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J Athl Train. 1998 Jul-Sep; 33(3): 254–258.
PMCID: PMC1320433

Importance of Selected Athletic Trainer Employment Characteristics in Collegiate, Sports Medicine Clinic, and High School Settings

Brent L. Arnold, PhD, ATC,* Bruce M. Gansneder, PhD,* Bonnie L. Van Lunen, PhD, ATC, Joseph E. Szczerba, PhD, ATC,* Carl G. Mattacola, PhD, ATC, and David H. Perrin, PhD, ATC*



We examined employer importance ratings of 35 employee characteristics in the collegiate, sports medicine clinic, and high school settings and made comparisons among these settings.

Design and Setting:

All prospective employers were sent a survey. Of the 472 surveys mailed, 282 (60%) were returned, with a sample error rate of 1.9%.


All prospective employers listed on the NATA position vacancy notices from January 1, 1994 to October 1, 1994.


Employers were asked to rate 35 employee characteristics as “not important” “ minimally important,” “ important.” or “very important.” Additionally, employers chose 1 of 15 job descriptors that best identified their position vacancy. These 15 descriptors were then categorized into collegiate, sports medicine clinic, and high school settings. Discriminant analysis and analysis of variance procedures were used to determine if the 35 employee characteristics differed across the 3 settings.


The discriminant analysis produced 2 significant discriminant functions (P < .05) with 23 of the original 35 characteristics remaining in the analysis. The first function discriminated between the collegiate setting and the other settings, with the collegiate setting scoring the highest. The second function discriminated among all 3 groups, with the sports medicine clinic and high school settings scoring the highest and lowest, respectively. Additionally, the analyses of variance (ANOVAs) revealed that 21 of the characteristics remaining in the discriminant analysis differed across the 3 settings.


Employers from all 3 settings rated educational program reputation, written recommendations, job interview performance, and NATA-BOC certification eligibility as important to very important. For the collegiate setting, 7 characteristics were rated above important and included such characteristics as possession of a master's degree and collegiate experience. For the sports medicine clinic, 8 characteristics were rated above important and included sports medicine clinic experience, high school experience, and sport-specific experience. Finally, for the high school setting, 5 characteristics were rated above important. These included NATA-BOC certification, a bachelor's degree, and high school experience.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Arnold BL, Perrin DH, Vanlunen BL, Szczerba JE, Mattacola CG, Gansneder BM. 1994 athletic trainer employment and salary characteristics. J Athl Train. 1996 Jul;31(3):215–218. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sexton J, Miles H, Schmoldt K. Job marketability survey for athletic trainers in selected midwestern States. J Athl Train. 1994 Sep;29(3):208–212. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Duncan KM, Wright KE. A national survey of athletic trainer roles and responsibilities in the allied clinical setting. J Athl Train. 1992;27(4):311–316. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Foster DT, Leslie DK. Clinical teaching roles of athletic trainers. J Athl Train. 1992;27(4):298–302. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Moss CL. 1994 entry-level athletic training salaries. J Athl Train. 1996 Jan;31(1):25–28. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association