What Can I Do with an Online Kinesiology Degree?

With an online degree in kinesiology, you could find yourself leading workouts at a fitness club, offering health instruction at a university or teaching physical education at an elementary school. This article shows what you can do with an online degree in kinesiology or exercise science, focusing on entry-level careers requiring a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Degree Information

Kinesiology is an academic discipline studying the impact of physical activity on health, according to the American Kinesiology Association (www.americankinesiology.org). Because of the hands-on requirements that may include internships, student teaching and practica, it is not possible to earn a bachelor's degree in this discipline entirely through online study. Students may be able to complete some courses online, but in-person attendance is required to gain the required real world experience. There are a number of kinesiology-related degree programs that can lead to many careers.

Career Options

Because physical activity includes everything from movement in daily life to sports and dance to injury rehabilitation, people with an online degree in kinesiology have a number of options. Here are three career paths, as reported by Pennsylvania State University (www.psu.edu), which was ranked by the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education in 2010 as having the best graduate program in kinesiology in the country.

Athletic Training Careers

One popular career option for people with an online kinesiology degree is working as an athletic trainer, helping to treat and prevent injuries. Athletic trainers' services aren't just for athletes; they're for anyone engaged in physical activity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree is required to become an athletic trainer. The BLS also states that certification as an athletic trainer is required by 46 states as of December 2009 (www.bls.gov). According to the National Athletic Trainers' Association, as of 2011, 70% of athletic trainers held a master's degree (www.nata.org).

Physical and Health Education Careers

Another career option after you've graduated with an online bachelor's degree in kinesiology is working in physical or health education. Physical and health education workers teach people about fitness options and provide instruction on the best way to have a healthy lifestyle. Physical education instructors work at community centers, military bases, businesses and schools.

Fitness Studies Careers

Exercise specialists and other fitness workers work in corporate and private fitness programs, fitness centers, hospitals, community centers and colleges. Depending on the specialization you pursued when obtaining your online degree in kinesiology, you might want to become a personal trainer, working one-on-one with your clients to develop exercise routines for them. You could also become a fitness director, supervising programs at a health club, or a fitness instructor, leading group exercise activities.

Sports Psychology Careers

Pairing formal education with training in psychology, exercise science and kinesiology can lead to a career in sports psychology. While your training in exercise science and kinesiology gives you a strong background in physical preparation of athletes, your training in psychology will give you a strong understanding of the mental aspects and demands of competitive sports and training. As a sports psychologist, you are able to work for a wide variety of organizations, from colleges and universities to professional athletic programs.

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:

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