When you think of exercise science careers, you might think of personal training, coaching, athletic training, or becoming a dietitian. While these are some of the more traditional career routes in exercise science, there are a wide variety of career opportunities within the field that can fit your interests. Below are five careers within the exercise science field that you may not have considered.
Having a strong foundation of knowledge in exercise science will allow you to write in-depth, informational content for trainers, coaches, and other fitness professionals and will give you a leg up over other writers in the field.
Challenging writing opportunities exist with the exercise science field. Organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) run blogs on their websites, delivering informative articles to trainers and other fitness professionals.
You could also write fitness education programs for organizations such as Udemy or MedFit Classroom. As an expert in the field, you will be prepared to write about advanced topics in the exercise science field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for writers and authors is $67,120, and the median salary for technical writers is $74,650.
An ergonomist studies how people interact with different environments, tools, and equipment and makes suggestions to improve the design of products to enhance safety, performance or comfort.
Many ergonomist positions require a master’s degree in ergonomics. A bachelor’s in exercise science will give students the foundation in human movement, anatomy and physiology that they need for a career in ergonomics. Additionally, ergonomists in the United States will want to be certified as a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) by the Board of Certified Professional Ergonomists (BCPE).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians, which ergonomists fall under, is $72,530.
Community Program Director
A community program director develops and implements community programs that include sport, social, cultural, educational, seasonal, family or recreational programs. They can work for local governments, nonprofits, state recreation agencies, universities, hospitals and more.
For this position, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree, and potentially a master’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in sports and recreation management can help prepare you for a position as a community program director by teaching you the foundations of administration, human resources, finances and marketing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Administrative Services and Facilities Managers, which community program directors fall under, make a median salary of $98,890, with the lowest 10% earning under $56,080, and the highest 10% earning $169,930.
University professors with education in the exercise science field can teach a wide variety of courses, from kinesiology to exercise physiology to sports nutrition. Many universities require an individual to hold a doctoral degree in their area of study, however undergraduate courses can be taught by someone who holds a master’s degree. Additionally, getting published can help you establish yourself in the field.
Professors have a direct hand in shaping the next generation of exercise scientists. They motivate and educate students, giving them the tools they need to be successful in the field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for professors is $80,790.
Sports Psychiatrist and Sports Psychologist
Falling between the psychology and exercise science fields, sports psychologists and psychiatrists work specifically with athletes to help them perform their best. Sports psychiatrists can additionally prescribe medication to treat mental illnesses. Common mental disorders in athletes can include anxiety, depression, eating disorders and substance abuse.
Specific sports psychology programs can prepare students for a career in the field, while sports psychiatrists must attend medical school after completing their undergraduate degree.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for psychologists is $82,180, and the median salary for psychiatrists is over $208,000.
Interested in learning about more exercise science jobs? Don’t miss our infographic, “5 Careers in Sports and Wellness.”