Exercise Physiologist Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming an Exercise Physiologist or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become an Exercise Physiologist, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Exercise Physiologist job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How To Become an Exercise Physiologist

Exercise physiologists work for hospitals, sports teams, and other healthcare providers to develop fitness programs that help sick or injured patients get better. If this sounds like the perfect career for you, follow these steps to become an exercise physiologist:
Contents

1

Explore your personal attributes.

An exercise physiologist will have a complex set of personality traits that will help you get hired to excel in this nurturing career. You'll be:

  • Compassionate. Candidates in this role routinely work with patients who are in pain from an accident or injury. Therefore, you must be sympathetic, kind, and caring to their needs while you provide the necessary treatments and exercise programs so they can recover.
  • Good at decision-making. As a practicing exercise physiologist, you must be able to make sound decisions that affect the health and well-being of your patients.
  • Detail-oriented. People who work in this field keep extensive patient records. Therefore, you must be detail-oriented to ensure you maintain accurate information about each patient's condition and progress.
  • Interpersonal. Exercise physiologists work very closely with others. It's essential that you possess strong interpersonal skills so you can manage difficult situations. You'll also need to communicate your findings and treatment plans with others, including physicians, patients, and family members.

2

Acquire your degree.

If you want to become an exercise physiologist, plan to earn at least a bachelor's degree. the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) offers a database featuring a slew of accredited undergraduate programs or pick a related field such as:

  • Biology.
  • Anatomy.
  • Kinesiology.
  • Exercise Science.
  • Nutrition.
  • Physical Therapy.

What type of degree should you pursue to become an Exercise Physiologist?

88% of people working as an Exercise Physiologist earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be an Exercise Physiologist?

  • EEG
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Excellent Communication
  • CPR
  • Word Processing
  • Typing
  • Critical Thinking
  • First Aid
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as an Exercise Physiologist in the United States.

3

Earn your masters.

The hiring staff at more and more healthcare facilities require their exercise physiologists to hold a master's degree. Universities typically offer a combination of study tracks that prepare their exercise physiology students for both clinical and research careers. You'll get additional training in areas like:

  • Physical and occupational therapy.
  • Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.
  • Diabetes and cancer prevention.
  • Rehabilitation.
  • Obesity prevention and treatment.

4

Take your certification exam.

If you plan to practice in the state of Louisiana, officials require you to obtain your license to practice. While this is the only state requiring exercise physiologists to secure this permit today, many states have pending legislation related to more formal licensing requirements.

Stay ahead of the competition and get certified now. The American Society of Exercise Physiologists offers an Exercise Physiologist Certified program that requires continuing education courses every five years, plus a passing grade on the organization's exam. Likewise, The American College of Sports Medicine offers exercise physiologists two paths to certification for candidates with between 400 and 600 hours of supervised clinical experience to earn these credentials:

  • Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (bachelor's degree candidates)
  • Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (master's degree applicants)

Seniority Levels

L2

Exercise Physiologist

0 - 1Years of Experience
$75,000 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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8% advanced to

L3

Senior Exercise Physiologist

2 - 4Years of Experience
$75,000 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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L4

Lead Exercise Physiologist

5 - 7Years of Experience
No Salary Reports
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Salary Trajectory

Exercise Physiologist Career Path

$90K
$68K
$45K
$23K
$0
L2
L4
L6
L8
Seniority Levels

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Interested in other Skilled Labor & Manufacturing careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Exercise Physiologist skills. Discover some of the most common Exercise Physiologist career transitions, along with skills overlap.