What Can I Do with a Degree in Health and Exercise Science?

A health and exercise science degree can lead to a career in personal fitness, athletic training, coaching, sports nutrition, sports medicine and other fields. Read on to learn more about a few of the opportunities that might await graduates after they earn health and exercise science-related degrees. Schools offering Exercise Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Popular Career Options for Health and Exercise Science Majors

Degree programs in health and exercise science are designed to provide you with a basic understanding of how the human body works. The curricula of such programs may include methods of treating and preventing injuries and techniques for keeping the body functioning efficiently. The process of completing a health and exercise science degree program could prepare you for a number of career opportunities. Three common career paths are personal trainer, athletic trainer and sports coach.

Important Facts About Exercise Science Degrees

Common Courses First aid, nutrition, kinesiology, biomechanics
Degree/Certification Levels All undergrad/graduate options available
Key Skills Communication skills, dedication, decision making skills
Concentrations Health promotion, sports medicine, athletic training
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 13% growth (for coaches and scouts)
Median Salary (2018) $33,780 (for coaches and scouts)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Personal Trainer

A bachelor's degree is usually sufficient education for becoming a personal trainer. You will monitor your clients as they adhere to your comprehensive exercise plans and achieve their fitness goals. Certification is usually required for most personal training positions. Common certifications include the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), which is available through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainers often diagnose and treat sports-related injuries at high schools and colleges. They also offer guidance to professional athletes and everyday active people so as to prevent injuries. In order to become licensed in most states, athletic trainers must be certified by the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC). While a bachelor's degree in health and exercise science can be enough for some athletic training positions, the National Athletic Trainers' Association (www.nata.org) reports that master's degrees are held by over 70% of certified professionals in this occupation. The NSCA offers professionals the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential to enhance qualifications.

Sports Coach

A bachelor's degree is usually the minimum requirement for a coaching position in high school and college sports. Coaches in other sports settings are often hired based upon their experience. You will need to have thorough knowledge of the sport you are planning to coach. You will be responsible for passing along your knowledge of the sport, motivating your athletes and running effective practices in order to help players improve their skills. If you wish to gain coaching certification, you may be required to be certified in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

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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