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PFATS Frequently Asked Questions

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PFATS Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC)?

According to the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), an ATC is a unique health care provider who specializes in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. ATC’s collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities.

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How do I become an Athletic Trainer?

In order to become a certified athletic trainer, you must become eligible for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination through an athletic training (bachelor or entry-level masters) degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Once certified, you must meet ongoing continuing education requirements in order to remain certified.

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What is PFATS?

The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) is a Professional Association representing the athletic trainers of the National Football League. We serve the players of the NFL, the member Clubs, and other members of the community. Our purpose is to insure the highest quality of health care is provided to the National Football League. We are dedicated to the welfare of our members and committed to the promotion and advancement of athletic training through education and research. The Society is founded on the professional integrity and the ethical standards of our members and the fellowship that exists among us.

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I am an undergraduate athletic training student, how do I get an internship in the NFL?

Each team offers some form of an NFL internship (Summer or Seasonal). Every team requires that applicants are currently enrolled or have graduated from an accredited Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP). Applicants, who meet this criterion, must submit their cover letter, resume and list of professional references to each team. Please contact individual teams to apply.

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What types of Internships are offered?

Internships vary throughout the league. Every team offers Training Camp/Summer internships and Seasonal internships. Undergraduate students who are enrolled in an accredited Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) can apply in the fall for open positions for each team, which begin in the summer. Seasonal interns typically are certified athletic trainers and have prior NFL internship (summer and/or seasonal) experience. Roles for both summer and seasonal interns vary from team to team, but they typically function as a member of the athletic training staff. Please contact individual teams for more information and applications requirements.

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Does PFATS offer scholarships to athletic training students?

Yes PFATS offers two different scholarships for athletic training students.


PFATS/NATA Scholarship:

As part of its commitment to advance the athletic training profession, PFATS allocates funding, resources and voluntary efforts toward special programs and services of its members to a variety of NATA programs and services. PFATS currently awards four $2,000 scholarships for athletic training students annually at the NATA's William E. Newell Student Trainer Awards Luncheon.


PFATS and NFL Charities Minority Scholarships:

Since 1993, PFATS and NFL Charities have worked together to sponsor annual scholarships for ethnic minority students. The scholarship program is open to undergraduate and graduate ethnic minority athletic training students who possess a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.5 on a four-point scale. In addition to receiving a financial grant, each student selected will have the opportunity to work at an NFL summer training camp.

Please see the Scholarship page for more information regarding PFATS/NATA Scholarship Series and the PFATS and NFL Charities Minority Scholarships.

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Now that the season is over, what is the role of the athletic trainer in the offseason?

The off-season begins the moment following a team's last game and goes until training camp starts. Medical intervention such as surgery, arthroscopy, rehab programs, or even a significant period of rest, begins immediately after the season ends and are monitored by ATC staff. The relative volume, compared to the regular season, is less because there are fewer players, but there are a variety of things to coordinate for those who remain in town. Staffs also attend the NFL Combine, assist with the NFL Draft and play an important role in preparations for the upcoming season by helping out with the off-season program and mini-camps.

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Besides covering NFL games, what are other opportunities that I could experience while being an Athletic Trainer in the NFL?

Besides covering 4 preseason games and all 16 regular season games, the NFL offers several unique experiences that ATC’s could participate in. Most ATC’s will have experienced working the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, Senior Bowl and playing a regular season game in London, England.  

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I am a vendor interested in participating at the annual Vendor show, how can I receive more information?

The PFATS vendor show is held annually in conjunction with the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Additional details and logistical information regarding the vendor show is generally emailed to all potential vendors during the month of October. If you have not attended our vendor show in the past and you or your company is interested in participating, please contact us using the NFL Combine Vendor Show page for more information.

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