Career Paths In Exercise Science


Gaining Experience As A Student

Best Exercise Science Careers

Pursuing an internship opportunity in a career field related to your exercise science degree is the best way to gain work experience for your future career while youre still in school.

Internships are win-win situations – not only do they allow you to gain professional experience while earning school credit, they give employers the opportunity to gain valuable temporary team members.

Working such an opportunity also has several other benefits. For example, it allows you to get your foot in the door with the employer, which can result in being hired upon graduation.

Chances are, that if youve done quality work and made a good impression, the organization will want to retain you on a full-time basis once youve graduated. They will already be familiar with you and your work ethic, and they will save a great deal of time and expense trying to recruit someone else.

Another important, and often overlooked benefit of internships, is that they give you a chance to experience what actual day-to-day work in the field is like. Sort of like a career test drive. This is the best way to truly figure out if a career in this field is well suited for you or not.

Exercise Science: A Stepping Stone Degree

In the case of Exercise Science, it should be considered a diverse stepping stone degree. This is a very good thing as long as you have a plan after graduation. If you dont plan on pursuing a professional healthcare degree after graduation, there are job roles related to Exercise Science such as personal trainer and cardiac rehab specialist that you can take on. Just know that when you graduate with a bachelors degree in Exercise Science, dont expect to find an abundance of places looking to hire full-time Exercise Scientists/Specialists/Physiologists these jobs are relatively few and far between.

If youre interested in research, teaching or business then pursuing a graduate degree in exercise physiology, public health, education or business may be the right path for you.

Recreation And Sports Director

Median Annual Salary:$48,525Projected Growth: 10% from 2021 to 2031

This career path is meant for those who are the go-to for group activities. As a recreation and sports director, you would likely lead and oversee the staff and facilities of an organizations rec department. Your responsibilities would include: coordinating, creating, and executing recreational programs, and hiring the appropriate staff to make sure those programs run smoothly. With an exercise science masters degree under your belt, you can emphasize recreational health and wellness activities for your community.

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What Can You Do With A Doctorate In Exercise Science

While earning a doctorate in exercise science, learners can conduct research that fills industry knowledge gaps. This type of degree offers a deep dive into the theories that influence the practice. Many people with this degree pursue jobs in the medical or higher education fields.

A doctorate in exercise science is the terminal degree for this field. It takes most people 4-6 years to finish this degree.

Some of the careers people with a doctorate in exercise science may pursue:

Physical Therapists

Physical therapists create care plans for patients and oversee the work of physical therapy assistants and aides. They primarily help sick and injured patients improve their range of motion. The BLS projects a 21% job growth for physical therapists between 2020 and 2030.

Median Annual Salary :$91,010

Graduates can become kinesiology or exercise science professors with a doctorate in this subject. According to the BLS, exact education requirements vary. However, most colleges and universities prefer to hire people with a doctorate. The BLS projects job growth for postsecondary teachers to increase by 12% between 2020 and 2030.

Median Annual Salary :$80,560

Median Annual Salary :$208,000

Exercise Science Bachelors Degree Jobs

Careers in Sport, Exercise and Health Science

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Professionals with a background in exercise science can work in many types of roles, such as coaching or personal training. While some exercise science jobs may require a master’s degree, such as a chiropractor or kinesiologist, there are many other jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree in this area. If you’re interested in fitness and enjoy helping others reach their health goals, you may want to learn more about the jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.

In this article, we explain what exercise science is and provide a list of 10 jobs you can get with an exercise science bachelor’s degree.

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Nutrition Certification For Trainers

Regarding endorsement of Precision Nutrition Certificaition for Trainers: This is a huge issue with in my Industry, that being PT have the ability even to contemplate giving Nutrition advice. This is why professionals like myself go and study Nutrition at a high level to obtain the necessary skill set to be able to advise legally. When will it become apparent that nutrition is left to the Dieticians and Nutritionists not the Personal trainers.

Thank for comments. Perhaps in an ideal world, the trainers would have degrees in all applicable disciplines or clients would hire a team of experts each one with specialized credentials. Good or bad, In the US, it is not only legal for trainers to counsel their clients on proper nutrition, but expected by the clients. In the US, it’s only illegal to prescribe medical nutrient therapy without these higher level qualifications. Also see The Future of Personal Training.

Great reply I have no issue at all with counseling clients but supplying In depth eating regimes is well beyond their scope of practice, well in Australia anyway.

Once again thank you for your professional reply and any support for the client that Is safe and sustainable is a positive.

