What Can You Do With an Exercise Science Major? Explore Thriving Careers & Opportunities!




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With an exercise science major, you can pursue careers in fitness instruction, personal training, research, and rehabilitation therapy. Exercise science majors gain valuable knowledge and skills in areas such as anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and nutrition.

This prepares them for a wide range of opportunities in the health and wellness industry. Whether you are passionate about helping others achieve their fitness goals, conducting scientific research, or working with individuals recovering from injuries, an exercise science major equips you with the necessary tools and expertise.

We will explore the various career paths available to exercise science graduates, highlighting the diverse and exciting possibilities that lie ahead for those interested in this field. From fitness trainers to clinical exercise physiologists, the options to make a positive impact on people’s lives are immense. So, let’s dive in and discover what you can do with an exercise science major.

Exercise Physiologist

A career as an exercise physiologist offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals with an exercise science major. Exercise physiologists play a crucial role in assessing, improving, and maintaining the physical fitness of individuals. Their responsibilities include designing personalized exercise programs, monitoring vital signs during exercise sessions, and providing guidance on proper techniques and safety measures.

To become an exercise physiologist, it is essential to have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a related field, along with certifications such as the Certified Exercise Physiologist (CEP) or the Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP). These certifications validate their expertise and demonstrate their commitment to professional growth.

Exercise physiologists can work in various settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, sports performance facilities, research institutions, and corporate wellness programs. Salaries can vary depending on experience, location, and work environment, but the average salary for exercise physiologists is around $49,170 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sports Performance Coach


Job description and duties:

  • Designing and implementing training programs to help athletes improve their performance
  • Assessing and analyzing athletes’ physical fitness and capabilities
  • Providing guidance and instruction on proper exercise techniques and injury prevention
  • Collaborating with sports teams and coaches to develop strength and conditioning strategies
  • Monitoring and tracking athletes’ progress and adjusting programs accordingly

Essential skills and certifications:

  • Strong knowledge of exercise physiology, biomechanics, and nutrition
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively with athletes and teams
  • Certifications such as Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) or National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • Analytical mindset to evaluate performance data and make informed training decisions

Working directly with athletes and teams:

  • Collaborating with athletes on individualized training plans based on their specific goals and needs
  • Guiding and motivating athletes during training sessions to maximize their potential
  • Fostering teamwork and camaraderie within sports teams through group training sessions
  • Building strong relationships with athletes and earning their trust to enhance performance

Salary prospects and growth opportunities:

  • The salary of a sports performance coach can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the level of athletes or teams worked with
  • Experienced coaches at the professional level or with high-profile teams can earn higher salaries
  • Growth opportunities include advancing to higher coaching positions, becoming a consultant, or starting a private practice
  • The demand for sports performance coaches is expected to grow as the importance of physical fitness in sports continues to be emphasized

Clinical Exercise Specialist

Role in healthcare and rehabilitation settings:

A Clinical Exercise Specialist with an Exercise Science major plays a crucial role in healthcare and rehabilitation settings. They are trained professionals who work with patients suffering from chronic conditions to help improve their overall health and well-being through exercise prescription and monitoring.

Working with patients with chronic conditions:

Clinical Exercise Specialists collaborate with healthcare professionals to develop tailored exercise programs for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and respiratory disorders. They assess patients’ fitness levels, create personalized exercise plans, and monitor progress during regular sessions.

Required certifications and qualifications:

For this specialized role, Clinical Exercise Specialists often require certifications such as the Clinical Exercise Specialist Certification from organizations like the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Importance of evidence-based practice:

With a strong foundation in Exercise Science, these professionals prioritize evidence-based practice to ensure that the exercise programs they design are safe, effective, and backed by scientific research. They stay updated with the latest advancements in the field to provide the best care to their patients and make informed decisions based on current knowledge.

Exercise Science Researcher

An exercise science major opens up a multitude of career opportunities, one being an exercise science researcher. As a researcher, you will have the opportunity to investigate various aspects of exercise science and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field. Conducting research studies plays a vital role in understanding the impacts of physical activity on health and performance. You will work closely with universities and research institutions, collaborating on projects that delve into topics like exercise physiology, biomechanics, and sports psychology. This collaboration provides a rich environment for sharing ideas, gaining expertise, and expanding your network. Additionally, getting involved in research projects can be an excellent way to enhance your academic and practical skills. There are often funding opportunities available to support research endeavors, which can lead to potential career prospects in academia, industry, or healthcare settings.

