Exercise Physiology Careers


exercise physiologist career

A Guide to Understanding Exercise Physiology Careers

Exercise Physiology Careers are fast becoming one of the most in-demand jobs today. It will most certainly be a good career prospect in the future, especially when these two factors come into play:

  • The level of health care has prolonged many lives, which means that the elderly population will have a much longer life span. They will need a special type of exercise to help keep their bodies in tip-top shape.
  • Modern lifestyle has put tremendous pressure pressures on people, which has given them too little time to exercise. Consequently, they develop diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, diseases which can easily be controlled by the right form of exercise.

The Path to Exercise Physiology Careers 

Knowing how in-demand this career will be might inspire you to take the same road as well. And while an Exercise Physiology career can be an exciting and fulfilling job for the right person, you have to make sure that it is something that you want to do. A good way to do this is to understand what it is all about.

A Crash Course in Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology is the study of a body’s response to physical movement and activities. It believes that exercise is a form of medicine, and doing the right kind of exercise for one’s body will result to better health. It mostly covers topics in the field of energy transfer, energy expenditure, and effects of physical activity on the body’s organs, particularly the Endocrine, Cardiovascular, and Musculoskeletal systems.

What is an Exercise Physiologist?

An Exercise Physiologist is an expert in analyzing the body’s reactions to physical activity. It has three primary areas of specialization: Fitness, Rehabilitation, and Education / Training.

  • Exercise Physiologists specializing in Fitness work closely with athletes who want to manage their fitness level. These practitioners are also private consultants of clients who want to lose weight.
  • Exercise Physiologists specializing in Rehabilitation are the ones who help patients recover from chronic sickness, such as lower back pain or Arthritis. Often, these patients were referred by other physicians who want to include exercise as part of their patient’s recovery or treatment.
  • Exercise Physiologists who specialize in Education teach the subject to Medicine, Physiology, and Sports Science students. The teacher’s primary goal is to prepare the students to get Exercise Physiology careers in the future.

Work Environment 

What is an Exercise PhysiologistExercise Physiologists are employed in various settings, ranging from educational institutions, recreation centers, health hubs, community organization venues, industrial or commercial health clubs, and private exercise consultation offices.

They may also be in clinical settings, creating and prescribing exercise strategies to patients with pulmonary, cardiac, and other related diseases that were referred by other doctors.

An Exercise Physiology Career is a bit similar to a Sports Medicine career, although the difference is that an Exercise Physiologist career focuses more on the exercise and technological aspect of Sports Science; while a Sports Medicine career often focuses more on diagnosing and healing.

They do however, overlap in some duties, including the following:

  • Creating benchmark information that helps develop an athlete’s performance.
  • Advising coaches and athletes about hydration strategies, heart rate monitoring, recovery, overtraining, and many other techniques to help in training
  • Providing regular monitoring and assessment of an athlete’s training regimen.
  • Creating a detailed profile of an individual to assess their level of fitness
  • Helping patients recover from physical injuries


Many people often ask what is an Exercise Physiologist compared to a Personal Trainer. The truth is, anyone can call himself a Personal Trainer, and it doesn’t even require a college degree to do so. Exercise Physiologists, on the other hand, are required to pass the ASEP Exercise Physiologist Certified Exam, and are held accountable to the ASEP Code of Ethics and the Exercise Physiologist’s Standards of Practice.

Salary Range

Salaries of Exercise Physiologists will depend on their experience, location, and certification. The median base of a Sports Medicine salary is around $61,000 while the salary requirements of an Exercise Physiology career can be around $45,197.

Getting an Education: Requirement for Exercise Physiology Careers 

Exercise Physiology Degree

Exercise Physiology CareersThose who plan to have an Exercise Physiologist career should take a four-year degree course in Exercise Physiology.

The course mostly includes the following areas:

  • Nutrition
  • Psychology
  • Biomechanics
  • Physiology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Fitness

There are courses that don’t offer an Exercise Physiology degree; however, other relevant courses can be used as substitutes, such as Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Applied Science.

Also, the American College of Sports Medicine offers certification for Exercise Test Technologist, Exercise Specialist, Program Director, and Health / Fitness Director.

Credentials Needed for Practice

Aside from education, Exercise Physiologists are required to pass an ASEP examination that focuses on testing the examinee on the practical aspects of laboratory and knowledge skills in physiology. Once they pass, those who practice their Exercise Physiologist careers must also maintain continuing education credits for recertification every four years.

Exercise Physiology career can be one of the most financially and personally rewarding careers you can ever have. Aside from its expanding employment opportunities and diverse specializations, you are able to help other people become fitter and healthier through exercise. You also become a “support system” for people seeking to improve themselves.

And nothing is more rewarding than seeing people’s lives change for the better.

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