Job Market Trends for Exercise Physiologist Jobs

Hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, athletic and sports training facilities offer the majority of exercise physiologist jobs.

Basic Requirements

Most exercise physiologists will have completed an undergraduate degree in exercise physiology, exercise science or kinesiology. According to College Navigator, there are over 400 post-secondary programs in these fields in the U.S., and approximately 50 of these programs take two years or less to complete. The American Society of Exercise Physiologists has granted accredited status to five programs: Bloomsburg University; College of St. Scholastica; Long Island University, Brooklyn; Marquette University; and the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Some exercise physiologists will complete graduate degrees in this field, so an undergraduate degree should be considered the minimum requirement.

Exercise physiologists will also need to complete CPR training. It is also recommended that they complete certification from the American Society of Exercise Physiologists.

Employment Opportunities

Unlike fitness or personal trainers, exercise physiologists do not work in gyms or fitness centers. Most exercise physiologists work in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics or research facilities such as universities. Some facilities, such as camps or sports therapy clinics, that focus on fitness or are developing fitness programs will hire exercise physiologists. Exercise physiologists may also find employment with nonprofit organizations that offer fitness alternatives for wellness and recovery after an illness. An exercise physiologist may also assist in the development of a physical fitness program or physical education curriculum.

The Outlook for Exercise Physiologist Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track opportunities for exercise physiologists; however, similar positions, such as physical therapists, report that this field will grow much faster than average, with an increase of 20 percent or more in available positions by 2018. According to the SimplyHired Job Search Trends for exercise physiologists, the number of advertised positions has increased by 29 percent since September 2008. As more treatment and rehabilitation programs place an emphasis on fitness for recovery and maintaining good health, opportunities for exercise physiologists should increase. An aging population and a bigger interest in fitness as preventative medicine means that there will be a stable labor market, if not a marked increase in positions, for exercise physiologists.

Salary for Exercise Physiologist Jobs

According to the SimplyHired Salary Index, which is prepared from the available listings on the search engine that include salary information, the average salary for exercise physiologists is $198,000 per year. Other reports, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have suggested that the average salary for exercise physiologists with an undergraduate degree is between $20,000 and $45,000 per year.

Finding Jobs

Opportunities for exercise physiologists are available on professional association websites, such as the American Society of Exercise Physiologists, or on the job postings of hospitals and health care providers.

Vertical search engines, such as Indeed or SimplyHired, which scrape postings from major job boards, will also list opportunities for exercise physiologists in their search results. These search engines are helpful if you are looking for positions outside the traditional setting of hospitals and clinics, or if you need to relocate but are not yet familiar with the new region and the local health care providers.

If you want employment in a hospital, clinic or rehabilitation center, you can use a health industry job board, such as Hospital Jobs Online, to search for exercise physiologist jobs.