14 Best Jobs With a Kinesiology Degree

Students can earn associate, bachelors, masters, or doctoral degrees in kinesiology to start rewarding careers in the health and fitness industry.

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Top Jobs for Kinesiology Majors (5 HIGH PAYING JOBS)

Types of kinesiology degrees

Colleges and universities offer Kinesiology degree programs in specialty areas at the associate, bachelors masters and doctoral degree levels. These are examples of the types of Kinesiology degrees specializations you can earn:

What is a kinesiology degree?

A kinesiology degree is a college major program where students learn about the fundamentals of human movement and a variety of other subjects that prepare students to work in fitness instruction, rehabilitation, sports medicine, research and other areas. Here are some examples of the types of courses offered in kinesiology degree programs:

14 career paths for kinesiology graduates

Review these 14 Kinesiology jobs to pursue based on the degree you earn, with salary expectations, and job duties to aid your decision-making:

Associate degree

Associate degrees are two-year degree programs typically offered by community colleges and accredited institutions. Those interested in exercise, rehabilitation and Kinesiology can find associate degree programs in areas like Kinesiology, exercise science, exercise and fitness or physical therapy assistance. These are examples of career paths you can pursue with an associate degree in Kinesiology or a related field:

Primary duties: Personal trainers may earn their qualifications with a high school diploma, but an associate degree can help enhance their employability. Personal trainers work for gyms, sports complexes or as self-employed individuals to help individuals develop and achieve fitness goals. This includes meeting clients to discuss their current exercise goals and developing a fitness regime to help them improve their strength training, physical stamina, muscle mass or weight loss goals.

Primary duties: A fitness consultant helps clients develop workout routines, meal plans and lifestyle changes to promote a clients physical and mental health. They may also accompany individuals to the gym to help them work out and may teach them how to cook or prepare certain meals.

Primary duties: Fitness instructors may also be able to work with a high school diploma, but an associate degree in an area like health and exercise can provide them with the knowledge they need to develop workout routines using different types of equipment or techniques. Fitness instructors can teach a variety of different classes in at-home studios or gym facilities. These include yoga, cycling, Pilates, barre, aerobics or kickboxing for example. Fitness instructors may also help their clients improve their techniques to prevent injury and maximize results.

Bachelors degree

Bachelors degrees consist of four-year degree programs offered by colleges and universities. These programs qualify professionals for entry-level roles and enable them to qualify for further education at the masters or doctoral degree levels. Here are examples of the types of Kinesiology jobs you can achieve with a bachelors degree in Kinesiology or a similar degree program:

Primary duties: An exercise physiologist can work in health care facilities or as self-employed individuals. They use their understanding of how exercise affects the body to help clients reach their fitness goals. They typically work with clients recovering from injuries or clients who have chronic illnesses. Exercise physiologists design workout routines and other activities for clients to perform that help alleviate pain, build back muscle mass, enhance physical stamina and allow them to maintain an active lifestyle.

Primary duties: Athletic trainers work for high schools, colleges and universities, sports and recreation complexes and sports leagues to provide onsite first aid and medical care to athletes. During games, athletic trainers respond to injuries by assessing the athlete, wrapping injured areas, applying cold compresses or cleansing wounds. They may also conduct concussion tests and notify emergency services when necessary. Before and after athletic events, athletic trainers help athletes by instructing them on how to stretch an injury and preparing cold or warm whirlpools to treat injuries.

Primary duties: A strength and conditioning coach assists athletes in sports leagues or at high school or college level athletics. Their purpose is to help educate athletes on training methods to enhance their performance over time. They also work with athletes to teach them how to warm up and cool down from a workout to prevent potential injuries.

Primary duties: Kinesiologists work for sports and recreation facilities, healthcare facilities and rehabilitation clinics to help clients with injuries or chronic conditions to improve their mobility and strength. They may work with clients who have diseases that affect the nervous system. Kinesiologists complete muscle monitoring during exercise activities and perform lymphatic massages or acupressure to help ease pain.

Primary duties: Dietitians work with patients to help them improve their nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle, ease disease-related symptoms or recover from injuries or illnesses. They can also provide patients with helpful tips on the types of foods they should eat before and after working out to ensure maximum energy and muscle recovery.

Masters degree

Masters degree programs typically include two years of instruction with a bachelors degree as a prerequisite. Masters degrees in Kinesiology specialties help individuals obtain leadership positions and specialty roles within the field. These are a few types of Kinesiology career paths you can pursue with a masters degree:

Primary duties: Athletic directors oversee athletic programs at high schools, colleges and universities, sports leagues and sports or recreational facilities. They hire coaches, referees and athletic trainers to oversee sports teams, games and training. They also monitor budgets for sports equipment, field maintenance, uniforms and transportation.

Primary duties: Prosthetists specialize in designing and fitting prosthetic or orthopedic devices for patients. Examples include knee or ankle braces, artificial limbs, shoe insoles or back braces. Typically, they assess the patients need for a device including their level of physical activity and current health conditions to determine their needs.

Primary duties: Occupational therapists specialize in helping patients improve or regain basic motor functions that allow them to excel in their everyday lives. These include holding items, picking up items, brushing ones teeth, using utensils or putting on clothes. Through continuous training and different techniques, they help patients overcome mobility obstacles.

Doctoral degrees

Doctoral degrees include four to six years of instruction where students advance their knowledge of a subject by conducting their own research projects and taking advanced courses. Doctoral degrees in Kinesiology specialties like physical therapy can prepare individuals for these job roles:

Primary duties: A physical therapist helps patients recover from injuries like broken or fractured bones, ligament or tendon tears and they also help individuals minimize pain associated with chronic illnesses. They do this by helping patients exercise, stretch and learn about at-home exercises they should complete every day.

Primary duties: Research assistants specializing in kinesiology work with scientists and medical research teams to monitor patients recovering from concussions, broken bones, ligament tears and illnesses relating to the cardiopulmonary system. They record data as patients exercise and monitor their progress over time. Research scientists also write research reports for other scientists and medical personnel to use.

Doctor of medicine degree

For those considering careers in sports medicine, they need to attend medical school after the completion of a bachelors degree program. Medical school programs take four years to complete and prepare students to apply for residencies in specialty areas like sports medicine. Here is an example of what you can do with a doctor of medicine degree:

Primary duties: A sports medicine physician works specifically with athletes to help diagnose and treat sports-related injuries. They may also instruct athletes on preventative stretching and other methods that protect against injuries.


What is a career in kinesiology?

Exercise Physiologist. Fitness Instructor or Program Director at Commercial Fitness Center – Program Director of Corporate Fitness Center – Sports Director at Resort. Massage Therapist. Medical Doctor. Occupational Therapist.

What is the best job for kinesiology?

12 of the highest paid kinesiology jobs
  • Exercise physiologist.
  • Fitness trainer.
  • Athletic coach.
  • Physical education teacher.
  • Fitness club manager.
  • Sports consultant.
  • Registered nurse.
  • Athletic director.

Is kinesiology in high demand?

Entry-level kinesiology jobs remain in high demand. For instance, BLS data projects that employment for athletic trainers will grow by 16% from 2019-2029.

Is a kinesiology degree worth it?

One (of many) great thing about majoring in kinesiology is that it doesn’t limit you to just one career path after you earn your bachelor’s degree. Graduates with a kinesiology degree have the potential for careers in a variety of industries, including health care, education and sports.

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