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In Illinois, the profession of athletic trainers is regulated by the state. Professional athletic trainers work under the direction of a physician. They mostly help athletes, and in addition to formulating and supervising exercise programs, they also give advice on equipment, facilities, nutrition, and injury care. In addition, athletic trainers may use modalities such as heat and cold, ultrasound, and mechanical devices to provide care and conditioning for athletes.
Athletic trainers have to have a degree from a 4-year accredited college and have studied under a curriculum in athletic training accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Athletic Training (JRC-AT). Licensing requires certification in CPR/AED for the Healthcare Professional and passing an examination in athletic training.
Personal trainers, on the other hand, are not a regulated by the state in Illinois. Technically, you can even be a personal trainer without having any formal experience or training at all. However, in reality, no one will hire a person who does not have experience and certification in the field. So you are following the right path by taking the certification course.
According to Chicago lawyer, Daniel Lota, who is also a personal trainer, the American Council of Exercise is one of the most respected organizations for athletic trainer certification. You can go to the following link for more rankings on certification organizations:
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Good luck and a happy future to you! Patience