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Become An Exercise Specialist

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Working As An Exercise Specialist

  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Deal with People

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Exercise Specialist Do

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:

  • Analyze a patient’s medical history to determine the best possible exercise and fitness regimen for the patient
  • Perform fitness and stress tests with medical equipment and analyze the resulting patient data
  • Measure blood pressure, oxygen usage, heart rhythm, and other key patient health indicators
  • Develop exercise programs to improve patient health
  • Supervise clinical tests to ensure patient safety

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.

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How To Become An Exercise Specialist

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.

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Exercise Specialist Career Paths

Exercise Specialist
Physical Therapy Aide Physical Therapist Therapist
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapy Aide Physical Therapist Clinical Instructor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapy Aide Massage Therapist Therapist
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Exercise Physiologist Adjunct Professor Case Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Exercise Physiologist Adjunct Professor Operations Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Exercise Physiologist Adjunct Professor Chairperson
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Wellness Coordinator Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Instructor Team Leader Training Manager
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Therapist Clinical Manager
Director Of Clinical Operations
12 Yearsyrs
Instructor Administrator Registered Nurse Supervisor
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Wellness Coordinator Health Coach Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Clinical Manager
Clinical Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Consultant Nurse Nursing Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Strength And Conditioning Coach Team Leader Program Director
Department Director
6 Yearsyrs
Wellness Coach Coach Clinician
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Health Coach Case Manager Clinical Director
Director Of Rehabilitation
7 Yearsyrs
Wellness Coach Staff Nurse Occupational Health Nurse
Health Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Wellness Coordinator Health Coach
Wellness Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Wellness Coach Wellness Program Coordinator Wellness Program Manager
Wellness Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Exercise Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$38,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$162,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Northern Montana Health Care Inc.
Highest Paying City
Bismarck, ND
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does an Exercise Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Exercise Specialist in the United States is $79,347 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $163,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Exercise Specialist?

Have you worked as an Exercise Specialist? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as an Exercise Specialist.

Top Skills for An Exercise Specialist

  1. Fitness Assessments
  2. Strength Training
  3. Blood Pressure
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Administer fitness assessments and related health/exercise tests to membership where necessary in order to implement safe medically sound exercise prescriptions.
  • Acknowledged for the development and implementation of cardiovascular health regimens, strength training exercises and joint flexibility techniques.
  • Practiced obtaining resting and exercise blood pressure of cardiac rehabilitation patients.
  • Conducted fitness assessments and personal training sessions.
  • Design training programs for clients based on personal goals and needs (sports performance, weight loss, general health).

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Exercise Specialists

  1. Alaska
  2. Rhode Island
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Nevada
  5. Idaho
  6. New Mexico
  7. Hawaii
  8. North Dakota
  9. Minnesota
  10. Wyoming
  • (22 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (60 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (262 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)

Exercise Specialist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,441 Exercise Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Exercise Specialist Resume

View Resume Examples

Exercise Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

51.9%

Male

39.5%

Unknown

8.7%
Ethnicity

White

64.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.3%

Portuguese

6.8%

Chinese

6.8%

Italian

5.1%

French

3.4%

Mandarin

3.4%

Swedish

1.7%

Vietnamese

1.7%

Hebrew

1.7%

Dari

1.7%

Tagalog

1.7%

Dakota

1.7%

Polish

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Cantonese

1.7%
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Exercise Specialist Education

Schools

California University of Pennsylvania

12.9%

University of Northern Colorado

11.2%

University of Florida

5.6%

East Carolina University

5.3%

University of Akron

5.0%

University of Utah

4.7%

Middle Tennessee State University

4.4%

University of Central Florida

4.4%

Illinois State University

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.1%

Kent State University

4.1%

Grand Valley State University

4.1%

Iowa State University

4.1%

Texas Tech University

3.8%

Oregon State University

3.8%

Central Michigan University

3.8%

Colorado State University

3.8%

Georgia State University

3.5%

Montclair State University

3.5%

Western Illinois University

3.5%
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Majors

Kinesiology

50.0%

Exercise Physiology

11.3%

Health Education

5.3%

Physical Therapy

4.3%

Nursing

3.6%

Health And Wellness

3.4%

Business

3.2%

Health Care Administration

2.0%

Athletic Training

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Health Sciences And Services

1.7%

Medicine

1.7%

Public Health Education

1.7%

Public Health

1.5%

Food And Nutrition

1.3%

Rehabilitation Science

1.3%

Psychology

1.2%

Medical Assisting Services

1.2%

Physician Assistant

1.1%

Biology

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.5%

Masters

30.0%

Other

8.6%

Associate

4.4%

Doctorate

3.3%

Certificate

2.8%

License

0.2%

Diploma

0.2%
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Top Exercise Specialist Employers

Jobs From Top Exercise Specialist Employers

Exercise Specialist Videos

Defining Exercise Physiology

ACSM Career Webinar - Clinical Exercise Physiology

Allied Health Education Video Series:Exercise Physiology

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