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If you’re interested in a career related to nutrition, health, exercise, or sports medicine, a kinesiology degree can give you the skills and knowledge you need. Kinesiology jobs involve helping people with strength and conditioning, mobility, and rehabilitation. Learning more about degrees and careers in this field will help you develop a plan to achieve your education goals.
This article highlights what kinesiology is, the types of degrees available in this field, and a few possible career paths.
What is Kinesiology?
Kinesiology is the study of human movement and includes anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor control, physical activity, exercise science, and nutrition. Kinesiology professionals are experts in the body’s functions and applications related to physical activity, such as strength training, corrective exercise, athletic training, and sports medicine.
Types of kinesiology degrees
Kinesiology degrees are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The most common types of degrees are the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and the Master of Science in Kinesiology.
Depending on the program, coursework can include biomechanics, anatomy and physiology, physical fitness testing and training protocols, motor control, exercise physiology, nutrition, and health promotion.
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Career paths for kinesiology grads
Kinesiology graduates can apply their knowledge and skills to various industries, such as corporate wellness, medical device sales, sports marketing, and event management. As the demand for qualified professionals in these areas continues to grow, many exciting career paths are available to kinesiology graduates. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Personal trainer
Pursuing a job as a personal trainer can be an attractive career option for those with degrees in kinesiology. Personal trainers assist clients in meeting their fitness goals with specialized exercises tailored to suit each individual’s needs.
Job duties include creating exercise programs, monitoring progress, and providing motivation. Personal trainers must also have extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, muscle mechanics, and injury prevention. They often work with medical personnel, such as physical therapists, to ensure their clients exercise properly.
Generally speaking, earning potential is based on experience and location. However, the average salary is about $46-80 thousand annually. Educational requirements vary by state, but usually include certification through accredited institutions.
With job security and ample opportunity for growth, becoming a certified personal trainer can be a great option for those with Kinesiology degrees seeking meaningful careers helping others stays fit.If you're interested in a career related to nutrition, health, exercise, or sports medicine, a kinesiology degree can give you the skills and knowledge you need.Click To Tweet
2. Athletic coach
The job duties of an athletic coach include coaching athletes in their chosen sport, designing practice drills and exercises, monitoring workout sessions, motivating athletes to stay on track with their training regimen, and designing strategies for sports team success. In addition to job duties related directly to coaching, some coaches also attend job fairs and recruiting events; provide group mentoring to athletes; coordinate game-day logistics; and organize community outreach programs.
The median annual wage for coaches is approximately $43,896 in 2022. Those with more experience may have higher earning potential. To become an athletic coach generally requires at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree in kinesiology or a related field. Coaches must also possess strong communication skills and have knowledge about the rules of the sport they are coaching.
Having a record of success as an athlete or assistant coach can help one stand out among job applicants. If you possess these qualities and meet educational requirements, becoming an athletic coach is an excellent option for graduates with degrees in Kinesiology.
Nutritionists can enjoy job stability, good pay, and the satisfaction of helping others improve their health. Job duties for nutritionists involve assessing clients’ nutritional habits, developing meal plans accordingly, and providing education on proper nutrition and healthy eating habits.
These professionals may also conduct research to stay informed on the latest techniques in nutrition science. In addition to necessary interpersonal skills and empathy for others, successful nutritionists must thoroughly understand nutritional theories and dietary needs, which often includes obtaining additional education beyond a Kinesiology degree.
Depending on experience levels, job duties, and locality, job earnings for nutritionists may range from $32K–$85K per year. With such job perks, it’s no wonder why many kinesiology graduates are pursuing this career route.
4. Physical therapist
Physical therapists provide care and rehabilitation to patients with various injuries, illnesses, and age-related conditions. Their job duties typically include diagnosing mobility limitations of the patient, designing individualized treatment plans for each patient, helping train patients in exercise or other physical activities, and performing therapeutic massages or treatments.
With the rising demand for health services and an aging population, job prospects and salaries for physical therapists are generally excellent. Becoming qualified as a physical therapist requires completing a doctoral program, though some states may accept master’s degrees. These programs often last at least three years and involve fieldwork and substantial coursework in kinesiology, biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, neurology, and other related topics.
Once certified by passing a licensing exam, physical therapists often earn competitive salaries that range from low to mid-six figures with additional job benefits. All in all, becoming a physical therapist is an achievable goal that can provide job security in addition to lucrative pay.
With the current emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle, kinesiology professionals are in high demand. The job opportunities available to kinesiology graduates are vast and varied, making it an exciting field of study for those interested in health, fitness, and wellness. With the right education, you can find a career that fits your interests and experience.
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