An analysis of selected factors that affect the work lives of athletic trainers employed in accredited educational programs

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Objective: To gain insight into selected factors that affect certified athletic trainers who work in accredited athletic training educational programs. Specifically, the demands and expectations placed upon certified athletic trainers relative to workloads, elements of compensation such as salary and benefits, and performance evaluation criteria were studied. Design and Setting: We designed the Survey of Athletic Trainer Workloads, Criteria for Retention and Promotion, and Salary Levels. Three copies were sent to all undergraduate curriculum directors for accredited athletic training education programs (n = 88). One hundred fifty-three usable surveys were returned (58%). Subjects: The subjects were 153 certified athletic trainers who were employed in accredited athletic training education programs. Measurements: Simple descriptive data including frequency distributions and measures of central tendency were used to compile most of the results and findings. A 2-way analysis of variance was performed relating to salary, years of experience, and sex. Results: Most certified athletic trainers (78%) worked on staffs of at least 3 certified athletic trainers. Almost universally, responsibilities included some combination of teaching, athletic service, and student supervision. Certified athletic trainers reported being certified an average of 12.5 years and typically worked more than 50 hours per week. The greatest percentage of those responding (56%) earned between $25,000 and $39,999 annually. Salaries were significantly lower for females than for their male counterparts of equal experience (P < .05). Chairperson evaluations and student evaluations on teaching were rated as the most important performance evaluation criteria for athletic trainers regarding merit and promotion. Conclusions: Although there was a wide range of responses for most categories surveyed, the data revealed clear trends. With more information of this nature, realistic assessments and comparisons can be made among certified athletic trainers working in accredited curriculum programs.

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Journal of Athletic Training

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