What Are My Career Options in Kinesiology and Exercise Science?
Kinesiology and exercise science careers can range from a variety of job opportunities. Depending on your passion and talents, you could work as a dancer or athlete, or you could with with dancers and athletes more 'behind the scenes' as a physical therapist. You could also work as a sports official or a choreographer. Keep reading to learn more about these career options. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Become a Physical Therapist with a Kinesiology/Exercise Science Degree
You could work for doctors, in hospitals, in rehab facilities or even in the sports world as a physical therapist. Working to help relieve pain or strengthen a patient or client, you would help devise treatment plans for your patients and clients, documenting injuries, progress and overall treatment. Doctors may refer you specifically, so working in conjunction with them and a patient, you'd implement exercise techniques that focus on the well-being and improvement of your client. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), to become a physical therapist you need a graduate degree, generally a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, and you must be licensed in the state in which you work (www.bls.gov).
Doctoral programs involve intense courses, and in most programs, you can select your focused discipline. If you focus on exercise physiology, for example, you can expect to take such courses that include physiology, biochemistry, neuromuscular studies and methods, theories and practices. A residency is usually included. According to a May 2011 BLS report, the mean annual wage for physical therapists was $79,830. This job field could grow in employment by 39% between 2010 and 2020, due largely to an aging population who may experience health conditions that require the use of physical therapy.
Become a Dancer or Choreographer
While you could study dance and choreography in college, earning a degree in kinesiology or exercise science could also lead to a career as a dancer or choreographer. As a dancer, you could study and train in a variety of dance types, auditioning for dance roles and troupes. You could teach dance classes and work with choreographers in programs and recitals. Choreographers lead and direct recitals and programs, instructing dancers on moves and techniques. You would also audition dancers, create actual dance programs and movements, and work as a dancer yourself to keep up on the latest dance trends and stay abreast of your technical capabilities and fitness level.
The BLS indicated that the career field for dancers could increase by 11% between 2010 and 2020, while choreographer employment could increase by 24%. Competition for employment in both fields is keen, and if you are a dancer with ties to a specific dance company, you may have better job prospects. In May 2011, the mean hourly wage for dancers was $19.53; the BLS did not report a mean annual wage for this career. The mean hourly wage for choreographers was $21.23, and the mean yearly wage was $44,160.
Work as a Professional Athlete or a Sports Referee
A third job category to explore with a kinesiology or exercise degree involves the professional sports world. Becoming an athlete entails having talent, athletic ability and dedication. Practicing, keeping in shape and working with other athletes and coaches are key to success. You must be able to assess your skills, obey the rules of the sport and identify ways you could improve your ability. Whether it's a team sport or an individual sport, competition between athletes can be intense, and you must avoid injuries, which could decrease your chances of being successful in this field.
Referees, or other sports officials, on the other hand, could provide more stable work prospects, according to the BLS, especially if you are interested in working for colleges or even part time. Work in this field could increase by 20% between 2010 and 2020. Sports officials are responsible for ensuring that professional sports games are played according to their rules, that athletes perform according to moral code and that disputes on calls and plays are handling accordingly. According to a May 2011 report, the BLS noted that the mean annual wage for this profession was $29,640, while the mean annual wage for athletes was $79,830.
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: