Baseball is one of America's favorite pastimes. Baseball games are filled with anticipation as players line up to try and swing for the fences. Major League Baseball (MLB) players have to stay in great physical condition in order to play through an entire season. In order to help their players, professional teams hire trainers to help their athletes stay in peak form and avoid injury. Trainers are paid based on their experience and the team that employs them.
The minimum requirement to be a professional baseball trainer is to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited athletic training program, although a large number of them hold Master's degrees. Most states also require trainers to be certified from the Board of Certification. This requires the trainers to undergo an intensive examination. Once certified, trainers must continue to periodically take continuing education classes to maintain certification.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, athletic trainers had a median salary of $39,640 in 2008. The top percent of trainers, which include MLB trainers, have a salary closer to $60,960. Salaries for MLB trainers depend largely on the experience of the trainer and the employer. Certain teams have more money than other teams and can afford to pay their trainers a higher salary.
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Besides a base salary, MLB trainers typically receive other benefits as part of their compensation package. These benefits include health insurance, life insurance, employer contributions to a 401 K plan, sick leave and vacation pay. In addition, the employer will pay for the trainer's continuing education classes to maintain his board certification. The trainers will also likely receive cost of living increases or raises each year depending on the financial status of the team.
There is a lot of competition to be a trainer for a MLB team, and only about 5 percent of all trainers in the United States work for professional sports teams. Since openings are rare, once a trainer starts working with a MLB team, they are usually reluctant to leave.