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12 Jobs For Kinesiology Majors

A degree in kinesiology, the study of body movement, is excellent preparation for a variety of careers related to exercise science and medicine. For people who are interested in health and athletics, a kinesiology degree can function as a stepping stone to a job in sports as a coach or athletic trainer, in medicine as a physical therapist or a chiropractor, or even in business, as a sales representative or marketer for a company that produces and distributes health and sports products.

Here is a list of 12 possible jobs for kinesiology majors:

Most Common Jobs for Kinesiology Majors

1. Health Educator

Health educators teach individuals and groups about health and wellness practices, providing general information and advice about leading a healthy lifestyle, avoiding dangerous behaviors, and nutrition. Health educators may also design and teach health and wellness classes, write books or pamphlets about health practices, and even work with patients to create health treatment plans. Most health educators need at least a bachelor’s degree. Health educators may also choose to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), which is earned through the completion of an exam.

Median annual wage: $53,940

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 5%

2. Fitness Trainer

Fitness trainers lead group fitness classes and provide private fitness training to individuals. Fitness trainers may lead a variety of exercise classes, such as cardiovascular exercise, strength training, stretches, aerobics, and more. They also often provide guidance related to injury prevention, nutrition, and general health. There is not always an educational requirement to become a fitness trainer, though many employers, including gyms and exercise facilities, increasingly seek out applicants with bachelor’s degrees in subjects like kinesiology or exercise science.

Median annual wage: $39,210

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 9%

3. Exercise Physiologist

Exercise physiologists design fitness programs for patients recovering from chronic illnesses or injuries. They craft specialized exercises catered to the medical needs of their patients, who may suffer from a variety of diseases, such as pulmonary disease or cardiovascular disease, that restrict their ability to move or make it difficult to exercise. Most exercise physiologists have a private practice or are self-employed. Others work in hospitals, physician’s offices, or in clinics. In order to become an exercise physiologist, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree. Certification is not necessary to practice in most states in the United States. Louisiana is the only state that requires licensure.

Median annual wage: $49,090

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: N/A

Specialized/Unique Jobs for Kinesiology Majors

4. Physical Therapist

Physical therapists work with patients to recover from physical injuries or illnesses, assisting them so that they can gradually regain control over their bodies and pain. Becoming a physical therapist requires advanced training. You’ll need to complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program, which typically takes 3 years. Many also complete a clinical residency program, which typically takes about a year.

Median annual wage: $86,850

Common entry-level degree: Doctor of Physical Therapy degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 2%

5. Chiropractor

Chiropractors are specialists in the neuromusculoskeletal system. They use a variety of non-invasive and holistic therapies and techniques to treat their patients. Chiropractic is considered an alternative or holistic medicine, and chiropractors are not medical doctors. They do not prescribe drugs or perform surgeries, but rather treat conditions with manual spinal adjustments and manipulation. They do, however, undergo extensive training. In order to become a licensed chiropractor, you will need to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) exam.

Median annual wage: $68,640

Common entry-level degree: Doctor of Chiropractic degree & NBCE exam

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 3%

6. Dietitian or Nutritionist

Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition who create customized diets for clients or patients based on their health and nutritional needs. The majority of dietitians work in a clinical setting, whether in a hospital, an outpatient care center, or a private practice working with individual patients to promote their overall health or manage an illness. Others are employed by the government or organization and tasked with planning food programs or advising policymakers and officials on issues of health and nutrition. Dietitians typically have at least a bachelor’s degree, and sometimes an advanced degree. Many states also require dietitians to be licensed in order to practice.

Median annual wage: $59,410

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0.4%

Non-Traditional Jobs for Kinesiology Majors

7. Recreational Therapist

Recreational therapists use games and activities to assist patients who struggle from a variety of disabilities, illnesses, injuries, or mental conditions. They engage in a variety of activities with patients, which may include sports, games, dance, or arts and crafts. They also may provide emotional support to patients, family and friends. In order to become a recreational therapist, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree. Some employers also look for candidates with official National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

Median annual wage: $47,680

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0.3%

8. Health and Wellness Product Sales Representative

Kinesiology majors who have an interest in business might choose to pursue a job as a health and wellness product sales representative. In this role, you might work for a variety of companies that produce health and wellness products, such as vitamins, nutritional supplements, exercise products, or even pharmaceuticals. Typically, employers look for candidates with some level of knowledge about their product or area of business. Becoming a sales representative only requires a bachelor’s degree, though some may choose to pursue further education in marketing or business.

Median annual wage: $56,970

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 85%

9. Sports Marketer

Sports marketers are marketers who work for sports teams, athletic wear companies, and other exercise and sports-related companies and organizations. As with all marketing professions, the job of a sports marketer primarily consists of designing and executing various kinds of promotional and advertising campaigns to elevate the public perception of their employer. Because kinesiology majors bring a knowledge of exercise and sports science, they are particularly well-suited to promote athletic products. To find a job in sports marketing with a degree in kinesiology, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree with additional coursework in marketing and business.

Median annual wage: $63,230

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 61%

Other Potential Jobs for Kinesiology Majors

10. Physician

Some kinesiology majors may choose to apply to medical school with the goal of becoming a physician. Physicians, or medical doctors, are professionals who examine and diagnose patients, and treat injury and illness. The term “physician” refers to a wide range of medical practitioners that may include family and general doctors who treat a range of everyday conditions and illnesses, pediatricians who treat children and young adults, general internists who provide nonsurgical treatment for problems that affect internal organs, or a wide variety of specialists who have expertise and treat specific organs or conditions. Becoming a physician requires a lot of time and hard work. After you get your bachelor’s degree, you’re going to need to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), attend medical school for 4 years and earn a medical degree, and then complete a residency program, which typically takes 3-7 years depending on your specialty.

Median annual wage: Varies according to specialty; $198,740 for family physician

Common entry-level degree: Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0.4%

11. Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainers are professionals who work with athletes of all ages and levels to prevent, diagnose, and treat muscle and bone injuries and illnesses. They are not medical doctors but rather the first stage of treatment for athletic injuries, providing first-aid and emergency care and assisting in the rehabilitation process. In order to become an athletic trainer, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree. Some employers may prefer or even require a master’s degree. Most states also require certification from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Median annual wage: $46,630

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0.7%

12. Coach

Coaches teach amateur and professional athletes how to play their sports and train them to perform well. They lead practices, draft game plans, call plays, and make game management decisions. They typically also assist in the scouting and recruitment of athletes. Coaches may work at the grade school, college, semi-professional and professional levels. Most coaches are employed by schools, universities, or professional sports teams. Most coaching positions require a bachelor’s degree, though there are options available to individuals with no degree but extensive playing experience at higher levels of their sport. Coaches typically have playing experience, but it is not always necessary.

Median annual wage: $32,270

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 1.3%

10 Famous People Who Studied Kinesiology

  1. Bill Fitch, pro basketball coach
  2. Terry Fox, athlete and cancer research activist
  3. Carl August Georgii, kinesiologist
  4. Chaz Guest, artist
  5. Marv Levy, pro football coach
  6. Eva Longoria, actress
  7. Nils Posse, kinesiologist
  8. Bao Quach, mixed martial artist
  9. Trish Stratus, WWE wrestler
  10. Nancy Williams, kinesiologist