Jobs, Salaries and Career after Masters in Kinesiology and Exercise Science - Updated 2020

2018 median Pay for Kinesiology and Exercise Science

The median annual wage for exercise physiologists was $49,270 in May 2018.


Pay



Best paying jobs for Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management - Updated 2020


Number of Jobs for Kinesiology and Exercise Science

Number of Jobs in 2018 was 15,100


Education required

Bachelor's degree


Job Outlook for Kinesiology and Exercise Science

Employment of exercise physiologists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand may rise as hospitals emphasize exercise and preventive care to help patients recover from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and improve their overall health.


Job description of Kinesiology and Exercise Science

Exercise physiologists develop fitness and exercise programs that help patients recover from chronic diseases and improve cardiovascular function, body composition, and flexibility.

Duties

Exercise physiologists typically do the following:

  • Analyze a patient’s medical history to assess their risk during exercise and to determine the best possible exercise and fitness regimen for the patient
  • Perform fitness and stress tests with medical equipment and analyze the resulting patient data
  • Measure blood pressure, oxygen usage, heart rhythm, and other key patient health indicators
  • Develop exercise programs to improve patients’ health

Exercise physiologists work to improve overall patient health. Many of their patients suffer from health problems such as cardiovascular disease or pulmonary (lung) disease. Exercise physiologists provide health education and exercise plans to improve key health indicators.

Some physiologists work closely with primary care physicians, who may prescribe exercise regimens for their patients and refer them to exercise physiologists. The physiologists then work with patients to develop individualized treatment plans that will help the patients meet their health and fitness goals.

Exercise physiologists should not be confused with fitness trainers and instructors (including personal trainers) or athletic trainers.


How to become Kinesiology and Exercise Science

Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Degree programs include science and health-related courses, such as biology, anatomy, kinesiology, and nutrition, as well as clinical work.

Education

Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, exercise science, kinesiology, or a related field. Master’s degree programs also are available. Programs include courses in science and health-related subjects, such as biology, anatomy, statistics, kinesiology, and nutrition, as well as clinical work. In 2017, there were about 60 programs in exercise physiology, exercise science, and kinesiology accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Louisiana is the only state that requires exercise physiologists to be licensed, although some states have pending legislation to create licensure requirements.

Employers typically require exercise physiologists to have Basic Life Support (BLS) certification or Advanced Life Support (ACLS) certification, both of which include training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) offers the Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) certification, which physiologists can use to demonstrate their qualifications. To be eligible for certification, candidates must pass the ASEP exam and hold ASEP membership. In addition, candidates must have either a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology or a bachelor’s degree in a related field, and they must have completed specific coursework requirements. To maintain certification, candidates must complete continuing education courses every 5 years.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) also offers certifications for exercise physiologists: the Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C) and the Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP) credentials for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, as well as the Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP) for candidates with a master’s or higher degree. All three ACSM credentials require CPR certification and passing an exam. Candidates for the CEP and the RCEP also must have at least 400 and 600 hours of supervised clinical experience, respectively. All three ACSM certifications require candidates to complete continuing education courses every 3 years, and keep their CPR certification up to date.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Because exercise physiologists work with patients who may be in considerable pain or discomfort, they must be sympathetic while working with patients.

Decisionmaking skills. Exercise physiologists must make informed clinical decisions because those decisions could affect the health or livelihood of patients.

Detail oriented. Exercise physiologists must record detailed, accurate information about their patients’ conditions and about any progress the patients make. For example, they must ensure that patients are completing the appropriate stress tests or practicing the correct fitness regimen.

Interpersonal skills. Exercise physiologists must have strong interpersonal skills and manage difficult situations. They must communicate clearly with others, including physicians, patients, and patients’ families.


What people in similar profession do

Job Title What they do How to become one
Health and Physical Education Athletes and sports competitors participate in organized, officiated sporting events to entertain spectators. No formal educational credential is required for anyone to become an athlete or sports competitor. Athletes must have superior athletic talent and extensive knowledge of their sport. They usually get such knowledge through years of experience at lower levels of competition. Education Although athletes and sports competitors typically have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, no formal educational credential is required for them to enter the occupation.
Sport and Fitness Management Coaches teach amateur or professional athletes the skills they need to succeed at their sport. Scouts look for new players and evaluate their skills and likelihood for success at the college, amateur, or professional level. Many coaches also are involved in scouting. Coaches and scouts typically need a bachelor’s degree. They also must have extensive knowledge of the sport. Coaches typically gain this knowledge through their own experiences playing the sport at some level.
Kinesiology and Exercise Science Exercise physiologists develop fitness and exercise programs that help patients recover from chronic diseases and improve cardiovascular function, body composition, and flexibility. Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Degree programs include science and health-related courses, such as biology, anatomy, kinesiology, and nutrition, as well as clinical work. Education Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, exercise science, kinesiology, or a related field. Master’s degree programs also are available.

Job Outlook for other majors in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management

Job Title Number of jobs Median Salary Job outlook
Health and Physical Education 11800 $50650 As fast as average
Sport and Fitness Management 276100 $33780 Faster than average