3 minute read

Exercise Physiologist

Education and training: Education requirements vary. Minimum qualification needed is a master’s degree in exercise physiology.
Average salary: $18-25,000
Job Outlook: Very good

Physiology basically deals with the study of various life processes. Those interested in physiology have a huge arena before them dealing with different aspects of life processes such as how adaption of certain activity processes can affect a person’s health to the process of change and improvement in athletic activities. An exercise physiologist may conduct certain controlled investigations in a clinical set up to diagnose the response and adaption of an individual or group to a particular fitness or wellness program.
The basic job of an exercise physiologist is to create individual wellness programs that aim at suiting the needs of different people, which in turn helps them to improve their health and well being. People who suffer from chronic diseases, undergoing rehabilitation from injury or surgery, disabled people or people who seek to adopt healthier lifestyle to prevent future illness comprise the client list of an exercise physiologist.
Exercise physiologists may also specialize in cardiology, sports, medicine, respiratory, or physical therapy. The job description of an exercise physiologist may differ based on the organization they wish to join. If applying for the academic field, the exercise physiologist would teach students of medicine, physiology, or other health related courses. If the job is in a rehabilitation set up then the exercise physiologist would be expected to create wellness programs for better recovery. In an organizational set up an exercise physiologist would be responsible for conducting fitness evaluations on a regular basis and also provide exercise programs that aim at all over health and fitness level maintenance.
The personal skills that an Exercise Physiologist need to possess include good writing and speaking skills. Exercise Physiologists should also have excellent team work abilities as they may have to work with a number of people and groups as well as different teams of exercise physiologists if the need arises.
An exercise physiologist can also work independently with a client or group.

Education and Training

Academically one requires a minimum of a master’s degree in exercise physiology to meet the criteria. An undergraduate degree in physical education, exercise science, or health science and nutrition suffices if one wishes to join a commercial set up. Specialized training in physical therapy and kinesiology helps an exercise physiologist to apply in rehabilitation centers or corporate centers. To teach academically, an Exercise Physiologist requires a PhD in exercise physiology.
Apart from this, training for the post of an Exercise Physiologist includes a four year degree which focuses on exercise physiology. Certificate courses passed from the American College of Sports Medicine hold great value and are preferred in a number of organizations.
The American College of Sports Medicine provides certification in three progressive levels in two different tracks. The first track is the Health and Fitness Track Certifications which include ACSM Health/Fitness Director, ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor and ACSM Exercise Leader. The Clinical Track Certifications include ACSM Program Director, ACSM Exercise Specialist, and ACSM Exercise Test Technologist.

Getting the Job

The job of an exercise physiologist requires good communication, understanding, and patience. It is also essential for the exercise physiologist to have basic arithmetic skills along with marketing sense.
To be a successful physiologist it is important that one has previous experience of working with clients. People are always on the lookout for instructors who will help them adapt a proper healthy lifestyle. Vacancy information and requirements are usually given out on organization websites. Exercise physiologist can even set up work independently.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Developments

The job of an exercise physiologist has a very promising future. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics has suggested that the growth rate for jobs of exercise physiologists could increase by 29 percent by 2018, which is comparatively higher than the growth rate in other professional fields.
Those who are interested in pursuing exercise physiology have a number of opportunities available to them in a number of fields such as academics, organizational settings, etc.

Working Conditions and Environment

The working environment of an exercise physiologist may vary from a school to a health club to a nursing home. If self employed the working hours may be decided as per the convenience of the exercise physiologist.

Salary and benefits

If in an organizational or commercial set up the exercise physiologist should receive insurance and certain medical benefits. The salary of an exercise physiologist if self employed can vary on the number of clients attended to in a month.

Where To Go For More Information

American College of Sports Medicine,
P.O. Box 1440
Indianapolis, IN 46206-1440

American Council on Exercise
4851 Paramount Dr.,
San Diego, CA 92123.

National Academy of Sports Medicine
26632 Agoura Rd.,
Calabasas, CA 91302

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHealth & Medicine