College Professor In Exercise Science

A major in Exercise Science opens up a variety of career paths, and one option is becoming a College Professor in the field. As a professor, you would have the opportunity to teach undergraduate and graduate courses, sharing your knowledge and expertise with students pursuing careers in exercise science. To qualify for this role, you will typically need to hold a doctoral degree in exercise science or a related field, along with relevant professional experience. In addition to teaching, publishing research and scholarly work is an essential aspect of being a college professor. This involves conducting original research, collaborating with colleagues, and writing articles or books to contribute to the field’s body of knowledge. Publishing not only helps you stay current with the latest advancements but also establishes your reputation as an expert in exercise science. Within academia, there are various advancement opportunities for exercise science professors. This could include promotion to higher academic ranks, such as associate professor or professor, or taking on administrative roles within the department or university. Additionally, you may have the chance to supervise graduate students, lead research projects, and contribute to institutional service. With a major in exercise science, becoming a college professor is a rewarding career option that allows you to make a significant impact by educating future professionals, conducting research, and advancing knowledge in the field.

Corporate Wellness Coordinator

An exercise science major can pursue a rewarding career as a corporate wellness coordinator. This role involves the implementation and management of workplace wellness programs, promoting healthier lifestyles among employees.

Creating and implementing wellness initiatives is a key responsibility for a corporate wellness coordinator. This involves designing and organizing programs such as fitness challenges, nutrition workshops, and stress reduction activities. By encouraging employee participation, these initiatives can effectively improve overall well-being.

A corporate wellness coordinator works closely with companies and employees to provide education and support. They may conduct health assessments, offer personalized wellness coaching, and organize wellness events. By fostering a positive and healthy work environment, they contribute to increased employee productivity, reduced healthcare costs, and improved morale.

In terms of salary and benefits, the field of corporate wellness coordination offers promising prospects. Salaries can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and company size. Generally, this career path offers competitive salaries, comprehensive healthcare benefits, and opportunities for professional growth.

Personal Trainer Or Fitness Instructor

With an exercise science major, you have several options for your career, including becoming a personal trainer or fitness instructor. As a personal trainer, you will have various roles and responsibilities, such as designing personalized exercise programs for clients, demonstrating proper exercise techniques, and providing motivation and support to help clients reach their fitness goals. Certifications and specialization options are available in different areas of fitness, such as group fitness, strength training, and sports performance.

Personal trainers also have the opportunity to work as freelancers, providing training services to clients independently, or they can work for fitness centers, gyms, or wellness facilities. With the growing demand for personalized fitness coaching, personal trainers have a promising career path ahead. They can help individuals of all fitness levels to improve their health, increase their strength, and achieve their desired fitness outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions Of What Can You Do With An Exercise Science Major

Are Exercise Science Degrees Worth It?

Exercise science degrees are a worthful investment offering knowledge of the human body and its movement. These degrees open doors to careers in fitness, rehabilitation, and research. Graduates gain a strong foundation in exercise techniques and physiology, making them valuable assets in the health and wellness industry.

Is Exercise Science The Same As Kinesiology?

Exercise science and kinesiology are related but not the same. Exercise science focuses on the physiological and biomechanical aspects of exercise, while kinesiology encompasses a broader study of human movement and its impact on health.

What Can You Do With An Exercise Science Degree In The Air Force?

An exercise science degree in the Air Force can lead to various roles. You can work as a fitness specialist, designing and implementing exercise programs for troops. You may also contribute as a health educator, focusing on promoting physical fitness and wellness.

Your expertise can be utilized in creating injury prevention strategies too.

Is Exercise Physiology A Good Major?

Exercise physiology is a beneficial major as it focuses on the science behind exercise and its effects on the human body. It offers career opportunities in areas like sports performance, rehabilitation, and research. Pursuing this major can lead to a rewarding and in-demand career.

What Career Opportunities Are Available With An Exercise Science Major?

With an exercise science major, you can pursue careers as a personal trainer, physical therapist, sports coach, or corporate wellness specialist.

How Can An Exercise Science Major Help In Sports Performance?

An exercise science major equips you with the knowledge to optimize athletic performance through techniques like strength training, injury prevention, and nutrition.

What Skills Can You Develop With An Exercise Science Major?

With an exercise science major, you can develop skills in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, exercise prescription, and research methods.


In a nutshell, pursuing an exercise science major opens up a world of possibilities and an exciting career path in the field of health and fitness. With this degree, you can become a personal trainer, strength and conditioning specialist, exercise physiologist, or even go on to further studies in physical therapy or sports medicine.

The combination of practical knowledge, scientific understanding, and passion for promoting wellness makes exercise science graduates highly sought after in today’s competitive job market. So, if you have a passion for fitness and the desire to help others lead healthier lives, an exercise science major might just be your ticket to a rewarding and fulfilling career.

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