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What Can You Do With a Kinesiology Degree?

The human body has been a subject of interest since time immemorial. How it moves, how its performance improves and how it recovers from injury are fascinating topics of study, so much so that a whole academic area has emerged to explore these ideas. Kinesiology is a degree that allows people who are curious about human health and movement to launch a career from their passion. 

What is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is the study of physical activity. According to the American Kinesiology Association, this academic discipline involves areas of study such as exercise science, sports management, fitness leadership, physical education, occupational therapy, athletic training and sports medicine, socio-cultural analyses of sports and related fields. 

People with a degree in kinesiology may work as trainers, directors, administrators and coaches. They may work in the private and public sectors, with clients of various ages and physical abilities. 

Careers in Kinesiology

A degree in kinesiology may lead to a range of professional opportunities. All career information is taken from PayScale.com.

Athletic trainer

Athletic trainers specialize in working with athletes. They are sports medicine professionals who may be employed with advanced fitness centers, universities or sports teams. Responsibilities of athletic trainers may include:

  • Assisting athletes to ensure injury and illness prevention
  • Serving as first responders during sports practices and games
  • Helping injured athletes recover
  • Collaborating with nutritionists, doctors and strength training specialists to keep athletes healthy and at peak performance

For the most part, professionals in this field must have athletic trainer certification and must continue their education throughout their careers. Athletic trainers earn an average annual salary of $41,247.

Fitness and Wellness Director

Fitness and wellness directors oversee daily operations and coordinate activities for health centers and health-related organizations. Their responsibilities may include:

  • Managing daily operations of a fitness center, including programs, activities and equipment maintenance
  • Administrative duties such as managing budgets and payroll
  • Hiring and supervising personal trainers and other staff
  • Creating and implementing fitness and wellness programs designed to meet client needs
  • Collaborating with other health professionals, such as nutritionists, to ensure clients receive a maximum level of health assistance

These professionals must usually have a background in health and fitness. Their average annual salary is $51,252.

Personal Trainer

Personal trainers work individually with clients to help them increase their physical aptitude and reach fitness goals. They may be responsible for:

  • Assessing the health and fitness needs of clients
  • Building individualized training plans
  • Motivating clients 
  • Ensuring that clients use equipment safely and effectively
  • Writing evaluations and assessments of client health and progress
  • Helping clients with dietary and nutritional needs, as experience and training allows

Those who work as personal trainers may work independently or find employment at gyms or health clubs. If they choose to get additional training, they may also offer in-home services. 

Personal trainers earn an average annual salary of $37,604.

Recreation Director

Managing spaces such as parks, recreation centers and community centers, recreation directors oversee all aspects of daily operations within these facilities. Their duties may include:

  • Hiring and managing staff
  • Developing and implementing programs and activities 
  • Overseeing recreational events
  • Documenting guest attendance and keeping official records
  • Managing budgets and expenses

These professionals must possess excellent leadership, communication and interpersonal skills. They earn an average annual salary of $49,668.

Exercise Physiologist

Exercise physiologists are responsible for understanding how exercise affects the human body as it related to medical conditions and using that knowledge to improve patient health. They may be charged with duties such as:

  • Overseeing exercise programs
  • Working individually with clients to build healthy lifestyles 
  • Running health education initiatives
  • Helping patients understand how certain exercises affect their bodies, particularly if the client has a certain condition or illness

People who work in this profession are often employed by hospitals, gymnasiums, research centers, wellness centers and related spaces. Exercise physiologists earn an average annual salary of $45,298.

Aquatics Director

Aquatics directors are responsible for overseeing all aspects of water-related facilities and programs. They work at pools, gyms and other health facilities. They may:

  • Create and implement programming such as swimming classes or special events
  • Hire and manage staff, including swim team coaches, lifeguards and swim teachers
  • Manage daily operations within their facilities
  • Ensure safety compliance and regulations
  • Follow procedural requirements for pool maintenance

Professionals who work as aquatics directors must hold official certifications in areas such as CPR, first aid and swim instruction or lifeguarding. They earn an average annual salary of $40,032.

Preparing for your Kinesiology Career

At East Central University Online, the online Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology successfully prepares you with the tools and training you need to begin your kinesiology career. The program features a comprehensive curriculum that gives you a broad background to help you move forward in your career. Designed with working adults in mind, the program is offered online for your convenience and requires more than 80 hours of hands-on training to help you gain experience in the field.