5 Kinesiology Degree Job Options

Kinesiology is the study of human movement, and a kinesiology degree prepares you for a career in any occupation that heals, improves or perfects human movement. There are many different job options available, here are five of the most popular.

1. Fitness Trainer

Fitness trainers work one-on-one with clients or they provide classroom instruction to large groups. They work in gyms, community centers and in client's homes. In addition to a degree in kinesiology, a fitness trainer will usually possess certification from the American Fitness Professionals Associates or the American Council on Exercise, as well as specialized fitness training, such as becoming a yoga instructor. Fitness trainers will also usually pursue training in nutrition and meal preparation. This career option is one of the most entrepreneurial of all of the kinesiology options.

2. Athletic Trainer

An athletic trainer assists athletes to prepare for competition in their chosen sport and to reduce injuries when participating in that sport. An athletic trainer will consult on equipment and also help an athlete with their diet, prepare a training regime and to mentally prepare for competition. Athletic trainers usually work with high school or college athletes. A certified athletic trainer will possess an undergraduate degree as well as certification from the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification, Inc.

3. Physical Education Teacher

Physical education teachers teach children, from elementary school to high school about various athletic activities, nutrition and good sportsmanship. In addition to their kinesiology degree, physical education teachers, will also possess a teaching certificate, which means that the teacher either learns on the job or returns to school for an education degree, depending on the licensing requirements for the state where they wish to teach. Physical education teachers can also provide classes and instructional materials via distance learning to students who are out of state or who are in home school. There are also opportunities for experienced teachers to become curriculum developers for State Boards of Education or to work for publishing companies to produce textbooks and lesson plans for other teachers.

4. Physical Therapy

Without completing a degree in physical therapy, kinesiologists can work in hospitals, rehabilitative and sports medicine clinics. Under the supervision of a PhD or medical doctor, they will also research movement for sports or rehabilitation. By graduating from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education, usually a graduate degree in physical therapy, you can become a physical therapist. Physical therapists help patients of all ages recover from injuries or learn how to deal with the physical effects of chronic illness. Related career that requires a graduate degree: occupational therapist.

5. Retail Sales

The production and purchasing of athletic gear, from running shoes to yoga pants, is an enormous industry. Kinesiology students with an interest in business and sales can work in retail stores, become managers, purchasers or distributors. Most students who select this field will usually begin their careers with summer and part-time jobs in retail sales in athletic apparel stores, and intern as or accept entry-level positions as managers when they graduate. Students who select this field will need to have good communication skills, able to deal with both customers and suppliers, and they can prepare budgets, market and