What is the difference between an Athletic Trainer and a Personal Trainer? Athletic training is not the same profession as personal training. And certified athletic trainers work with more than just athletes – they can be found just about anywhere that people are physically active. To become certified athletic trainers, students must graduate with bachelors or masters degree from an accredited professional athletic training education program and pass a comprehensive test administered by the Board of Certification. Once certified, they must meet ongoing continuing education requirements in order to remain certified.