Exercise physiologists serve dual roles as both physician and researcher as they treat injuries and disease through the use of exercise. Because of their experience studying how the human body reacts, exercise physiologists also often work in teaching positions. Exercise physiologists are pivotal in helping individuals recover from physical defects and in allowing the body to heal itself naturally without the use of invasive surgeries.
Exercise Physiologists Educational Requirements
A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement to become an exercise physiologist, although it is more common to hold a master's degree or doctoral degree. Most physiologists begin as interns before either being promoted or opening their own practice. A desire to help others, plus the curiosity to learn more about the human body, is required. Maintaining good physical condition is also helpful in order to demonstrate proper exercise form to patients.
Exercise Physiologists Job Market
If not working in their own practice, physiologists can be employed in gyms as physical trainers and therapists, in research facilities, in medical facilities and more. Because of the sheer number of possibilities for exercise physiologists, the demand is quite high, although the number employed is small. The intense education requirements mean that few people take the time to obtain the required training. There are currently around 6,000 exercise physiologists employed across the United States with another 1,300 openings available. The number of employed physiologists is projected to grow by 9 percent by 2022 to 6,500 individuals employed. Similar positions include Physical Therapist jobs.
Exercise Physiologists Salary
Exercise physiologists do not make as much as other medical professionals, but their income is still quite substantial. The median wage is around $22 an hour with some locations paying a starting wage of $18 an hour. Annual wages range from $26,000 at some facilities to as high as $66,000. The amount an exercise physiologist can earn is largely based on whether they are employed at a research facility or a gym or serve in a clinical capacity. Those who work as physicians typically earn significantly more than exercise physiologists who work as personal trainers or researchers.