Helping People Become Their Best Physical Selves: Exercise Physiology

Does the thought of assisting athletes attain peak physical fitness sound appealing? Perhaps you would like to help others with shedding excess weight and reaching their ideal body mass index. What about the rehabilitation of patients that have a chronic illness? If any of these sounds like the type of career path that you would like to take, then you should strongly consider an Exercise Physiology degree. It is a specialization within the kinesiology field where experts gain a thorough understanding of how our bodies react to physical activity as well as the effects of sustained physical activity on the body. It is a great field if you are serious about exercise and would like to work in a field with numerous job opportunities that align with your interest.

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Exercise Physiology Degree Information

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology

The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology degree program with 120 units that can be completed in about four years. Courses for this degree may include Exercise Behavior and Adherence, Human Physiology, Statistics, Foundations of Exercise and Sport Psychology, Physiology of Exercise, Principles of Strength and Conditioning, Human Genetics, Abnormal Psychology and more.

Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology

The Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology is a hybrid degree program where a portion of the degree can be completed online and the rest in face-to-face classes. It is aimed at advanced students of exercise physiology who would like to pursue a clinical career in the field. The admission requirements for this type of degree is typically an existing bachelor's degree as well as a minimum undergraduate GPA. The required courses for this degree may include Exercise Testing and Prescription, Exercise Pharmacology, ECG for Clinical Exercise Physiology, Statistics, Critique and Design of Research, and more.


Both the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association offer certification tests. Completing a degree program in exercise physiology typically provides all the necessary knowledge to satisfy entrance into their certification process for tests.

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Exercise Physiology Degree FAQ

Is it Possible Earn A Exercise Physiology Degree Online?

While it is possible to earn your exercise physiology degree online, it is mostly in the form of hybrid programs. This means that while the bulk of your degree can be completed online, you may be required to visit a campus once a semester in order to gain the necessary hands-on clinical experience that is required. However, this is still easier to accomplish if you are a working professional or have other obligations compared to full-time campus based degree programs. To take part in an online based degree program you need a computer or laptop as well as an internet connection. This type of degree provides you with the freedom to complete your studies in your free time, which means you don't have to give up your job in order to earn your degree. In general, an online degree program is often the more affordable option as well.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study Exercise Physiology?

If you want to be good at exercise physiology, it pays to have interests and skills that align with this field. This means doing well in biology, chemistry, anatomy and other science-related fields at school. Since exercise physiologists spend a large portion of time working with people, you need to have good interpersonal skills such as active listening. Critical thinking skills are also an important aspect of this career path. Because the people who you work with may be in discomfort or even pain, it is important to be compassionate while good decision-making skills will help you to make the best choices for them. Finally, it is a very detail oriented profession, which makes this skill quite useful.

What Are My Possible Career Choices With An Exercise Physiology Degree?

There are a number of possible career choices that may be available to you after completing your exercise physiology degree. The biggest choice you have to make when embarking on your career path is whether you would like to follow a clinical or non-clinical route. To become an exercise physiologist, you typically need at least a bachelor's degree, but a master's degree can improve your job prospects. Apart from becoming an exercise physiologist, it is also possible to work as a personal trainer, wellness coordinator, clinical research assistant, strength and conditioning coach, and more after earning your degree.

What Type of Responsibilities Might I Have When Working In This Industry?

One of your primary responsibilities as an exercise physiologists is improving the overall health of your patients. This is typically done via educating them and providing them with exercise plans. You will then work with the patients to ensure that they are able to meet the health and fitness goals that works best for them. Exercise physiologists typically begin by analyzing the medical history of their patients to determine the risks they might face from exercising and what type of fitness program would benefit them the most. This is followed by a number of tests, often involving medical equipment, to gather enough data about the patient for analysis. Key patient health indicators are then measured and finally you can develop exercise programs based on all the information.

How Much Can I Potentially Earn When Working As An Exercise Physiologist?

While there are a number of factors that will determine your income when employed as an exercise physiologists, the median annual wage for this occupation is about $47,340, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure can be as high as $74,330 for the top ten percent of earners and lower than $32,290 for the lowest ten percent. The top industries in term of income for exercise physiologists is the government, followed by hospitals, offices of physicians and offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists. A 13 percent growth in employment of exercise physiologists is also projected until 2026, but it is worth bearing in mind that competition will remain high, which makes a degree very important.

What Are The Other Benefits To Studying Exercise Physiology?

Since all of the career paths associated with exercise physiology are aimed at improving the physical lives of others, it is a very fulfilling occupation. Whether you are interested in helping people with their fitness or with rehabilitation, this degree can help to open a lot of doors in the industry.

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