What Is An Exercise Physiologist


An Exercise Physiologist or physical therapist, also known as a kinesiotherapist, is key in the recovery of injured and healing patients or those with chronic illnesses. They do this by creating specific physical fitness programs based on the patient’s medical history and condition. They focus on slowly but surely improving the person’s weak points, flexibility, and general physical health.Healthcare companies and sports teams often hire one or more Exercise Physiologists, and thus, the position might require flexibility in terms of the working hours. Sports teams are also prone to travel quite a bit, so one might have to move with them.The typical entry-level kinesiotherapist has a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy, and some may ask for additional experience or even a higher-level diploma, such as a Master’s.

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Push Yourself Further: How To Get Into It With An Exercise Science Degree

You listened to the old adage to study what you loved in college, but now you’re having trouble supporting yourself with your job or maybe you’re having trouble finding one at all. You even majored in a science.

It might be hard to find a job related to your exercise science degree, but the skills you’ve picked up along the way could serve you well in one of the best careers possible: the IT field. While other professions stagnate thanks to disruptive apps and the increasingly competitive global economy, IT has many of the top jobs in demand.

What Can You Do With A Bachelor’s In Exercise Science

5 High PAYING Jobs For Exercise Science Majors In 2021

A bachelor’s in exercise science covers practical and foundational industry knowledge. This degree may qualify people for many non-healthcare jobs. More advanced positions in the medical field require at least a master’s degree.

This degree covers topics like biomechanics and kinesiology. Learners also discover stress and fitness management basics, as well as nutrition.

It takes full-time students about four years to finish this degree. Here’s a look at three exercise science jobs you may pursue with a bachelor’s in exercise science.

Recreation Therapists

These professionals oversee activities that help people stay active at recreation centers, parks, and nursing facilities. Their goal is to lead fun, leisurely activities that benefit health. They also enforce safety rules and can administer first aid. Some recreation workers specialize in specific sports, like tennis or swimming.

Median Annual Salary :$47,710

Coaches and Scouts

These workers lead professional and amateur sports teams. They design strategies and game plans. They also provide performance feedback to athletes and recruit top talent. This job requires a lot of weekend and night working hours. Many coaches and scouts work for educational institutions.

Median Annual Salary :$36,330

Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials

Median Annual Salary :$28,940

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What Does A Sport And Exercise Scientist Do

Sport and exercise scientists help people improve their sporting performance, recover from injuries or better their general health and wellbeing.There are typically three main areas in which sport and exercise scientists work in:

  • Skill acquisition and psychology: This includes understanding of factors related to learning and transfer of motor skills, as well as the mental side of performance in sport, and how the mind works and what drives different behaviours. For example, helping professional athletes to improve their skills and return to sport following severe injuries or major trauma.
  • Biomechanics: This is understanding the function and motion of the mechanical aspects of the human body. For example, developing better batting techniques in cricket to improve performance.
  • Physiology: This is understanding the function of the organs and systems of the human body and how these change during sport and exercise. For example, analysing the response of a persons cardiovascular system to exercise and developing appropriate training programs.

Make A Difference With An Exercise Science Career

Its clear the field of exercise science offers a lot of variety. The exploration of the connections between exercise, nutrition and health can benefit you in a number of different career paths all of which will empower you to have a positive impact on those you work with.

Now that you know of several different careers in exercise science, can you envision yourself working in this meaningful, in-demand field?

Learn how MMUs hands-on learning experiences, small class sizes and emphasis on leadership skills can prepare you for these fulfilling careers in exercise science. For more information, visit our Exercise Science Bachelors degree program page.

Careers in exercise science have great income potential and are in demand in clinics, hospitals, fitness clubs and wellness centers, said School of Natural and Health Sciences Dean Cheryl Bailey. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 23 percent job growth through 2026.

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Exercise Science Areas Of Specialization

One thing to consider when looking at jobs for exercise science majors is the area of specialization you need to follow.

Thats because exercise science is more of a foundational focus than a specific field you will need to branch out and specialize in your preferred practice.

Some of the most common jobs with exercise science degrees include:

  • Sports Medicine

As you can tell from this list, most of the career fields we mentioned require specialization to be eligible for exercise science major jobs.

That means to truly harness the professional potential of exercise science. You will need to further your studies, essentially making it a prerequisite to more advanced qualifications.

Another important consideration is the fact that earning a degree often has several levels of qualification required before you can be a licensed practitioner in a given field.

A bachelors degree is one thing, but you might need a masters degree or even a doctorate , depending on which path you choose to follow.

For instance, a physician assistant, physiotherapist, or occupational therapist are all fields that require post-grad studies to qualify as a licensed professional.

