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Exercise physiologists develop fitness and exercise programs that help patients recover from chronic diseases and improve cardiovascular function, body composition, and flexibility.Duties
Exercise physiologists typically do the following:
Exercise physiologists, sometimes called kinesiotherapists, work to improve overall patient health. Many of their patients suffer from health problems such as cardiovascular disease or pulmonary (lung) disease. Exercise physiologists provide health education and exercise plans to improve key health indicators.
Some physiologists work closely with primary care physicians, who may prescribe exercise regiments for their patients and refer them to exercise physiologists. The physiologists then work with patients to develop individualized treatment plans that will help the patients meet their health and fitness goals.
Exercise physiologists should not be confused with fitness trainers and instructors (including personal trainers) or athletic trainers.
Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Degree programs include science and health-related courses, such as biology, anatomy, kinesiology, and nutrition, as well as clinical work.Education
Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree programs also are common. Both degree programs include courses in science and health-related subjects, such as biology, anatomy, kinesiology, and nutrition, as well as clinical work. In 2015, there were about 50 exercise programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
High school students interested in postsecondary exercise physiology programs should take courses in anatomy, physiology, and physics.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Louisiana is the only state that requires exercise physiologists to be licensed, although many states have pending legislation to create formal licensure requirements.
The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) offers the Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) certification, which physiologists can use to demonstrate their qualifications. Certification requires graduation with a relevant bachelor’s degree and coursework, completing the ASEP exam, and taking continuing education courses every 5 years.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) also offers certifications for exercise physiologists: the Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP) credential for candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist® (RCEP) for candidates with a master’s degree. Candidates also must have at least 400 or 600 hours of supervised clinical experience for the CEP and RCEP credential, respectively, and pass an exam.Important Qualities
Compassion. Exercise physiologists work with patients who may be in considerable pain or discomfort. Therefore, they must be sympathetic while providing treatments and developing individualized exercise programs for the patients.
Decisionmaking skills. Exercise physiologists must be able to make informed clinical decisions because those decisions could affect the health or livelihood of patients.
Detail oriented. Exercise physiologists must be able to record detailed, accurate information about their patients’ conditions and about any progress the patients make. For example, they must ensure that patients are completing the appropriate stress tests or practicing the correct fitness regimen.
Interpersonal skills. Exercise physiologists must have strong interpersonal skills and be able to manage difficult situations. They must be able to communicate well with others, including physicians, patients, and patients’ families.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Exercise Physiologist
Top Careers After Exercise Physiologist
Hispanic or Latino8.4%
Black or African American0.5%
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California University of Pennsylvania9.4%
Central Michigan University9.1%
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania7.4%
West Virginia University6.7%
Southern Connecticut State University4.7%
Michigan State University4.7%
Georgia State University4.7%
Ball State University4.7%
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville4.4%
Wake Forest University4.0%
University of Florida4.0%
Bridgewater State University4.0%
Ohio University -3.7%
Eastern Michigan University3.7%
University of Kentucky3.7%
University of Louisville3.7%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Exercise Physiologist||Cello International Tennis Academy||Fairfield, CA||Aug 19, 2015||$104,350|
|Senior Exercise Physiologist||Bukhman Md PC||New York, NY||Sep 27, 2013||$93,915|
|Exercise Physiologist||Cello International Tennis Academy||Fairfield, CA||Aug 19, 2013||$83,480|
|Exercise Physiologist||New York Methodist Hospital||New York, NY||Aug 01, 2013||$73,045|
|Exercise Physiologist||Bukhman Md PC||New York, NY||Sep 19, 2013||$73,045|
|Exercise Physiologist||Complete Spinal Physical Therapy and Chiropractic, PLLC||New York, NY||Jan 05, 2015||$73,045|
|Exercise Physiologist-Pilates Manager||Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center||Princeton, NJ||Apr 30, 2015||$70,958|
|Exercise Physiologist||Crunch, LLC||New York, NY||Aug 01, 2015||$67,358|
|Exercise Physiologist||McLean Physical Therapy and Rehab Services LLC||McLean, VA||Sep 01, 2014||$62,610|
|Exercise Physiologist-Pilates Manager||Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center||Princeton, NJ||May 01, 2013||$62,610|
|Exercise Physiologist||Prowess It Solutions LLC||Valley Stream, NY||Jun 06, 2016||$62,610|
|Exercise Physiologist||St. Agnes Healthcare, Inc.||Baltimore, MD||Jan 09, 2016||$52,062|
|Exercise Physiologist||Sun Valley Specialty Healthcare||CA||Sep 11, 2015||$51,132|
|Exercise Physiologist||Ritestep Rehab Solutions, LLC||Troy, MI||Sep 15, 2015||$50,000|
|Exercise Physiologist||National Therapy Services LLC.||MI||Sep 30, 2016||$49,171|
|Exercise Physiologist||National Therapy Services LLC.||Madison Heights, MI||Sep 30, 2016||$49,171|
|Exercise Physiologist||NYC Healthcare Staffing, LLC||NY||Oct 01, 2013||$49,045|
|Exercise Physiologist||Ck Sports, Inc.||NY||Sep 02, 2014||$48,001|
|Exercise Physiologist||St. Mark's World, Inc.||Middletown, NY||Sep 01, 2015||$46,010|
|Exercise Physiologist||Alliedmedix Resources, Inc.||Islandia, NY||Sep 16, 2015||$45,956|
|Exercise Physiologist||Alliedmedix Resources, Inc.||Islandia, NY||Aug 25, 2015||$45,956|
|Exercise Physiologist||Alliedmedix Resources, Inc.||Hillsdale, NY||Sep 16, 2015||$45,956|
|Exercise Physiologist||Dynamic Physical Therapy Services||NY||Jul 01, 2015||$45,956|
|Exercise Physiologist||NYC Healthcare Staffing, LLC||New York, NY||Sep 22, 2013||$45,810|
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Defining Exercise Physiology
Thoughts on a Kinesiology and Exercise Science Major
Allied Health Education Video Series:Exercise Physiology