How to Become a Kinesiologist: Career Path Guide
If you want to become a kinesiologist, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career in this field:
Those who become kinesiologists are passionate about helping people make physical activity choices that will help them lead healthy lives. They must have a natural aptitude for science, and an education in human movement, including how it can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. Kinesiologists must have excellent communication skills, and they must be comfortable sharing their opinions with others.
Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a kinesiologist in the United States (and Canada). We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!
Educational Requirements for Becoming a Kinesiologist
To become a kinesiologist, you typically need either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in Kinesiology or related field, such as Human Kinetics, Exercise Science, or Exercise Physiology.
Kinesiologists with a bachelor's degree typically work in roles that apply knowledge of human movement, such as those involving the development and implementation of exercise plans. Kinesiologists with a bachelor’s degree may however, be more limited in their employment options versus those with a master’s degree or higher, as a graduate degree may allow kinesiologists to be employed as lecturers and senior-level researchers in the field of kinesiology and exercise science, in addition to being qualified for jobs in applied kinesiology.
Kinesiologists with a graduate degree may also qualify for a higher level of pay in comparison to kinesiologists with a bachelor’s degree.
Kinesiologist Job Description
Kinesiologists look for ways to improve the efficiency and performance of the human body while at work or at play by studying the factors that influence human movement. Kinesiologists also apply their knowledge of human movement; they may give advice to individuals and groups concerning which activities are best suited to help people reach their health and fitness goals.
Kinesiologist Job Duties
• Help individuals cope with physical injuries
• Work to manage, rehabilitate, and prevent disorders that impede movement
• Apply various healing techniques in order to alleviate muscle ailments
• Monitor patients while they go through an exercise intervention program to ensure the program produces the desired effects
• May study the physiological requirements of exercise and health outcomes
• May study the biomechanics of human movement
• May study factors that affect commitment to fitness and rehabilitation programs
• Demonstrate proper muscle movement in order to prevent injuries
• May work in a corporate setting to promote ergonomic workplace body postures and equipment selection
• May work to improve motor learning skills in patients suffering from cerebral palsy, autism, and other motor and neurological problems
Who Hires Kinesiologists?
Kinesiologists work for organizations that develop and implement fitness plans for individuals or groups in the general public, or for those afflicted with various medical conditions. They may also be hired by organizations involved in studying the factors of human movement. Organizations that hire kinesiologists typically include:
• Athletic and sporting equipment companies
• Rehabilitation and occupational health departments
• Sport, fitness and recreation centres
• Professional and amateur sport organizations and teams
• Sport governing bodies
• Hospitals and other primary health care facilities
• Colleges and universities
Kinesiologist Job Postings - Canada
Kinesiologist Job Postings - United States
Characteristics Needed to Become a Kinesiologist
Having the following personality traits will be of great value if you wish to become an effective kinesiologist:
• A natural passion for health and fitness
• Self-confidence, and an ability to share your opinion with others
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Patience when dealing with others
• Able to keep up with advancements in relevant technology
• An interest in scientific research
• Excellent organization skills
Working Conditions for Kinesiologists
Work Setting: Kinesiologists can work in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings, including offices, laboratories, recreation facilities, hospitals, schools and residential facilities.
Work Schedule: The work schedule of kinesiologists can vary based on the responsibilities of their job. Some kinesiologists may work normal, weekday working hours (such as those involved in research), while others may work a variety of hours, including evening and weekend hours (such as many personal trainers).
Work Conditions: The work of applied kinesiologists can be physically demanding and involve lifting weights and heavy objects, in order to demonstrate and assist with exercise techniques. The work of kinesiologists in the fields of research, education and program management may involve long hours of computer analyses, collecting data and monitoring exercise programs.
Kinesiologist Salary: How Much Do They Earn?
The salary level of kinesiologists can vary depending on factors such as their level of education, their level of experience, their specific job duties, where they work, and many others.
Kinesiologist Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants occupational group, which includes Kinesiologists, earn an average wage of between $24.31 and $31.78 per hour.
Kinesiologust Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadians working in the Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants occupational group is $45,900 per year.
Kinesiologist Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of workers in the Exercise Physiologists occupational group is $47,610 per year.
Careers Similar to Kinesiologist
Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Kinesiologist, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.
References: How to Become a Kinesiologist
Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a kinesiologist.
Alberta Learning and Information Service website: alis.alberta.ca
Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative website: ahhri.nan.on.ca
Service Canada website: www.servicecanada.gc.ca
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov
Scholarships for Becoming a Kinesiologist
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!
Becoming a Kinesiologist: Applicable Majors
Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a kinesiologist. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!