You can be a fitness enthusiast that knows a bit too much about fitness, so much that it might seem like it’s your job. Maybe you are a fitness trainer who wants to get a certification that makes you stand out from the crowd. After all, nowadays everyone seems to be a fitness trainer and if you want to be more qualified than your colleagues, being certified as an exercise physiologist will definitely help. If you are one of these people, you should consider working as an exercise physiologist seriously.
You might be thinking, what are the benefits of being an exercise physiologist:
First of all, you’ll be qualified enough to work for sports medicine and athletic training facilities as clinicians, trainers, rehabilitation specialists, and many job opportunities. Also, if you want to start your own business, you can be a fitness consultant, about half of the exercise physiologists are self-employed.
Second, exercise physiologists are in high demand and according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of exercise physiologists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029”, moreover from the report “that is faster than the average for all occupations. Also, demand may rise as healthcare providers emphasize exercise and preventive care to help patients recover from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and improve their overall health.” (1)
Third, the average salary is $49,170 per year and $23.64 per hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which’s $10,740 more than the median annual wage for all workers.
Check “Top 11 Wondrous Benefits of Exercise that Make You Healthy” to see if you know all of them!
What Exercise Physiologist Do?
Exercise physiologists, check their patients’ fitness levels, so they can improve their health and help them maintain it. Also, they work with athletes to evaluate and advance their performance.
So, how does exercise physiologist evaluate their patient? They use various stress tests and evaluation tools to measure their patients’ cardiovascular strength, metabolism, and more. According to the data, an exercise physiologist creates a fitness plan that has strength, endurance, and overall health improvement.
Also, in short, they have responsibilities like;
- Test athletes’ capabilities
- Create fitness training programs according to data
- Monitor and change training plans regularly.
- Stay interconnected with the training staff.
- Educate and be a consultant to advise athletes and coaches in various health-related fitness issues.
- Collaborate with other professionals like physiotherapists, dietitians and fitness trainers.
- Create scientific reports and conduct studies
How to Become an Exercise Physiologist?
Exercise physiologists need to have a bachelor’s degree in one of these fields; exercise physiology, kinesiology, exercise science or a similar field. The students will have courses in kinesiology, biology, nutrition, anatomy, statistics, and health-based subjects within their curriculum. Also, the bachelor’s degree must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
Most employers require exercise physiologists to have BLS or ACLS certification; both certifications have training in CPR.
The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) has EPC certification, that exercise physiologists can use as an indication for their qualifications. What candidates need to have, to be eligible for EPC certification? First, they must have a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology or a similar degree in the field. Second, they must pass the ASEP exam and have an ASEP membership.
Besides the ASEP, there is also the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM); there are certifications for exercise physiologist (EP-C), clinical exercise physiologist (CEP) and registered clinical exercise physiologist (RCEP) are available. All the ACSM credentials need CPR certification and passing an exam. Also, CEP and the RCEP candidates must have at least 400 to 600 hours of supervised clinic experience.
Besides a degree and certifications, what qualities exercise physiologist should have?
First, they must be compassionate. As physiologists work with patients who are experiencing discomfort, they should be understanding towards them.
Second, they must possess decision-making skills because their decisions carry a lot of weight on the patients’ wellbeing.
Third, they must be good communicators. Their interpersonal skills are important to have good relationships with their patients.
Fourth, they must be detail-oriented. Detailed and accurate data of their patients’ fitness condition and their progress must be correctly recorded.
Exercise Physiologist Jobs
Where can exercise physiologist work? Sports medicine and athletic training facilities want exercise physiologist to work for them because they need employees that can create fitness programs and prevent injuries that can happen to their athletes.
Also, athletic equipment production companies need, exercise physiologists, to create sports gear for them. Besides that, exercise physiologists can be their own boss by running their own businesses as sports or athletic performance consultants.
