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What is Exercise Physiology?
An exercise physiology program educates individuals on the effect of exercise on the human body, specifically the organs and cell tissue. Students studying exercise physiology will be exposed to the scientific and practical aspects of exercise. The degree utilizes a cross section of scientific disciplines to impart the knowledge necessary to work in a variety of fields involving exercise, nutrition, fitness and health. Individuals pursuing a degree in exercise physiology will obtain a bachelor's degree, with master's and doctoral degrees opening up more career opportunities.
A curriculum in exercise physiology may include:
- Human Biochemistry
- Fitness and Conditioning
Careers in exercise physiology often involve the physiologist working alongside other professionals to assist in producing a regime that will allow for growth in strength, increased energy, and better health. A degree in exercise physiology opens doors to various positions, with bachelor degree holders working primarily in fitness through gyms, personal training, or public programs. Master degree holders will have increased options, including careers in physical therapy, which may require additional courses in order to meet licensure requirements. A doctoral degree will allow individuals to pursue research and teaching opportunities.
Jobs involving exercise physiology are expected to increase much faster than average due to the increased interest in fitness. The increased interest is due to the increase in the average weight of American citizens and the need to reverse the trend. Due to the increased demand, job opportunities are expected to increase, as will self employment, resulting in limited competition among graduates.
Career Outlook and Jobs in Exercise Physiology
Possible careers for exercise physiology degree holders include:
- Sport Program Director
- Fitness Instructor
- Professor (with a PhD)
- Sports Management
- Wellness Coordinator or Supervisor
The average salary for exercise physiologists is approximately $47,340 per year, with increased earning potential coming from higher levels of education. The industry is expected to grow at 11% through 2024 which is well above the national vocational average of six percent. Individuals interested in exercise physiology may also be interested in physical therapy, cardiovascular science, and cell physiology.
Industries Employing the Most Exercise Physiologists
- Medical and Surgical Hospitals
- Health Practitioners
- Federal Executive Branch
- Outpatient Care Centers
Top 5 Best Paying States for Exercise Physiology
- California $68,190
- Arizona $67,230
- New York $65,680
- Massachusetts $63,420
- Arkansas $60,670
For additional information about Exercise Physiology, read our Complete Career Guide on Exercise Science on our blog.