Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Douglas Casa, Craig Denegar

Field of Study



Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Context: While current literature suggests novice athletic trainers enter the workforce with the necessary clinical skills and experience to begin practice, little is known in how they handle other aspects of their job or life outside of the workplace.

Objective: To examine the level of preparedness and quality of work-life balance of recently-credentialed athletic trainers and examine the challenges they face in the professional socialization process.

Design: Qualitative Study.

Setting: I conducted semi-structured phone interviews with all participants.

Patients or Other Participants: A total of 20 recently-certified (within past four years) athletic trainers (12 women, 8 men) working within the first three years in their first full-time position were recruited across a variety of employment settings.

Data collection and Analysis: Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed for analysis. Transcripts were analyzed first holistically, then upon second and third examination, labeling of recurring ideas revealed dominant themes of research.

Results: Three dominant themes were produced: a lack of administrative experience among my participants, organizational level factors in relation to work-life balance, and work-life balance management strategies.

Conclusions: The lack of administrative experiences demonstrated by my participants displays an area of improvement that could be made in clinical and academic education, along with professional mentorship and supervisor support in the workplace. Control over work schedule and organizational policies regarding work-life balance were supported as facilitators to work-life balance satisfaction. My participants also displayed a modernized approach to work-life balance.

Major Advisor

Stephanie Mazerolle