Above all, exercise physiologists can work as clinicians, coaches, trainers, sports directors, wellness directors, program coordinators, exercise managers, rehabilitation specialists, etc. There is a lot of opportunities for exercise physiologist jobs.
Be aware that, being a personal trainer and exercise physiologist differ in degree and certification. An exercise physiologist is a health care professional with a degree in exercise physiology or a certification from the American Society of Exercise Physiologists.
Exercise Physiologist Salary
How much exercise physiologist make? Well, it depends, as we’ve explained, exercise physiologists measure the fitness levels of their patients’ in order to help them maintain their health. Besides that, they also work with athletes to help them improve their performance.
According to glassdoor.com, exercise physiologist average salary is $46,764 it ranges between $30,700 and $73,000. Remember that there is a huge demand and need for exercise physiologists and the demand is only expected to grow in a decade.
Salary.com claims that the average Exercise Physiologist salary in the United States is $54,397, and the range is between $48,017 and $62,435.
Check careerexplorer.com for exercise physiologist salary state by state. (2)
How Much Exercise Physiologist Make in the UK?
In the UK, according to prospect.ac.uk exercise physiologists that work in sports sector can earn between £18,000 and £35,000. Also, in the high profile sports science sector, the salary can exceed £60,000 and may reach up to £100,000.
If the exercise physiologists work in the NHS, they start with the lower end of Band 5 (£23,023 to £29,608).
And for exercise physiology lecturers in higher education, the salary ranges from £24,000 to £37,000.
Exercise Physiologist with Master’s Degree Salary
According to payscale.com, a person with a Master of Science (MS), Exercise Physiology Degree got an average salary of $55,136.
An employee sourced report from salary.com shows that the average salary for an exercise physiologist with a master’s degree is $52,302 – $56,197.
Is Exercise Physiologist a Good Career?
If you are interested in helping others and make athletes recover from their injuries; an exercise physiologist does exactly that. You’d be satisfied with dealing with patients’ problems and ease their struggle. Also, having exercise physiology as your major can help you with other majors like nutrition and psychology because most of the courses are the same in all these majors.
Being interested in research is an essential part of being an exercise physiologist; if you are the opposite, you should look at other career options, this might not be a good option for you. Nevertheless, an exercise physiologist has various career paths; they can become a cardiac rehabilitation director, a registered nurse, or a clinical coordinator, according to payscale.com. (3)
Exercise Physiologist vs Physiotherapist
Physiotherapists (physical therapists) earn much higher and have better job prospects and opportunities compared to exercise physiologists. Also, physiotherapists take care of patients that are injured or got affected by illness. Their qualifications make them able to diagnose the patient’s wellbeing and use their skillset to treat their ongoing conditions. On the other hand, exercise physiologists take care of patients with creating fitness programs and similar methods.
Both physiotherapists and exercise physiologists treat people with medical problems; they also work in similar work environments like a hospital or a medical office. Physiotherapists can diagnose their patients and could use a device or create an exercise regime to treat their patients. They are qualified to help patients gain (or regain) their motor functions, also help them reduce their pain. Well, exercise physiologists are similar, but they are qualified to help their patients on their physical health progress with exercise. Also, exercise physiologists make exercise routines focusing on weight loss, cardio, and strength gain based on their patients’ needs.
The salary difference between physiotherapists and exercise physiologists is as clear as day. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a physiotherapist with a doctoral degree got an average salary of $89,440 and exercise physiologists with a bachelor’s degree got an average salary of $49,170. Also, the job outlook between 2018 to 2028 for physiotherapists is 22%, and for exercise physiologists, it is 10%.
In short, the difference is;
Physiotherapists do hands-on analyzing or passive treatment, including joint manipulation, massage and acupuncture. Exercise physiologists do hands-off analyzing or active treatment with dedicated clinic exercise routines.
We hope you’ve found the answers you are looking for related to exercise physiologists. Do you think becoming an exercise physiologist a good career path? Let us know in the comments. Thank you for reading!
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