being one of the most in-demand sectors in the world today, it can give you a competitive pay. Also, as the field is constantly growing and expanding, there is a higher guarantee of job security. Furthermore, by working in this industry, you’re offered an opportunity to advance and branch out into other fields.