What Are My Career Options in Kinesiology and Exercise Science?

Learn more about career options in the fields of Kinesiology and Exercise Science. Information covered includes earning potential, job outlook, required skills and education, and typical work environments. Schools offering Exercise Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Kinesiology and exercise science careers can range from a variety of job opportunities. Depending on your passion and talents, you could work as a dancer, choreographer, physical therapist, professional athlete or referee. Read on to learn more about these career options.

Important Facts About Kinesiology and Exercise Science Careers

Physical TherapistDancer or ChoreographerSports Referee
Required Education Doctoral degree Not required; most have a postsecondary education High school diploma, or equivalent
Key Skills Compassion, attention to detail, manual dexterity, social nuance Creativity, athleticism, leadership, physical stamina Good vision, excellent communication, teamwork, physical stamina
Work Environment Offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists, and audiologists; hospitals; home healthcare services Educational services; performing arts companies; amusement, gambling, and recreation industries State and local government; amusement, gambling, and recreation industries; educational services
Similar Occupations Chiropractors, occupational therapists, recreational therapists Actors, art directors, postsecondary teachers Athletes and sports competitors; coaches and scouts

Physical Therapist

As a physical therapist, you could work for doctors, in hospitals, in rehab facilities or even in the sports world. Working to help relieve pain or strengthen a patient or client, you would help devise treatment plans for your patients and clients, documenting injuries, progress and overall treatment. Doctors may refer you specifically, so working in conjunction with them and a patient, you'd implement exercise techniques that focus on the well-being and improvement of your client.

Dancer or Choreographer

While you could study dance and choreography in college, earning a degree in kinesiology or exercise science could also lead to a career as a dancer or choreographer. As a dancer, you could study and train in a variety of dance types, auditioning for dance roles and troupes. You could teach dance classes and work with choreographers in programs and recitals. Choreographers lead and direct recitals and programs, instructing dancers on moves and techniques. You would also audition dancers, create actual dance programs and movements, and work as a dancer yourself to keep up on the latest dance trends and stay abreast of your technical capabilities and fitness level.

Professional Athlete or a Sports Referee

A third job category to explore with a kinesiology or exercise degree involves the professional sports world. Becoming an athlete entails having talent, athletic ability and dedication. Practicing, keeping in shape and working with other athletes and coaches are keys to success. You must be able to assess your skills, obey the rules of the sport and identify ways you could improve your ability.

Sports officials or referees are responsible for ensuring that professional sports games are played according to their rules, that athletes perform according to moral code and that disputes on calls and plays are handling accordingly.

Job Outlook and Salary

Whether it's a team sport or an individual sport, competition between athletes can be intense, and you must avoid injuries, which could decrease your chances of being successful in this field. The BLS expects an average employment growth of 7% for athletes and sports competitors over the 2016-2026 decade. In May 2018, these professionals earned a median salary of $50,650 a year, reported the BLS.

Referees, or other sports officials, on the other hand, could provide more stable work prospects, according to the BLS, especially if you are interested in working for colleges or even part time. Job growth for umpires, referees and other sports officials is expected to be 8% over the 2014-2024 decade. This group of professionals earned a median salary of $27,020 in May 2018.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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