Kinesiologist Job Description, Career as a Kinesiologist, Salary, Employment
Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.
Salary: Median— $56,980 annually
Employment Outlook: — Very Good
Kinesiology is a natural health care process that entails the thorough study of mechanics and anatomy of the human body. Kinesiologists specialize in the analysis of human body movement. They monitor human muscle movement to alleviate muscle ailments through the application of various healing techniques.
Kinesiologists help individuals cope with physical injuries and also work to manage, rehabilitate, and prevent disorders that impede movement. They demonstrate proper muscle movements to ward off further sprains and injuries. A skilled kinesiologist can, through prescribed muscle movements, reduce the physical crick that a patient undergoes in his/ her post operative days.
There are different areas of specialization in kinesiology. Exercise kinesiologists study the effect of exercise on body functions in humans. Biomechanics kinesiologists deal with patients suffering from physical disabilities that impair normal body movement. Psychomotor kinesiologists work to improve motor learning skills in patients suffering from cerebral palsy, autism, and other motor and neurological problems. On the other hand, ergonomic kinesiologists work in corporate settings and suggest proper body postures that will prevent disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Education and Training Requirements
There are a number of training schools that offer courses in kinesiology along with certification and license. Aspiring kinesiologists must have a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. Postsecondary education in subjects like anatomy, physiology, biomedical engineering, biomechanics, statistics, and psychology, although not mandatory, can be very useful. Those who wish to pursue research in the field of kinesiology must have a master’s degree.
A kinesiologist needs to have a license in order to practice professional massage therapy in certain states. Various formal training courses aid students in obtaining a state license. In order to get the national certification, candidates need to pass the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
A kinesiologist must possess a thorough knowledge of the basic movements of human body, tissues, anatomy, and physiology. Therapeutic techniques can be picked up through hands-on training programs. Good communication skills and a friendly nature are extremely necessary when it comes to expanding the client base.
Getting the Job
Kinesiologists can find employment in hospitals, healthcare centers, corporate offices, and athletic teams. Spas, resorts, beauty salons, and health clubs also have a rising demand for experienced kinesiologists. Public schools also recruit kinesiologists for their physical education departments. Such job openings are often advertised in Internet job portals and newspapers. Those with an independent bent of mind can begin practicing as private therapists.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Kinesiology is gradually gaining in importance as an alternative method of treatment in the field of medicine and allied health practices. It is a major tool for stress reduction, and hence, kinesiologists are very much in demand in ancillary health services.
Advancement possibilities in the field of kinesiology are limited although experience plays a pivotal part in the career growth. Those with entrepreneurial skills can start their own businesses. Employment openings are mainly restricted to urban areas where one can find the greatest concentration of health clubs, salons, and spas. However, the field of kinesiology offers one the scope to move into parallel careers in chiropractic work, athletic therapy, and massage therapy. Those interested in teaching can find faculty positions in high schools, colleges, and universities.
Job opportunities in the field of kinesiology are likely to experience a growth rate of 20% in the next few years. Beginners can opt to work on a part-time basis and aim at developing a personal clientele. One can also choose to join a professional association as it offers great opportunities when it comes to learning about the latest techniques and developments in the field of kinesiology.
Kinesiologists usually perform under soft lights and in a quiet, peaceful environment. Since they need to create an ambience of complete repose and relaxation, their workplace is often marked by dimly-lit candles, soothing music, and smell of incenses. However, the working atmosphere may vary according to the clients’ needs and preferences.
Kinesiologists can work full time, part-time, or on a contractual basis. The job profile allows a kinesiologist to have flexible working hours. However, due to the nature of the job, a kinesiologist may need to work out with clients, and often lift as much as 20 kilograms. As a result, the job can be physically demanding and lead to exhaustion.
Where to Go for More Information
American Kinesiology Association
c/o Human Kinetics: P.O. Box 5076
Champaign, IL 61820-2200
Energy Kinesiology Association
American Massage Therapy Association
500 Davis Street, Suite 900
Evanston, IL 60201-4695
Turningpoint Natural Healthcare Education
81, Lancashire St.
Leicester LE4 7AF
Salary, Earnings and Benefits
According to the data of 2008, the entry level salary of kinesiologists in the United States is $29,980. Average annual salary for kinesiologists with a few years of experience is around $56,980. However, with expertise and a strong client base, the salaries may even go up to $114,640 per year.
Kinesiologists employed in a salaried position are entitled to benefits like sick leaves, paid vacations, and gratuities.
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