In some cases, you will also need to undergo some form of apprenticeship or internship before you can spread your wings and engage in a career.

But then, you can start your career from the basics by getting a certification which is easy to pass, if you obtain your study materials through Trainer Academy.

Top Jobs In Fitness For Exercise Science Degree Holders

Careers in Sport, Exercise and Health Science

One of the most obvious career paths for exercise science graduates is in the fitness field. Positions for fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by 10% by 2026, a sign that investment in personal health and wellness will only continue to grow.

Personal Trainer

Personal trainers work one-on-one with clients to achieve their fitness goals.

  • What They Do: Perform fitness assessments, develop exercise regimen, demonstrate exercises and correct client technique, and evaluate progress.
  • Perks: Flexible schedule, an opportunity for autonomy, and a wealth of job opportunities.
  • Average Salary: $37,256
  • Extra Steps: Personal Trainer Certification is highly beneficial, and most likely a requirement if you plan to work for a commercial fitness center. Make sure the certification program you choose is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies , considered the gold standard in health and fitness. These requirements can usually be completed online.

Fitness Center Manager

Fitness center managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations and leadership decisions of gyms and fitness centers.

Health Coach

Generally, health coaches work one-on-one with clients to help improve their physical wellbeing and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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Exercise Science Degrees And Educational Considerations

As we have learned above, not all careers within Exercise Science require a full-fledged bachelors degree. Similarly, weve learned that many sought after degrees within Exercise Science require advanced degrees such as masters or doctoral degrees.

With that in mind below is a comprehensive list of the many careers and their educational obligations. Note that some of these careers may overlap in multiple categories.

Exercise Science Careers that dont require Degrees

  • Personal Training

Exercise Science Careers that require Bachelors Degrees

  • Athletic Director

Exercise Science Careers that require Masters or Doctoral Degrees

Bachelors degrees will open you up to mid-level jobs in the fitness industry. Examples of these degrees include Bachelors in Sports Management, Health Sciences, Nutrition Science, or Health and Wellness. Graduate degrees, like masters and doctorate, qualify for higher-level positions. These programs might include a masters in Exercise Science and Wellness or Human Performance, an MBA in Health Care Management, a Ph.D. in Education for Sports Management, or a medical degree in Sports & Athletic Management. While personal training only requires a certification, you can also get an associates degree in Exercise Science, giving you a solid foundation to start personal training.

Best Exercise Science Jobs You Never Knew About

Exercise science jobs may not be very well known, but they are part of a fascinating field that ranges from sports and recreational activities, to health professions and physical therapy. In this article, well list the best and most interesting exercise science jobs divided by levels of education.

If exercise science seems like the perfect field for you, find your dream position in the article below and get started on your path to success.

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Salary And Income Potential For Exercise Science Degrees

When entering the health and fitness field, or any career field for that matter, understanding how much you could earn is an important first consideration.

As mentioned, working in the health and fitness industry can be leveraged for higher income opportunities, either by allowing access to better-paying positions or leveraging your credentials as a value that places a premium on your services.

The salaries for sports and exercise science degrees vary widely depending on experience and the job or position you find.

In terms of common jobs and occupations you can do with an exercise science degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2022 median salaries statistics for exercise science degrees are the following:

  • Physical therapist $91,010 per year
  • Chiropractor $70,720 per year
  • Athletic trainer $49,860 per year
  • Exercise physiologist $54,020 per year
  • Fitness trainer $40,510 per year
  • Group fitness instructor $40,510 per year
  • Dietician and nutritionist $63,090 per year

As you can see, the highest-earning job prospect as a degree holder in exercise science is that of a physical therapist, followed by a chiropractor, both of which require additional years of post-graduate schooling.

Its that a career as a healthcare or medical practitioner is one of the highest-earning paths you can take, and the stats prove it.

Income is influenced by several factors aside from just your credentials.

Employability Tip: Consider An Advanced Degree

What Jobs Can You Get With an Exercise Science Degree?

An advanced degree enables you to develop highly specialized knowledge. This can open the doors to careers that arent accessible with only an undergraduate degree, including many applied, research, consulting and teaching positions.

A Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science serves as excellent preparation for further study in various fields. If you are considering a career in a field related to exercise science, then you should strongly consider further study. This may be in the form of a graduate or professional degree in exercise science or other health related disciplines, such as:

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Fitness Nutrition And Wellness Professions

Bachelors degree in nutrition science or related major from a school thats accredited by the ADAs Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education . To become a Registered Dietitian , something that is required of many employers, you must pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam.

Average salary


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